by Erik, Colin, and Sara
T’was a long day…
We all had a great breakfast of oatmeal and eggs to kick off our second race day of the trip. Afterwards, we donned our uniforms, rallied as troops, and packed up and out of our cozy farmhouse get-away. Before I knew it, all bodies, packs, and skis were in the van, ready to go, 5 minutes ahead of schedule. Arriving at Rikert, we stumbled from the van, still a bit disgruntled, and found that Dennis had reclaimed out prime real estate. A stone’s throw from the practice loop and within spitting distance of the starting arena, our tent was tucked away from the terrifying chaos of the CSU and various college team waxing areas (AKA Grand Central Station).
The day’s racing ground to a start with the J2 girls mass start 5K skate. Johanna and Sara were fierce competitors! Both did their pre-race warms ups and Sara realized 5 or 10 minutes before the race that she would be forming part of the arrow at the start, being placed seventh because of her points from the previous year! While she was attempting to regain a zen mindset after this startling news, Johanna was having a private duel with her skis which were refusing to go onto her boots. In the end, the gun went (the shot heard round the course) and they all survived the start and hit the 5K course for some wild skiing. They went up, then down, then up, then down, then up, then down, following the race course. At the finish, Johanna exclaimed, “I blinked and was at the third hill!” Colin couldn’t help laughing at this until he realized his mighty 15km was fast approaching with the fury of Zeus!
The “manly men in tights” would try their hand at this legendary race. After all the racing and post race mumbojumbo, we were able to meet with Paddy Caldwell, the champion of the day and leading “man in tights”, to give him a short interview. We were curious if this race had been just a walk in the park for him or if it was actually a challenging race [he said it was challenging and he was happy with how he raced!]. The polls were in and a consensus agreed the day had been well spent and a good day for the masses.
Shoutout to the coaches for putting up with some severely under marked kick zones on Saturday!