Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers, race organizers, the City of Lakes Loppet Nordic Ski Foundation, groomers … who make this race possible. You did a wonderful job!
What a fantastic day for racing it was in Minnesota! The skies were blue and sunny, and the snow was light, fluffy, and falling from the trees. The start was a bit chilly (in the single digits) after stripping down early to get our bags in the truck to be shipped to the finish area. I started with the other elite women in the second row of wave 1, but was quickly swallowed by a swarm of very fast men. I was lucky enough to narrowly avoid a multiple skier crash just seconds from the start.Since this was the longest race I have done this season, I tried to ski conservatively at the start, not knowing how I would feel after an hour or so of climbing, and descending. I latched on to a group of men and women skiing relatively my same speed. The group morphed a bit as the kilometers wore on, but a few of us stayed together for most of the race. My legs were still feeling pretty fresh through the bog. By the time I reached the lakes, I was ready for some flats. The fast snow on the lakes turned out to be an unexpected bonus. With a few hundred yards remaining I spotted the third placed women. I went after her, but was unsuccessful in catching her before the finish. I ended up 4th overall of the 162 women that skied in my race. I was happy with my finish and with the speed of my skis. My skis stayed fast from start to finish.