The King Boreas race returned to St. Paul after a lengthy absence. It is really nice to add another local race to the ski calendar. Being able to leave home at 9, race at 10 and be home by 11:15 is a huge plus. When you throw in the fact that the highly efficient Ben Popp was the race director, you have the makings for a great day on the snow. Throw in temperatures close to 30 degrees and wow, what a fun event.
The weather was much warmer than expected overnight and many racers were left scrambling in the minutes leading up to the start looking for warmer wax and structure tools. I got lucky here, and through no skill or planning on my part, had absolute rockets under my feet. From the start the pace was high, and Jacob Beste was flying. A lead group of about 6 formed with Jacob doing almost all of the work. After the first of 2 laps were complete, the elastic broke. At one time or another each of us in the lead group tried to latch on to Jacob's Rossi orange suit, but alas, it was not be. He won solo, smoothly skating away, completing 15k in about 37 minutes.
I was able to ski in with the lead pack of 4 and had might sights on trying my sprinting legs for a chance at second place. It did not go so well. I ended up 5th, last in the sprint. Hats off to the 3 others skier who absolutely torched me, you deserve it. Check the video clip found on Skinnyski.com and keep in mind that 2nd through 5th were all together with about 500 meters to go. Oh well, I will be looking for pointers from the team on sprinting at the next practice.
Overall, a very nice race for me considering I am attempting to come back from arm surgery performed in November. Thanks to the Vakava coaches for their patience as I slowly come around to race fitness. A sincere apology to my teammate Paul Olson. I step on his pole on the 1st lap and pulled his strap right off his hand. He had to turn around, ski back to his pole and then attempt to catch back up. I felt terrible about it, and it's made worse by the fact that Paul is probably the nicest guy on the team.