Friday, February 19, 2010

Vasaloppet recap

I have not been feeling quite as fast this year after having a great year last year. Between board exams and moving, this fall did not have the volume that I was hoping for leading into the season. Consequently I have been feeling a bit flat so far in the season, and the last couple of races have shown this (2nd at Nordic Spirit where I didn't have the skis or legs to hang with the leader from the gun, and 19th at COLL where I kept falling backwards in the standings throughout the race). Due to my not feeling quite as strong this year (and also a bit of a desire to help the Vakava team finally beat the Cheaters in the team race) I switched from the 58k to the 35k for the Mora Vasaloppet. The Vasaloppet is the largest ski race in Minnesota, and the 35k skate race served as the 6th race in the MiSSeries. The switch to the shorter race paid off, as I not only felt great in winning the race by a minute and a half, but Vakava as a whole had a great day sweeping the podium in the women's race and finishing 1,2,4 in the men's - helping to give us a sizable, but not quite comfortable lead in the team standings going into the last race of the series.

Vakava results at Mora (with dala horse listed):
35k skate:
Men:
1st- Nate Porath (1st)
2nd- Andy Schakel (1st)
4th- Paul Olson (2nd)
9th- John Keane (3rd)
25th- Dave Bridges (3rd)
30th- Mark Ahlers-Moore (2nd)
40th- Per Nelson (3rd)
Women:
1st- Mary Beth Tuttle (1st)
2nd- Angie Robinson (1st)
3rd- Kathleen Dewall (1st)
7th- Mel MacMillian (1st)
13th- Nichole Porath (3rd)

42k classic
Men:
16th- Dave Christopherson (1st)
20th- Brent Oja (1st)
35th- Kevin Ivens
37th- Pete Thurmes
60th- Ahvo Taipale (1st)
Women:
5th- Michelle Oja (1st)
9th- Allie Rykken (1st)

58k freestlye
11th-Derek Wallen (3rd)
12th- Bjorn Batdorf
Women:
2nd-Johanna Winters (2nd)
8th- Cheryl Dubois (1st)

Yes, that is 20 out of 23 people (the 3 coaches are included) winning dala horses. That is impressive.

Now I am waxing skis for tomorrow's race, the Finlandia 25k continuous pursuit. (I have an old swix portable 3-piece bench clamped to a board, that is clamped to the coffee table in the dorm, that is suspended on two chairs). The weather looks like it will be perfect, and the snow has been great. Fun times! The Vakava team is not sending a full squad to the race tomorrow, so the team standings will be very close (Peter's Cheaters put up a perfect score of 600 here last year). Hopefully we can hold them off.

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