Sunday, April 1, 2012

National 30/50 Wrap

After a long winter of racing, you could sense that things were wrapping up. Competition was fierce the last couple of days, but for most people it was a celebration. The feeling was, "let's go out on a high note". Case in point is the picture above of girls from different teams doing a warm uip dance.
The womens 30 km/Jr 15 km was run Friday at 10. We had received about 1" of fresh snow overnight and in the warming temps, that made the snow slow so the race was tough. It was really impressive to see the leaders push hard the whole way.
Anika was hoping to do the 30 km, but her calves seized up and she had to stop.
Gus gets in the mood.
Mollie and Kate ski over the top of the big hill.

Issy P. skied a strong 30 km. She was battling back and forth with a couple of NCAA qualifiers for the whole race.
Liz and Kikkan aren't messing around here. It was great to have the top skiers here showing everyone else what they do on the World Cup. Over here, we tend to cruise early and hammer late. On the WC, it's go time as soon as the gun goes off.
Kate skis the uphill. You can tell from the picture, that tyhere was not much natural snow left. Craftsbury did a fantastic job of providing a tough, fair course.
During the 30, there were several packs of skiers that worked together.
Since it was a 1.5 km loop, the leaders passed almost everyone. Above, Erika (who will be with us next year) passes Izzy. Izzy was able to ski with Erika for a whole loop which helped her figure out a better psuh off in her skate technique.
A couple of people stressed out about having to pass slower skiers (on the World Cup you get pulled if you are lapped), but there were very few incidents of note.
I applaud the Jurys decision to allow racers to continue when lapped because it gave everyone a chance to see and ski with the top skiers during the race. If they had pulled the lapped girls, we would have only had 6 finishers!
The course was great for spectators and was challenging for the racers, enough said.
The mens 50/Junior 20 was run at 9 am on Saturday. The fresh snow from the day before had all melted and a solid freeze led to hard fast conditions. Hamish has been fighting a cold, but there was no reason to save himself since this was the last race of the season. He skied well and had fun being able to ski with some of the top dogs.
Calvin and Corky each skied the 20 km. They were finishing the season with 9 races over the last 2 weeks. It was great to see them both ski really well for the whole race and finish the season on a high note.
This is the lead pack at 1.5 km!
Koby jumped in the 20 km and skied a good race. Not bad for a 1st year J2 :)
Everyone was having fun.

Lucas Shultz (in orange) was chief of course. He and his crew did an amazing job! Looks like he finally got to relax during the final race. They pulled this truck out trailside on the top of the hill and blared music for the skiers and spectators.
One of the neat things about starting the 20 and 50 together was that it allowed the Juniors to ski with the Seniors. Paddy, pictured here with Noah, got up to the lead pack and even led a lap and finished in front of everyone! (he was racing 20, while they were racing 50).
Calvin skied really well.
Corky and Ben Hegman skied the last 5 laps together.
They made lanes on the two uphills to keep skiers from going up the middle and blocking the course.
The "dancing girls" encourage the men as they lap around the course 33 times.
Spectaotors were happy, skiing was great and competiton was fierce. What a great way to end the season.
THANK YOU CRAFTSBURY!

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