Jody Newton, Gray Holmes, Mark Doughty, Clinton Kreuger and I ventured up to the Flying Moose 22 km classic today in Bethel, Maine. This year there was lots of snow, although the recent snowfall must have transitioned because the tracks were a bit icy hard. While the field is not large, it usually is pretty loaded with a fast crowd out to get Zak Cup points including the usual suspects from Northwest Vermont and of course the local speedsters like Kirk Siegel. Many of us lost a bit too much wax on the icy corners. Should have gone with klister binder rather than hard wax binder. Otherwise, not a bad day. Except for Bill Holland, former CSUer who had the story of the day, below:
Not once in 47 years of racing do I recall having become involved in a multi-skier pile-up, but it happened today in spades.
Usually, I manage to side-step downed skiers. Not this time. Down I went to avoid the guy sprawled in front of me and got plowed into by about five high school racers. Fortunately, before the start I'd ceded my position to my betters: Chris Dorion and Doug Armstrong, so I at least wasn't responsible for taking down any of my peers.
I staggered back to my feet to find blood spurting from my nose onto the snow, bruised ribs, and some significant wobbliness that evaporated after just a few minutes of shuffling. Bit of a shame since for the first time this season I had utterly bomb-proof kick and could in a number of instances keep diagonal skiing right over the herring-bone tracks of my predecessors.
Take-away #1: Don't talk about your most recent major wipe-out--at the Stowe Derby where I got knocked unconscious and suffered 3-4 cracked ribs--five minutes before the start of your current race. Definite psychic self-sabotage.
Take-away#2: Do ski the first 1K or so of a race course during your warm-up so you know what to prepare for--in this case a long, squirrely downhill .5K into the race.
Take-away #3: Do take a peek at the course map beforehand. I didn't and missed a major turn that would have taken me back up onto the Upper Loop. So not to worry, Jamie and Co. I didn't beat you or any other CSU worthy by the startling margin indicated in the original results.
On to Rangeley!