Sunday, March 16, 2008

Huge Weekend for CSU!

It was a huge weekend for CSU as skiers at both the Eastern High School Championships and the Sugarloaf marathon emerged victorious.

At EHS, CSU Jrs Chris Stock and Olga Golovkina both won two races, were on the 1st place relay team, along with CSUer Nadja Kern and Nick Fogel from Western Mass, and also won the all-around top honors! Massachusetts took 5 of a possible 7 1st places at the event, which I am pretty sure is unprecedented. The relay win by Massachusetts was the first time in the 25 year history of the event.

At the Sugarloaf Marathon CSU's Alex Jospe took home the top prize for women in the final NE marathon of the year with a narrow 5 second victory at the finish over Lauren Jacobs. Frank Feist came home in 13th overall and Andy Milne in 15th for 2nd and 3rd in their age group, respectively. Wes Denering finished 34th and Michael Melnikov 51st.

EHS turned out to be a massive klister-fest with 2 classic races and the 2 classic legs of the relay all requiring klister. I have never waxed so many skis with so much klister in my life and I'm not sure I want to do that again any time soon! Over the course of Saturday and Sunday we used Toko Multiviola, Rode Multigrade, Toko Silver, Rex OV, Rode Rossa, and Toko green basebinder on race skis in delightful combinations. That doesn't include all the other stuff we tried and rejected and all the rilling and Jetstream application that also had to be done. Nothing like icy, granular snow slightly below freezing, but warming up through the morning to race time to keep you hopping with constant wax testing, re-testing and re-testing again and then applying in a hurry to get all the kids to the starting line on time. However, the Mass waxing team did quite well and the kids had good skis so I'm not complaining although my klister thumb and back are.

In addition to Olga and Chris' winning efforts many other CSUers had excellent results over the weekend. Isaac Hoenig was fourth and Jimmy Burnham (photo) 10th in the classic race and Nadja Kern was 10th in the skate race, 9th in the classic sprint and 10th in the classic race. It was pretty sweet to have three Massachusetts boys and two girls in the top ten in today's race and in the top 10 for the all-around competition.

Full results for all races can be found at:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

J2 Championships

CSU Juniors had some pretty good results at the New England J2 Festival last weekend. The races were held at Jackson and the team stayed at the Eagle Mt. House right across the street from where the races were held. Pretty sweet accomodations and no driving! We did have to schlepp all the wax boxes, benches, tent and so on down the hill to the field, but I wasn't complaining.

The weekend started off on Friday afternoon with a 5km skate in very nice weather. Nadja Kern had the top CSU result, finishing 9th, with Hannah Smith in 27th. Chris Burnham was the top CSU boy, coming in a very solid 12th, followed closely by Michael Goldenberg in 15th.

On Saturday I awoke at 6, worried about the forecast of rain all day. But luckily Jackson was in a weather window, with a sleet storm heading off the to the east and the rain way off to the west. So, we settled in for a day of klister waxing, finally settling on Toko Orange with Toko silver mixed in for some added kick. The wax worked for both the morning 5km race and the afternoon classic sprint. Nadja again had the top CSU result with an impressive 3rd place in the girls race and duking it out the entire race with a Vermont girl who just beat her out in the finish straight. Chris Burnham was again the top CSU boy in 37th and followed closely by Neil Garrison in 40th. For the sprint, the boys just squeeked in their race before the rain finally began to fall on the girls. Chris Burnham was the top CSU sprinter while Michael Goldenberg was 49th, Neil Garrison 52nd, Nick Serbedzija 77th and Christian Ladd 82nd. On the girls side Nadja was 8th, Hannah 42nd, Heather Fisher 74th and Kelsey Colpitts 77th.

The last event was the mixed gender relay where the first 2 skiers do classic and the next two skate. Boys scramble and the top Mass team led out the race until the hill and then fell back to 9th and eventually finished in 10th. Once again, after all the rain of the night before, waxing was a bit of a challenge and we finally settled on Toko Multiviola klister with a couple layers of Rode Multigrade hardwax corked in over it. In the final tally Maine overtook Vermont in the relay to take top honors. Vermont was second, NH third and Mass 4th. An excellent weekend of racing!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Craftsbury Spring Fling

Here are 3 posts on the Craftsbury Spring Fling from Bill Holland, Scott Lundquist and Jenny Lane respectively.

My ex brother-in-law, an ex-ski racer as well, wrote inquiring about the latest results, so I'ge excerpted this portion of my response rather rehash the whole thing.
The basic lesson learned on Saturday was: don't sever your connection with your meal ticket, i.e. whatever train you happen to be on unless you really have to. Skiing with the St. Lawrence girls was not only easy, it was easy on the eyes.Then came the feed station at 15K , where, unfortunately, I applied the lesson I thought I learned last year: "Don't pass up a feed station, or you'll bonk 10K later!" a little too rigorously. I stopped, they didn't, and they ended up finishing five minutes ahead of me.
Perhaps there's a corollary lesson here: "Don't apply lessons learned from past races too rigidly!" Instead of slowing down for a feed at the soccer field where it's level, I could have snarfed down some Goo and chugged some sports drink on Murphy's Meadow a little farther on. I guess the learning process never ends with this sport, which is undoubtedly a big reason slow learners like me keep coming back for more--like a ski version of Groundhog Day . Anyway, here goes the letter:
"I did all the right things as far as tapering, waxing, etc. The conditions were rainy, so the track started getting mushy--but not too badly. Anyway, conditions were fairly slow and arduous. I paid out my energy pretty shrewdly--got in a conga line with the St. Lawrence Univ. girls for about 6K, which saved some effort, but I lost them at the mid-point feed station and was never able to reel them back in. As a result, I skied the last 15K alone, started to bonk with 2K to go, but managed to single-stick up the big final hill hard enough to hold off all the people I'd passed earlier. One of these years, I'd love to be able to race the whole distance rather than have to focus on cruising and conserving. Anyway, I didn't drop out--as I did last year--so there was progress."

Perhaps I'm behind Bill on the learning curve for racing, but my take-home lesson was more like his original one, feed when you should or pay the consequences.
Victor and Olga Golovkin were kind enough to allow me to rideshare up to Craftsbury with them for the 30K, which made the 24 hour trip there and back (thru much rain and snow) much more pleasant. I enjoyed the race and was happy with my skiing, etc., but on the second lap, I tried to stay ahead of someone who rejoined me at the other aid station at the top of the climb up Ruthie's (meaning 10K to go), didn't take in a Gu (nor any energy drink, which I didn't find at that station), and started seeing black dots 5K later when I started up the last hills to the finish. At 2K to go, I simply had to stop and suck one down (best Gu I've ever tasted, at least), and it, or the placebo effect, eventually got me to the finish, having lost 3-4 mins. -- meaning I still haven't managed to skate race a 30K faster than my only road race 30K (Stu's about a decade ago)!
Nevertheless, it was a far better experience than two winters ago, when I dropped out after 15K, exhausted and hating skiing through slop, puddles etc. and sweating like a dog in 40+ temps. In the middle of this one, when I lost contact and was tiring, I said to myself, "hey! you're still skiing at Craftsbury!" and given that it was my only time up there this season, that was enough to get the pistons moving again.

Friday night Ethan and I headed to the Kingdom with a few St. Lawrence skiers. A few inches of wet, sloppy snow made driving Saturday morning a challenge. It took us three tries to get out of the Townsend’s before the town snow plow came through and saved us. I discouraged Ethan from driving “the fun way” (as he calls it) to Craftsbury on back roads, and we went on paved roads instead. We all did the 30 Km freestyle race, and St. Lawrence represented well. I thought our chances were nil when Liz Stephens showed up, but she and Carina Hamel just did the 15 Km race. So Kristen, Kalie, and I took 1-3 on the women’s side, ahead of several UVM and Harvard skiers. The weather was warm, and it started raining on the second loop, making for a very wet, sloppy ski. The trails were in great condition though. Fortunately, I invested some money a few years ago on a wet grind for one of my pairs of skate skis, which is money well spent. My skis felt great most of the race, although they did slow some when the snow really got saturated. All of the age category winners got a loaf of homemade cinnamon raisin bread. I’ve been eating about 4 slices of toast per day ever since. The other treat was the BBQ afterwards, complete with real “sugar on snow” for dessert. The drive home took forever- well, about 6 hours. It rained until we crossed back into NY, and then it was sleet and snow. We got almost 2 feet of snow Saturday night into Sunday. It took Ethan and me over two hours to shovel out the driveway yesterday morning before we could go anywhere



24 Victor Golovkina 1:47:20
27 Scott Lundquist 1:53:43
30 Bill Holland 1:58:39
32 Bob Donahue 2:02:10

15 km

4 Olga Golovkina 51:22

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Rangeley Marathon

Lots of CSUers made the long trek up to Rangeley for the marathon on Saturday. Driving up Friday on a perfect, cold, blue-sky day had me looking forward to getting in a short ski. However, the snow was incredibly slow as it had been -24F the night before. That didn't matter anyway with the snowstorm coming. In anticipation the race crew delayed the start by 1 hour to give people more time to drive in the morning. 3-4 inches had fallen by morning and it was snowing pretty hard and continued to snow hard all day. In addition, just to make things more interesting, the wind came on strong, whipping the tent around and blowing in any tracks that had been set for the 25km classic race, which went off first an hour before the skate races. Waxing, for once, was stick, but there wasn't much, if any, track left to ski in. Chris City took 3rd overall in the men's race and first in his age-group. Liz City was first in her age group. Bob Fitzpatrick was 7th in M5 and George Atkinson 2nd in M7. Chris reported that while the wax was great there were basically no tracks to ski in so it was pretty slow going.

Then it was the skater's turn. Andy Milne, along with a number of other people, placed their skis at the starting line and then went to check in because it was taking so long. Several hundred yards down the course after the gun went off Andy realized that something was amiss. The whole field was passing him.....doing double pole! Now that just isn't right! At that point Andy realized he had someone else's skis on and they were dogs.....He struggled through the entire first lap and when he came through the 25km lap he skied over to switch to another pair of his own skis. Things improved from there but he was never able to catch back up with the group he felt he should have been with even though he "skied like a man possessed!"

It was a tough day out there with the snow coming down, the wind blowing and it being a bit soft. The trail was in pretty good shape and if you stayed in the middle and kept your V2 and V2 alt short then your skis didn't sink in too bad. It got pretty soft on the steeper uphills and on at least one occasion I got completely stood up by the wind. I switched to the 25km because I'd been sick, which was a good move as I barely made it through even the shorter distance, fading badly in the last 7km. I was first in M5, Lisa Doucett was 2nd in her age group, Irene Melnikova was 4th in M4, Erin Dubinski finished 2nd amongt OJs and Jim Miller was 3rd in M7.

In the marathon, the race was won by Pat Weaver in 2:31:03 and the top woman was Hannah Dreissigacker in 3:05:17. Alex Jospe was 2nd Senior woman, admitting that "it was a very long race". Jon Peterson was 9th Sr male, Tom Clemow 9th M6, Michael Melnikov 3rd and Brett Rutledge 5th in M4, Andy Milne was 5th and Victor Golovkin 11th in M3.