Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The title says it all, the biggest news from the Sovereign Lake NorAm/Olympic qualifier, my teammate/friend/landlord is going to the Olympics in a couple months!!! I don't think I have ever been happier for someone else, or heck, even myself, as I was when I found out that Gord had qualified for the 2010 Olympics on Saturday in the Men's 15km Skate individual start race. So, Congratulations Gord!! You're my hero, and good luck representing our nation on the trails of Callaghan Valley! It's safe to say we will now be very well represented in these games.

So, in other news (now making my races far less interesting), I also competed in the same races as Gord this past weekend, these being the 15km skate race on Saturday, and the 1.1km skate sprints on Sunday. Finishing about 5 or 6 minutes behind Gord, I managed to get myself an 18th place finish in my category of Junior Male. While I was hoping for a top 15 result, I am fairly happy with my race, and it ended up being very tight. Over the 15km of racing, I was only 4 or 5 seconds out of the top 15, and less than 1 minute out of the top 5. So all in all, not a bad day of racing.

Sunday brought with it the skate sprints, which I had been looking forward to for quite some time, with this being my first skate sprint since Nationals in 2008 (almost 2 years). So not having competed against this field in a couple of years, I wasn't too sure what to expect. Despite a slow tempo in the first half of my qualifier, I managed to pick it up and qualify for the heats in 22nd place. This put me into a quarterfinal with myself, and the 5 other guys from the Quebec ski team. I raced my quarterfinal exactly according to plan up until the last hundred metres. With the top 2 advancing to the next round, I was in a very highly contested battle for 2nd, but unfortunately came up about 0.3 seconds short, so I did not advance.

I am now back in Canmore for today, then I am off to Calgary tonight, then flying home for a 2 week Christmas visit tomorrow morning.

That's all for now, and once again, CONGRATULATIONS GORD!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Alberta Cup Races

My first two races of the season are now in the books, having the Alberta Cups 1 and 2 this past weekend here in Canmore. They started off on Saturday with classic sprints, which did not go quite as I had hoped. I ended up leaving too much time between my warm up and the start of my qualifier, so by the time it was my turn to go the effects of my warm up had worn off quite a bit. So that was a good lesson learned. And then in heats in the afternoon, as there were only 3 of us in my semi final, we all advanced to the A final. This final started out very well, but I did not ski it as intelligently as I know I should have. I sprinted up to the top of the course in a comfortable 2nd place, but as we all came down the hill to the finish I learned a nasty lesson in drafting. So while it wasn't a great day for me, I learned some good lessons that I will be able to take into my upcoming races.

Sunday brought with it some very cold temperatures, so in the morning it was unclear whether or not the races would still take place or not. However, at 9:30am after delaying the races by 1 hour already, the race organizers decided that it was not cold enough to cancel the races, so I got to compete in my first distance race in the Open men category. It was a 4 lap race of 2km (8km race) and it was a skate mass start. This race was a huge improvement from Saturday's sprints. I felt great for the whole time, and I managed to finish 1.5 seconds behind the leader of Junior Men, and I ended up 10th in Open Men. Great day of racing!

Tomorrow morning I will be heading to Silver Star BC with the team for a week of training and then the first NorAm (North American) races of the year next weekend. With a 15km skate interval start and 1.1 km skate sprints, it should be another great weekend of racing!

Happy skiing!