U16s Race Report II: Sprint and Relay

by Johanna, Perrin, Sara, and Jack           |         Fort Kent ME – 3.14.15 & 3.15.15

Note: we apologize for the length of this blog post.  We needed something to occupy our 10 hour bus rides.  [Ed. note: post split into two… see previous post for 5k skate and 5k classic reports!]

(For clarification, the heroes of the story are as follows: Jack, Perrin, Johanna, Sara, and Arturo)

DAY 3: Skate Sprint

Johanna in the sprint (Gary Solow photo)

Johanna in the sprint (Gary Solow photo)

Johanna: I’d learned at the Rumford Eastern Cup that I love sprinting, so I was really excited for this race.  The course had a brief section of double poling before it transitioned into skate, and then got narrower and immediately starts climbing.  I tried to get a good position on the uphill so I would have room to ski, but couldn’t quite make it before the Vermont and Maine girls, so I stayed on their heels until the top of the hill and then down the other side.  When we got to the final climb, the Vermont and Maine girls were still in front of me, skiing side by side.  The Vermont girl started pulling ahead of the Maine girl, so I tucked behind her and skied as hard as I could until the finish, crossing just behind her and a few seconds before the Maine girl.  I was thrilled to find out I’d come in 5th place!

Perrin in the sprint (Gary Solow photo)

Perrin in the sprint (Gary Solow photo)

Perrin: I felt very tired from the classic race earlier in the day, so I did not know what to expect for the sprint. I double poled into the lead at the start, and pulled farther away from my heat on the gradual downhill.  I sprinted up the last hill and into the finish a fair amount ahead of my heat, and could not believe that it was already over. It had gone by so quickly I barely had time to get tired.

Jack: So, as the coach bus flows over that ocean of strong Maine pavement, it’s now my turn to take the pen of steel and spill my tale.  I will do my best to give it diligence, as such an experience deserves

As we last left our heroes, they had finished a mighty sprint and were prepared for a hot shower and a good meal.  Before such chances made themselves available however, the powers that be send our heroes on a great and noble quest.  As they made their way up and down hills and knolls, our five travelers found themselves at the top of an alpine ski hill surrounded by an army of friendly beings known as Team New Hampshire from the Kingdom of New England; such a greater house has never stood.

Learning our instructions from the those omni-present powers that be, our hero’s descended on the ski hill and showed their merit on those sacred slopes of Fort Kent.  After our army completed and survived the slopes, the Five, as they are referred to by ancient lore, stashed their skis in the bus and began to find their way back to the stronghold, the Northern Door Inn.

Jumping into the deep snows and forged across snowmobile trails, the Five reached their shelter and promptly took showers and got ready for dinner with the other noble Houses: the proud Vermont, the fierce Maine, the strong Massachusetts, and small but brave Midwest.

A good time was had by all.

DAY 4: Mixed Relay & Travel

The Girls

The Girls

Perrin: We had learned our relay teams the day before, and I was very happy that I had the classic scrambler leg of the first relay team.  The classic course was the same as the second half of the classic race the day before, and it was a very fun 2.5k course.  It was snowing hard before and during the race, so the tracks were a bit slower to lead in, which made the downhills a bit slow, but it was fun to do classic again.  I felt good and relaxed for the duration of the race and led into the tag zone and tagged off to the classic boy, Jamie.  Zoe skied the girl skate leg and Andrew Doherty was our anchor leg, and he sprinted to the finish to 5th place. The relay was a fun and exciting way to end a fantastic weekend!

Johanna: I was on the 2nd relay team and assigned the scrambler leg along with Perrin, so we were placed right next to each other in the tracks at the start.  After the double poling zone, Perrin and I found ourselves in the lead, occupying the two tracks with a line of skiers behind us.  We skied the first kilometer or so next to each other, with Gabby Farrell right behind us.  When we got to the downhill there was a good solid inch or so of powder on the tracks, so I decided to let Gabby break trail so I could tuck and still go the same speed as her double poling.  I followed Gabby and Perrin up the long, gradual climb until we got to the flat section, where I lost a little ground on them, but was still able to stay in the general pack.  I came into the tag zone a little more than five seconds behind Perrin, and tagged off to our first boy.

Sara: I was ranked in the 4th New Hampshire relay team.  The way the course was set up was amazing because you were able to see your teammates from a ways away to cheer them on and be prepared to go.  I was to do the 3K skate leg-I was quite relieved that I wouldn’t be doing the classic leg- and was able to have a good, albeit a bit cold, race.  I was able to pass 4 people out on the course, almost catching back up to the New Hampshire #3 team before I tagged off to our anchor leg.  It was a fun race that finished up the weekend on a happy, and tired, note.

Jack: As every great experience must have a great story, all great stories must have an ending.  I have lifted the pen once, and I shall do the same now.  I sincerely hope the same diligence that was once used may be repeated, as it is my gracious honor to end the epic tale of the Five.

At this point, our heroes had been tested four times in the epic races of endurance, speed, and strength.  They have succeed and done well to prove themselves and to honor their House.  The Five have grown skilled in the art of racing and have put to use the lessons taught by their ever-wise mentors.

After the last race had finished, the cool-down completed, the awards announced, it was time for the long journey home back to the territory of New Hampshire.  Our heroes bid the other noble Houses well, took a last look upon the hills controlled by the House of Maine, and began to head south.  The stillness of the bus was a strange feeling to the Five after four days of constant motion but soon, they had settled in and begun the long process of resting.  This included brief intermissions of movies starring a man by the name of one Will from the House of Farrell and of course, a worthy adventurer by the name of Indiana Jones, and the always present act of socializing.

May The Fable of the Five live forever!

group jump

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