by Perrin and Johanna
We were dragged out of bed at 5:30am, two long hours before we would have liked. After a meal of eggs and porridge that put the ‘fast’ in breakfast and a military packing job of the van, we were off to the Races. The “men” began their well-regimented warmup routine while Sara, Johanna, and Perrin retreated to the darkness, moisture, and warmth of the lodge, able to enjoy two luxurious hours of doing absolutely nothing.
The Ford Sayre Men/Boys were headed by Adam. Adam, a self-proclaimed non-sprinter, was able to pull off a 7th place finish in his first race, qualifying for the semi-finals. Erik commented that “next time I’ll use the right skis, but at least the double polling was a success.” Chris noted that his race was “short and sweet,” and Jack refused to share anything about his race, but would only say that he “lost valiantly in a rap battle to Max LaChance.” Malcolm was proud that he did not have to stop and ask for directions, and felt good about his race.
And Colin’s two cents of the day, “” [ed note: Colin was unavailable for comment/embellishment as he expertly co-piloted, managed all incoming and outgoing communications, ordered pizza for pick-up en route, and dj’ed while we crept along Route 2.]
Sara was the first girl to race, and was already around the course before anyone could blink.
Johanna’s Race Report: When I got to the start of my race, I wasn’t completely sure if I was warm, even though Perrin was confident that warming up too much would be the death of us all.
Our family is known as a long distance type of family, so I wasn’t expecting anything in the way of results. I felt like I went my hardest in the qualifier race, and my wax was was fantastic thanks to Dennis and Scottie. I was able to make it up all the hills without slipping, and I felt good about my tempo and the length of my strides. The race was over before I knew it. I finished my race with what was supposed to be a smile, which was probably very deformed due to my exhausted state. After watching Perrin coming down the last stretch, we went to check the results, and were shocked to see that we had both qualified for the finals! Neither of us trusted the results, given our 18th and 21st or so place finish from the day before.
After a quick lunch and warming up yet again, we headed back to the start for our semifinal race. It was raining slightly when we started, so the snow was not in perfect condition. Even though a quick Klister job had been done on my skis, I found myself slipping a lot on the hills. I had to herringbone up the big hill, but everyone else in my six person heat had to do the same. My double poling felt good though, and I finished 5th in my heat, qualifying for the B Finals.
We had half an hour before the finals, which was just enough time to add yet another layer of wax to our already smothered skis. I was the third person to choose a track, and I chose a spot between a CSU skier and Kirsten. Two seconds after watching Adam speed across the line in his final, the gun was fired and were off! after the first straight stretch, I narrowly avoided getting cut off, and rounded to corner to the first uphill. I chased a Maine skier, Gabby, up the first hill and around the corner, following her strides. My wax felt very good, considering the layer of ice coating the snow, which came in handy on the second hill where I was able to stride all the way up the hill without slipping, and found myself at the top of the hill with no one around me. After pushing myself as fast as I possibly could over the last bump, I came down the hill and entered the stadium, greeted by the enthusiastic cheers of my teammates.
And now for Adam’s two cents: “After I finished my race, I saw Johanna passing under the bridge and into the stadium. There was nobody around her, and I thought that she must have crashed and gotten dropped by the rest of the pack. Soon after I was stunned when I saw the remaining 5 skiers far away in the distance behind Johanna. She finished her heat with a massive lead on the second place skier, capturing an impressive 7th place for U16 girls. Nice job team!”
Perrin’s Race Report: Saturday’s race didn’t feel very good for me, and I had warmed up a lot, so today I experimented with doing a shorter warm up. I generally like sprints but I had no idea about how today’s race would go. The race went by quickly and when we looked at the instant results afterwards I was in 5th. I didn’t believe it until Adam came and told us the official results, and I realized that I was going to have to race in 2 more races. I was shocked that I had made the heats, and didn’t know what to expect. When the time came to warm up a second time, Johanna and I did the same warm up as before because it seemed to have worked. To make the A finals you have to get top 3 in the semifinals, but Scottie had told me not to lead because I would get too tired. I ended up neck and neck for 3rd place and I double poled to finish in 3rd.
I had half an hour until my final heat, I had to keep warm because there was no time to cool down and then warm up again. By then it had started to rain/ice and the tracks were icy. We had to put a last minute red Klister job on our skis, and then we were off. Lilian Fisher was the only other person in the A finals that was not from Craftsbury, and by the 2nd hill not many people had kick. One Craftsbury girl passed me on the hill by double poling, but I kept my third place position to the finish. I had not expected that at all at the beginning of the day so it was a very present surprise.