by Kennedy and Liz 🙂
We arose in the dark and made our way to Centerra to collect all of the NH teammates and to head to the first team NH qualifier. After packing the season van, a rented mini van, and the Cunninghams’ car, we pulled out of the parking lot right as the sun started to rise. The ride over was pretty uneventful because everyone was pretty tired.
When we got to the race venue, we parked the van and unloaded the skis and waxing equipment from the mini van. We claimed an area to put our stuff and started to get organized by assembling the tables and placing our race skis in the ski racks. After this, we all had a little down time so we went back to the van (boys for only a few minutes and girls for a while). When it was finally an hour before the race, we (the girls) walked across the road to start waxing our training skis for warmup.
For warmup, most of us headed out on our own to mentally prepare for the race. As Joel told us, we should treat every race like world championships so we tried to make our warmups effective and efficient.
The course was definitely less steep than any Eastern Cup course that we had done so far and we were definitely racing against a different group of skiers. There were a few significant uphills, but even those were gradual and fairly short. It was a very fun course nonetheless, and the flat sections turned out to be challenging because it was hard to find an appropriate speed and technique for them. The finish ended in a downhill, so it was weird not feeling as out of breath at the end. Overall, it was a really fun and beautiful course.
The race started in waves of 10 people every minute. The volunteers were lining people up very long before their start so I got a little panicked when I saw my row so close to the start line, but I made it with an extra minute or two. The race started with a silent hand gesture from the starter and we were off. I always find it interesting to observe the strategies of the racers around me in these less competetive races. Some people in my heat went out too fast and vice versa. I also love these high school races because it is fun to be able to pass so many people and it puts our ability in perspective (at the Eastern Cups, we are racing the fastest people in New England whereas today, we were racing almost everyone in NH). We finished the course with a downhill into the finish and I think that I ended up catching 4ish of the waves in front of me. Most people seemed to have great races and everyone had lots of fun. Thanks to the coaches for an amazing waxing effort!!!
By the time we were ready to go home, everyone was very tired and quiet. We took a quick stop for coffee and then got right back on the road. The girls’ results hadn’t been posted by the time we left, so we checked them a lot on the ride home. Today was a good day of racing for everyone.
Pics above and in slideshow below by Adam and Margaret R