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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Some Final Thoughts on the Race

Aubrey took so many good photos of the race that I just had to do another post! Also, you've only heard Zoya's side of things - so this is my take on the race. To put it succinctly - lots and lots of double poling! Double poling is what I am doing in the photos above - except the last one where I have just finished the race and have finally stopped double poling. I double poled about 90% of the race. Zoya figures she double poled for about 50% of the race. I only did the classic 'back and forth running motion' on the uphills.

The Tour of Anchorage course is fairly flat - so there is a lot of double poling. At the start there is a hill, then another long hill near the middle, and finally a beast of a hill with about 2K to go in the race. But that's just about it. The whole race is supposed to be 25K but it is really a bit longer - maybe 26 or 27K total. Most of the race is along the Tony Knowles coastal trail and is pretty much flat as a pancake. It was a very FAST race. I found myself double poling as fast as I could and still having a hard time keeping up with pack.

Kodiak has had a lot of snow this winter and with no grooming our trails have been very soft. So when we tried to double pole in training our poles punched deep into the snow. I think this put us at a disadvantage during the race. I know I just did not have the raw speed and power to keep up. That said - I am happy with my race. I finished 8th overall and only 10 minutes behind the winner which really is not all that much. Funnily enough my time (1:37) in the 25K freestyle race (skate skiing) would have gotten me a silver medal for my age class, but in the classic race (usually slower times) it only got me a bronze.

Photos: Top - double poling during warm up immediately prior to the start. Second - double poling at the start. I skiied most of the race with the kid in the background 2045. He is just 13 and we switched off drafting each other trying to catch the pack in front (I dropped him immediately prior to the last hill). Bottom 2 photos are at the finish. Patrick

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