I was nervous but excited as I woke up at 6:30 on Saturday morning. Today’s race was my favorite: a 1.5km skate sprint. I had a good warm up, although it is sad that it is the end of January and we are still warming up on foot in the slush on the side of the road. A bit late coming back from my warm up, I rushed to the waxing tent to pick up my skis, and ran to the start. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and my race had begun. I v2ed across the short flat and into the one uphill on the course. When I say one uphill, that does not mean it was an easy course. It climbed up and up, until we had skied the equivalent of the height of the huge olympic ski jump that towered above the course. I v1ed up the steep parts of the hill, trying to keep my strides quick and light because of the slightly soft conditions, and then struggled to keep my momentum around the 180 degree corner at the top of the hill. After that, some said, the race was over. The rest of the course was a downhill with a flat section into the finish. All of Ford Sayre’s skis were extremely fast, so I tuck skated the less steep section of the downhill past the parking lot and tents. The exhilarating downhill left me rested for the final sprint to the finish line. This was a sprint race, which means there are heats if you qualify, so when I looked at the results and realized that I was going to race two more times that day, I was both ecstatic and nervous.
Johanna and I had both qualified, and I was worried about climbing the enormous hill again. This time I would have 5 other people skiing with me. After going back to our house to get off our feet, we returned to the venue a few hours later.
Adam had qualified for the U18 heats, and while he raced (with expertly braided hair I have to say), Johanna and I warmed up for our heats.
My heat was first, and as they called me over to choose my starting lane I tried to calm my nerves. The gun went off and I took off behind a girl from Craftsbury. She led the way up the hill with the rest of the heat catching up. Two SMS girls and I caught up to her at the top of the hill, and then, thanks to my expertly waxed skis, I passed them on the downhill. I sprinted to the finish in the lead, feeling incredible, and ready for the finals in half an hour.
When I heard my name called to get to the starting line, it felt like deja vu. I took the same lane, and the gun went off. Our heat stayed very clumped together almost the whole race which got a little messy on the uphill, and we zoomed into the finishing straight. I sprinted against Charlotte Ogden and spectacularly lunged (it was more like a kick into the air) across the finish line right beside her. We both fell onto the ground, and then got up, not knowing who had crossed first. [Grant’s video of the finish is at the bottom of this post.]
I later found out that my lunging technique had worked for me, and we jumped in the van with stomachs grumbling. Overall it had been an amazing day of skiing, ending with a delicious dinner of pasta, salad, and most importantly, brownies. Shout out to the cook crew!
A slideshow of some of Adam’s pics: