|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.|
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.|