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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Exceeded Expectations

Zoya and Adelia before the start of the race
I am very happy with my Tour because I did a lot better than expected.  I was hoping to break 2:50 and finish in the top 80, and I came in 41st in 2:36.  That is my fastest 50K time since 2002 when I broke 2:30.  So this year was my fastest time in over 10 years!  I also got 3rd out of 27 for my age group!  Before the start I had checked the seedings and had thought that with all the fast people in my age group that there was no way I was going to medal.

And the race did not start well.  I was late to the starting gate and started near the back of the pack.  Then the guy in front of me fell down on the first hill and I ended up dead last.  So for the first 10K and the Spencer Loop all I did was pass people.  It's a good thing I did so much mountain climbing this year because I had to do most of my passing on the uphills in the Spencer Loop.  

After the Spencer Loop I was in a small pack of 3 guys drafting each other, and we caught up with the elite women pack who had started out 2 minutes ahead of us.  Things were looking very good - it's always better to be in a pack where you can draft and keeping up with the other racers provides incentive.  Except only the 2 guys ahead of me made the pack.  They jumped to close with the women, and a small gap formed between me and them.   And once they joined the women the whole pack accelerated.  I was literally at one end of the Tudor Road bridge and the pack was at the other end, but I could not close the gap.  All the way to Westchester Lagoon I could see the pack in the near distance slowly drawing away.

So I skied the rest of the race completely alone with no one to draft and no one to help with the pace.  But I did pretty well because I still managed to finish within 2 minutes of the pack I almost caught at Tudor Road, and I beat most of the elite women in the pack because they finished less than 2 minutes ahead of me.  I must admit sometimes it is more relaxing to ski outside of a pack - maybe skiing sans pack is not such a disadvantage after all?  

Funnily enough, the fastest I went all weekend was the day before the race when I got chased by a moose.  I tried to sneak past a moose browsing by the side of the trail and he spun around and chased me down the trail.  I had a moment of serious panic when I looked back and the moose was not only still chasing me - but gaining too.  I needed that kind of breakout speed for the race!  


Zoya eyes the finish line - she finished 4rth in her age class!  Not bad for very little on snow training!

The race announcer commented on Zoya's glasses and everyone laughed - 'number 2126 your sunglasses are on crooked'.

That's me entering the stadium - almost done!

Zoya in the stadium

Final sprint - not much left in the tank

Adelia, Todd, Zoya, Bonnie and the kids - Todd had never met Adelia before the race

Adelia at the finish talking race with Julie who finished just ahead of her.  Julie almost broke 2 hours for the race which is VERY fast.


Aubrey Morrison said...

Congrats to you and Zoya on your Tour results! I love the bit about the moose chasing you before the tour. I've been there. The problem is you can never tell if they're going to be peaceful and let you pass or if they'll take off after you.

Zoya, Patrick, Nora and Stuart said...

I'm glad to hear that about the moose - I was a little worried that the ladies who told me to go just wanted a show! I actually asked if they thought it was safe and they said yes - so i went. Patrick