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Archive for January, 2010

Half as cool as the rest of the team

30.Jan.2010 by Chelsea Little

Today I only raced 25 kilometers, which is half as far as all of my teammates, so I can’t really pretend to have any great stories. In particular, here is some trivia to describe how un-exciting and un-speedy my race was: my 25K took me more than half as long as Hannah’s 50K, so her split would have been faster than my whole race.

I was out there to survive and finish, and not get sick again. I was not “going for it” because getting sick is probably the worst thing I can imagine right now. Here’s why, presented as a trio of fun facts:

1) In the last two and a half weeks, I have gotten pummeled by 2 different head colds.

2) During that time, I took six days off.

3) My time for today’s race, 1:36, is longer than any ski I have done those two and a half weeks.

That said, I had fun!

So, congrats to all of my teammates who skied fast and gave it their all. The gym looked like a war zone after the race, with Ollie sprawled on the floor and Matt unable to open his eyes and dripping huge snot icicles. They went for it. I’m exhausted so I can’t imagine how tired they must be.

As for me, with a little luck I’ll be back to my usual self for next weekend Eastern Cups at Stowe – I can’t wait.

Lap Numero 3

30.Jan.2010 by Lauren Jacobs

This post is only going to cover the 3rd lap of my race in today’s Craftsbury Marathon. The first two laps went well but weren’t terribly exciting. The 4th lap was exciting in some respects, but only because I bonked half-way up the long hill out on Ruthie’s. (Ollie already wrote a bonking post.) A lot of stuff happened on the 3rd lap, hopefully I can remember all of it through my low blood sugar induced foggy memory.

The first exciting thing that happened on this lap was that I found the water bottle I had dropped on the 2nd lap. It was sitting next to the trail at the top of a hill on Lemon’s Haunt. I stopped to pick it up and put it back in my water bottle holder. Taking up too much precious time? Perhaps. But I needed some Gatorade. (long story short: they were only serving Subtle Strawberry Heed at the feed stations and I am allergic to strawberries. And believe it or not, Heed uses only natural flavoring. And yes, I know I’m weird.) Miraculously the water bottle wasn’t frozen, so that was a nice surprise.

Then at the bottom of the downhills on Race Loop I almost got taken out by a high school skier in the relay. She switched tracks without looking back but I averted catastrophe by yelling really loudly. I think I scared her pretty bad; however, she will probably always look now before switching tracks.

On the long uphill out on Ruthie’s I got passed by the leaders of the men’s race. It was great to see Tim in front with Juergen right behind. At the time I couldn’t tell who was in third, but I assumed (correctly it turns out) that it was Justin Freeman. I was extra happy to see Gould and Bates grad Tim Whiton in 4th – he had a great race!

Immediately after the boys passed me I tripped myself two times by sticking a pole between my legs. I may have sworn and I’m pretty sure the  people I had just passed were (understandably) laughing at me. I’d like to say it’s because I was so excited for the guys that I got distracted. But I’m pretty sure it happened because my hands were so cold I was having trouble controlling where I planted my poles.

Somewhere on the downhills after the feed station I passed Melanie, one of our awesome BKL skiers. She was doing the 25 km and looked great, if not a little cold.

The final exciting thing to happen in the 3rd lap was that before heading up into Wilbur’s Field I got passed by Matt. He looked really strong and seemed to be having a good race. I wondered where Ollie was. (Refer to previously mentioned bonking post.) At the time I wondered why Matt didn’t say anything to me. Only after finishing did I learn that it was because he never saw me, and even if he had known there was a person there he wouldn’t have been able to tell that it was me. I’ll let Matt tell his frostbitten eyeball story himself.

I’d like to give a giant “thank you” to our BKL kids (and my Dad) for giving us feeds. It was a huge help! Also, a huge thanks to the tons of volunteers that made this race happen. Thanks for braving the cold!!

Results and photos can be found on NENSA here. Congrats to everyone!

Eat the pasta or else you’re gonna bonk

30.Jan.2010 by Ollie Burruss

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, welcome to Bonktown!  My name is Ollie and I’ll be your tour guide today.  You may have noticed that before entering Bonktown you had to meet a number of stringent requirements.  Think of it as a gated community you don’t want to live in.  Or maybe more like a psych ward.  I know a number of you are complaining about the first requirement, that you enter a 50k classic race.  You’re probably saying “But Ollie, my classic technique is terrible.”  Or maybe it’s not terrible, it’s just inefficient, so much so that a teammate told you “It’s not that your technique is slow, you just move around way more than anyone else.”  Suffice it to say, I don’t have much sympathy.  If you want to come toBonktown, you’ve gotta do a long race in your more inefficient technique.  It’s just the rule.

Second you may be wondering why you were told that your “eyes have to be bigger than your stomachs” in order to come to Bonktown.  That one’s pretty simple – you can’t bonk if you don’t dream big.  Maybe you get to the race feeling pretty good.  Maybe you’re lucky enough that the race is on your home trails – wouldn’t that be nice?  And then maybe you start and find yourself easily skiing with the leaders, not working too hard on the uphills and cruising elsewhere.  Maybe you even lead for a little bit.  Wouldn’t that be a trip?  But then, as you all know, things start catching up with you.  You start to slip a little bit on the hills.  The gaps in front of you in the train get a little bigger and a little harder to close easily.  Here’s where you have a choice.  You can back off and ski your own race, but if you’re here on the tour, we both know you didn’t do that.  You pushed it a little harder, thinking you’d be able to recover.  Look where that got you. Bonktown, population: us.

Third on the list you’ll see that the temperature recommendation for Bonktown is single digits or negative degrees Fahrenheit.  Think of it as a Bonktown zoning regulation.  This will ensure both diminished mental faculties and basic motor skills.  When the bonk comes, it’ll come fast when it’s cold.

The fourth requirement is a weird one: don’t eat enough.  It’s not set in stone.  I can see a few of you shaking your heads knowingly.  You guys are the ones who really know about Bonktown.  come to think of it, I think I’ve seen a few of you on the tour before.  The hunger bonk, as it’s known, is not the only type of bonk.  You can pop gels like candy and still find yourself riding the train to Bonktown.  I know it.  You know it.  But, if you want to get to Bonktown quickly, don’t eat during your 50k.  Maybe your gels froze and you assumed that every other gel the volunteers were handing out were also frozen.  If you came to this conclusion after taking one frozen gel at the feed station in the stadium, you probably were already on the way to Bonktown before that fantastic feat of brainwork.  Making foolish assumptions during a race is a classic trait of Bonktown residents.

So now that we’ve run through the basic entrance requirements, I’ll let you guys loose to explore Bonktown as you see fit.  Share some stories, compare bonks, whatever helps you rationalize your experience while you’re here.  Hopefully I’ll never seen any of you again.  Also, before you leave, please pick up a copy of the Bonktown theme song, “Eat the pasta or else you’re gonna’ bonk,” which is song to the tune of “Alouette,” the French Canadian lullaby.

(Today I bonked hard in the Craftsbury Marathon.  It was humbling.  I still had fun, despite the hordes of unknown racers cruising by me like I was standing still.  Congrats to Tim Reynolds (CGRP) and Jurgen Uhl (Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club) on a great race.  Big Tim is skiing pretty fast right now.  Watch out, America.)

Good days and Bad days…

28.Jan.2010 by Ida Sargent

After Tuesday’s sprint I was riding a pretty good high but that kind of fell apart today after a not so hot 10km classic race. The 3 lap course was insanely hard with huge climbs and fast downhills and I felt very flat. My tempo was low and my body felt heavy. I started out at a slow pace and kind of slowed down even more as the race went on. The new snow also made waxing tricky which didn’t help. But you have to have a few bad races in the mix to really appreciate the good ones! I know I can pull it all back together to have a much better race on Saturday during the 15km pursuit. Noah Hoffman was the top American today with a 20th place finish and Becca Rorabaugh and Rosie Brennan both notched top 30 finishes in a competitive field!