A difficult- rewarding day of races here at the WJT in Callaghan Valley.
I’m not going to lie- it was a tough one for me. Skiathlon’s mean you’re waxing 2 pairs of skis per athlete. Callaghan Valley means you are stressing about weather and snow conditions. Mega props to Eric Bailey and the NDC wax team for helping us out [and for reminding me that for the first 4 years as a training center coach Eric went to every race alone].
Wax decisions went as follows;
Glide: Vauhti Spectra Purple
Grip: Vauhti Blue klister covered with Vauhti Purple hardwax- later upgraded to Vauhti Blue mixed with Universal and topped with K21.
Also a big thank you to Eric Jackson and Don Hill- excellent reinforcements that arrived Thursday morning to help wax and shuttle our athletes.
Now that we’ve established that the wax was perfect let’s move on to the more exciting stuff- racing. Today’s Skiathlon was comprised of a series of laps that led athletes up out of the stadium on a series of switchbacks, then down some screaming fast sketchy corners back into the stadium [Petra ‘Mad-Ditch’ Majdic anyone?].
What this meant is that if you weren’t really warmed up, or if you went too hard off the start you were cooked. This happened to A LOT of skiers out there today [13 DNF’s today]. Lesson: even in a mass start race your own race.
The best result of the day for us was definitely Scott Hill’s outstanding performance in the JrM category. He finished 9th! Scott looked strong and relaxed for the duration of the race and hammered it hard into the finish.
A big high five to OST athlete Alana Thomas’ for her outstanding performance in the Open Women category. Alana finished 3rd overall only 7sec behind the winner Emily Nishikawa. It was a hard fought race and Alana was right there with the best of them. It was really awesome.
OST athlete Matthias Purdon had what I would consider a breakthrough performance today. He finished 8th in U23 less that 2.5min behind NST athlete Micheal Sompii. Hitchhiking out West over Christmas suited him well!
Tomorrow is a training day here in Whistler. We’re going to ski, eat sleep, and generally live the dream. Skate sprint on Saturday. Tune in!