Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nationals 2010

From March 12 - March 22nd I, along with about 400 skiers from across the country, traveled to Whitehorse, Yukon to compete in the Canadian National Championships. It was a great week of racing with great conditions and lots of exciting racing.

The first race was a classic Team Sprint in which I competed in the Open Men's category with my teammate Bob Thompson. We did a lot better than I was expecting, and just narrowly missed qualifying for the final. Being our first year in the Open Men category, we were fairly pleased with our result.

The next race was the 10km classic interval start two days later. This was a 2 lap race in which I managed to ski my way to a 9th place finish in the Junior Male category. I was really hoping to get a top 10 in at least one race during the week, so I was pretty happy with achieving that goal in the first race.

The next day however was not quite as good a day. I decided to try a different binding set up on my skis for this race in the hopes of being able to shave a few seconds off my time. Unfortunately, I really should have practiced on this new setup before hand, as it resulted in both of my feet falling asleep half way through the race. This made it very difficult to ski the last 7.5km of the 15km skate race, and I finished in a disappointing 29th place.

The next race, last Friday, was a 1.2km skate sprint. I was very happy with my qualifying result, qualifying 9th in Junior Male, and only 8 seconds behind the fastest Open Man. Sadly, the heats did not go so well, and I did not advance past my quarterfinal. It was still a very exciting, and even shocking day for Joey Burton and Bob Thompson from my team however, as they finished the heats in 2nd and 3rd places respectively. Being Bob's first time this season making it past the quarters, it was an amazing day for him.

The last race of the competition was this past Sunday, in the form of a 20km classic mass start for my category. Despite the cold temperatures and feeling a little sick in my warm up, I had a great race. I managed to finish the race in 6th place, which was very exciting for me. I also ended up being the fastest for my year of birth that day, which got me my first piece of Hardware. And thanks to that 6th place, I moved up in the overall aggregate standings for my year of birth, finishing 3rd in that.

So while I am a little disappointed that I did not finish in the top 3 in any of the races, looking back, these results are a HUGE improvement from the last 2 years for me, so I am very happy with my week of racing overall. I arrived home in Canmore yesterday afternoon, and will be here finishing off my year's training and working until next Tuesday, when I will be flying home to Ontario for a 4 week visit/rest month. With over 620 hours of training under my belt for this year, I can't wait!

Happy rest month!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Off to Whitehorse for Nationals!

While I haven't competed in any big races since Eastern Canadian's at the start of February, this past month has been a very good month of some solid training, with a couple of smaller local races thrown in there. Feb. 28th I did my longest race ever, at 24 km. This race was super fun, as I felt great for the whole time and managed to finish 4th overall. And to make it even better, it was called the cookie race, so when I finished I was able to help myself to the largest assortment of cookies I had ever seen :).

So now that my season is drawing to an end, my last big races of the year are taking place March 14 - 21 in Whitehorse Yukon. I will be leaving Canmore in a few hours from now, and should arrive in Whitehorse around 7pm local time tonight. I have been feeling great for the last couple weeks, so I'm hoping this high is able to carry on into next week and hopefully bring me some good results. My first race is a team sprint on Sunday, and it will be my third year skiing with my teammate Bob, and we are both looking forward to it. Having moved into the Open Category for this race this year, we aren't expecting medals or anything, but it should be fun to see how we do against the National team guys.

In this seven days of racing I have a classic team sprint, 15km skate, 10km classic, skate sprints, and a 20km classic mass start. It should be a great week of racing, and a great opportunity to discover another one of Canada's beautiful towns, so I am very excited.

That's all for now,