Saturday, January 26, 2013

White Mt. Chase

Today the masters part of CSU took to the field at the 30km White Mt Chase classic race at Jackson.  The dawned clear, dry, and nice and cold, 1F, but fortunately without wind.  CSU showed up in force, as we always do for this event, being the 1 day NE club championship.

CSU takes 1 day club championship for 5th year!  From the left, Jamie, Terry, Frank, Tom, Andy, Tom, Rob, Charlie and John.  Missing were Victor, Michael, Ben, Ari, Gray, David H and Alex I.
When I went out to test some wax the tracks were rock hard and a little difficult in some places to get good kick on because they were so hard.  As a consequence, I worked to build up my kick zone carefully with some blue and then covered that with Toko mint.  That combination kicked very nicely and was not draggy.  This year they changed the course a bit and ran us up Yodel after 1.5 laps of the golf course and then 3 laps of the fields and most of the Wave (I call the whole thing the Wave), skipping Henry.  It was certainly a fair course and enough hills for the climbers and enough DP/kick DP for the Littleton rollerski crowd and some fun downhills that were really nice today.  We wound all over the Eagle Mt. fields up and down, back and forth.....I'm still a bit dizzy. 

The race started well and everyone got sorted out as we toured around the field.  I was feeling decent, but then we hit Yodel and I started thrashing.  I really had trouble with my kick, with my herringbone and just about everything else going up that cursed hill!  Alex was running up the hill, staying in the tracks and skiing really well.  No way was I hanging with her.  Rob and others were disappearing over the top of the hill.  Grrrrrrrr.  Settle down, I thought, get on top of your skis and frigging ski properly!  I lost a lot of time on that climb, unfortunately, but at least regained my composure as we started around the fields for the first time and there was a little pack of guys, including UNH guy, who was slow at DP but could climb well and Greg Werner, who also outclimbed me, but was not as fast on the DP.  UNH guy started running away from my on the Wave and Greg disappeared, but back to the fields at the end of lap 1 I caught up to UNH guy.  Greg was not too far ahead either.  There was a pack I was keeping my eye on close behind, including Jim Fredricks, Stuart Kremzner, Ron Newbury and a couple more. 

Somewhere toward the top of the hills on lap 1 I remembered how to ski classic and how to jump on my skis on the steeper hills.  Things were improving, and on lap two up the hills I skiied oh so much better.  I had passed UNH kid before we started up and it took until the top for him to catch and pass me.  I chased him down the Wave and out in the flats he finally hit the wall and disappeared out the back.  Now I was almost alone in a sea of skiers looping back and forth.  No one in front, no one too close behind and yet skiers going every which way on those loops.  On lap 3 I started chasing Greg, who was oh so close and oh so far away.  When we popped down on the fields for the last time I really started DPing in earnest, hoping to catch him.  Closer and closer I got, but it took the entire field section to get close, right before the big downhill on Yodel.  Greg flew down and I was a bit more cautious and thinking I'd just run out of room to reel him in.  But down on the golf course it turned into a DP duel to the finish where I caught Greg right at the line.  An excellent duel and now we could stand there for a moment in the sun, recovering and enjoying the comraderie as friends finished, the stories began and the waxing secrets divulged.  Then it was time to put the skis back on to see how Lisa was doing.  Sue LaChance came in as I was headed out, then Sarah Gates flew around the corner at the bottom of Yodel, followed a bit later by Donna Smyth and then a group with Lisa, Jody and Mary Lou Lowrie, all hammering for home and a well-earned rest. 

The CSU men nabbed the top spot for the club championship and the CSU women finished in 3rd.  Alex was the top woman, skiing a really strong race.  Frank was first M4, John was first M3, Rob was first M6 and Charlie Kellogg was first M9.  Not too shabby.

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