Lake Placid EC: Sprint Day, Part I

by John

We awoke on a crisp and chill morning to the sound of our coaches voices in our doors, it was the morning after our arrival at Camp Awesome. The previous night was filled with fun, games, life jackets, and hair ties.

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course preview

But that was all behind us at this point, today was our first super tour race and it was a skate sprint. So as we all got dressed and marched to the dining room table like zombies and waited for breakfast. This mornings breakfast was normal and consisted of the usual “Stick to your ribs” oatmeal and eggs. We got our race times and the rundown on our race we departed in Gertrude and the sister van to our venue. We arrived before the sun was in the clear and blue sky. We unpacked the vans hurriedly, threw on a few extra layers and then set out on the course preview.

The Sprint started at the bottom of the course in the olympic jumping arena and went uphill from there. The previous day we had been told that this course was a triangle. I had assumed that the source of the information, James K, was talking about the general layout… I was wrong… The course turned out to be a vertical triangle with quite possibly the longest and steepest hill I have ever skied up. So as we set out on the preview I was still expecting a reasonable sized hill, but as we went up and up and up the realization set in that we were not going to be skiing a flat course. After we finished going up and then down the hill to the heavens we relaxed a bit before our races.

Johanna

Johanna

The Men were to set out at 10:00 and the women at 11:00. When the men’s race started the sun had finally risen above the towering ski jump that loomed over the course like a curious giant. The race went quickly and nothing worthy of note had occurred… Except that the one and only Adam had qualified for the semi final races. Next came the woman’s race, by now the sun had rose high in the sky and warmed the snow for the race. This apparently did not affect the speed of our fantastic Ford Sayre girls team because both Perrin and Johanna qualified for the semi finals. So as the glorious day worked its way toward creeping night, our finalists sat and rested before their races at Camp Awesome, and as the last sliver of day passed into night the finals began, it was Adam up to bat first of the three and sadly did not win his race but he tried his best.

Next was the girls Johanna raced and raced well but again to no avail for she did not podium much to everyone’s dismay. But last but not least went Perrin, she did well enough in her semi final race to move on to the final race. And as the sun passed below the horizon so did Perrin race across the last finish line of the day.. or should I say fell across, for Perrin had ended up on one leg while the other was stretched out as a desperate hope for finishing in the third place spot.

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Perrin leading her heat

So as the temperature dropped so did the mood and a hush settled into the valley as the announcer came up to the podium. They talked about the day’s races and then moved on to the awards. First went the U16 Boys followed by the men’s finishers. And as every moment passed tension and worry grew as the question on every Ford Sayer racer and coaches mind had been answered, “Did Perrin place?”.  Well that question went unanswered for no longer as the announcer said the name of the third place U16 Girl… It was Perrin! Cheers and claps flew into the still air as she walked to the podium and got her medal and backpack.

Now as much as I would love to say many good drinks were had to this victory, as it happens we are young athletes so we settled for water and milk. Dinner went on later as normal in the cold evening as chatter went on about many things, including Perrin’s win, Adam’s wabbit, and Dennis correcting table manners. After a brief meeting we were cast off to the grand kingdom of slumber where we might have found a refuge from the day’s trials and tomorrow’s tribulations, so we all marched to our designated sleeping areas and laid down for bed prepared for the next day’s race. To Be continued…

Slideshow of some of Linda’s (John & Tim’s mom) pics of the venue and scenery:

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