Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Real 'Tour' for the Tour of Anchorage

That's me in the 25K classic race duking it out with a 13 year old in 2012 - to my credit I did beat him at the end.

This evening I signed up for the Tour of Anchorage ski race in Anchorage - my yearly 'force me to get in shape ski race'.  After last year I had decided I wanted to do the 50K classic race this year. I am a better skate (freestyle) skier, but I've been liking classic skiing more and more of late, and I have entered the 25K classic race at the Tour a couple of times.  But 25K just is not all that long.  For a while now, I've been wanting to do a LONG race using the 'classic' cross country ski technique.

For the 50K or 40K Tour of Anchorage races there is no 'classic' category to sign up for, and so for the longer distances you have to sign up for the 'freestyle' category.  'Freestyle' means anything goes, and that means I can classic ski in a 'freestyle' race.  In reality a 'freestyle' race means everyone will be skate skiing, and skate skiing is way faster than classic skiing.  Basically this means that as a classic skiier in the longer races I'll be a slug.  Based on my time it will look like I did badly, and based on the results no one will know that my time was slow because I was doing the race 'classic'.

For years this fear of being a 'slug' has kept me from doing the long distance races classic style.  And then last year at the start of the 50K race I passed an 80 year old+  dude skiing the race classic style, and as I passed I vowed that next year I too would do the race in the way everybody used to cross country ski - classic style.  I also checked the race results and saw that he finished in 4 1/2 hours - not bad for an 80 year-old and AWESOME for an 80 year old not skate skiing. When I am 80 I hope and pray that I am still racing.

So this evening I signed up for the 40K freestyle race and I plan to race it classic style.  It's not the 50K race that I had wanted to do, but this year on Kodiak it has been tough to train.  Without the snow time the extra 10K (and the vertical of the Spencer loop) had me a little scared.  So this year it is the 40K freestyle for me - raced 'classic' of course.  Patrick

This is where I've been training and this (today) is the best snow in ages, and that's pretty pitiful. 


Aubrey Morrison said...

I really hope it snows before the race! The trails are great for running right now but horrible for skiing. I ran out to Pt. Woronzof on the Coastal Trail last night and only saw bikers and walkers/joggers. Even though the whole trail is covered with snow (well, mostly ice) no one appears to have been skiing it. Mike Y and I will be drinking coffee and taking photos at this years race so we'll keep our eyes peeled for you. Is Zoya skiing too?

Zoya, Patrick, Nora and Stuart said...

According to the Nordic Ski club trail forum you guys have GREAT skiing. I've been reading it with jealous eyes. And no Zoya - just me this year.


Aubrey Morrison said...

I've heard that Hillside is great. Linda has been skiing up there quite a bit. I was referring specifically to the Coastal Trail. It's BAAAD!! However, we did get a couple inches of new snow so there's definitely hope for good race conditions.

Zoya, Patrick, Nora and Stuart said...

I thrive on bad conditions! My hope is that the Tour trail is icy and covered with sticks and dog poop. That is what I'm used to - it would be a competitive advantage ;-)

Aubrey Morrison said...

I'll take Nevi out on the Tour Trail to leave behind a few land mines. :)

A few years ago I was out for an early morning ski at Kincaid and coming down a hill in the classic tracks I saw a bunch of moose poop. I thought it would be frozen and that I'd just roll over it like they were little ball bearings. WRONG! It was fresh and it brought me to a screaming halt. I flew forward and rolled a couple times. When I finally came to a stop I saw a moose laying right next to me on the trail. She must have just dropped that load and then sat back to watch the action. It was hilarious.

Anyway, looking forward to watching you and Linda in the Tour. Mike and I will bring out the good cameras and hopefully get some good pics.