[event date: 3.7.16]I stood in the starting gate, moving my skis back and forth to prevent the klister from icing. Already there were mushy pits dug into the snow on either side of the start track where the preceding racers had planted their poles. When the start clock hit three seconds to go, I bolted out of the start and into a quick double pole. The course was relatively fast and straight for the first 700 meters. One of the numerous vans New England had rented was driving by and cheered me on. As I went up the first hill, I could see I was quickly gaining on the Midwest skier who started ahead of me. The course was extremely hilly. After about 2km in, the sun had fully emerged, and the snow began to glaze. I started to feel myself slipping, so I stood up and tried to get my hips forward. On the long hill to 3km, I kick double poled into a stride. As I accelerated over the hill. I tried to double pole in the tracks despite the snow on the sides being super mushy. We started a really long really fast downhill. After going down the relatively straight section of the hill, It suddenly got steeper, turned right, and went up a steep short uphill. The course started a fun little section of transitions. It was strange to have skied 4km and still be on my first lap. The course finally reached the stadium again and went into its second lap. The course was rapidly turning to slush and it was getting really hard to kick. The course had three major hills, the second one being the steepest and the third the longest. Getting to the top of the second hill by itself was super challenging, and after a short rest, the third uphill continued almost all the way to the top of the mountain. The second lap was incredibly painful. The sun had fully come out and the snow had turned to mush. I saw a midwest skier ahead of me and slowly worked on reeling them in. Eventually I got to the finishing straight and sprinted across the line, before sliding exhausted to the ground. It was extremely strange to race a 10km in only 2 laps. Overall it was a great day to race on a fun course with new skiers.