Sunday were the 5km/10km mass start classic races at Presque Isle. The course conditions were a bit weird because the organizers decided not to regroom most of the course for fear of bringing up dirt and leaves since there really isn't that much snow there and there is no ice base at all. So the only parts regroomed were those around the stadium area.
In the 5km J2 boys race Eli Hoenig and Jack Hegman had what was billed as "The Battle of the Day", skiing tips to tail for then entire race complete with a double pole duel down the finish straight. Jack prevailed by 1.1 seconds over Eli. Eli was followed home by Hamish McEwen in 4th, skiing another very strong race, while Rion O'Grady was 13th and Erik Brote 18th. On the girls side, Corey Stock led pretty much start to finish prevailing over Heather Mooney by 30 seconds. Rebecca Smith finished in 18th.
In the women's 10km former CSUer Olga Golovkina, now skiing for Colby College, finished a very strong 4th place. Alex Jospe came in a solid 12th and Hannah Smith 20th in a strong field of college skiiers, while Clare Egan, who has barely seen any snow, finished 54th.
On the men's side Chris Stock also had a very good race, coming home 12th, followed by Isaac Hoenig in 29th, Jackson Rich in 54th, Neil Garrison in 66th, Rob Bradlee in 70th (1st Master), Chris Burnham in 83rd, Tommy Rummel in 86th, Jamie Doucett in 88th (3rd Master) and Nick Serbedzija in 91st. Rob and I started in the massive master's only wave of 3 skiiers 3 minutes after all the college and high school kids, so we avoided massive pile-ups on the early downhills, which was good because I did a wonderful face plant anyway trying to figure out which of the many ruts to ski in and clearly making a bad choice. With no base there was nothing to slide around the corners on, just lots of loose snow that went down to grass in some spots. Other than that though, the skiing was great.
Prizes for all on the podium consisted of a bag of Maine potatos!