Monday, February 11, 2013

Mora Vasaloppet


Dave Christopherson reports:

An overall win, three more overall podium finishes, and over a dozen horses – Vakava always seems to come to the forefront at Mora, and 2013 was no exception.  Strong winds, sometimes-heavy snow, and a starting lap on Knife Lake certainly made for an interesting and somewhat unusual 41st Vasaloppet, but it was the same downtown finish, cheering crowds and small-town atmosphere, and over a thousand competitors.  Always one of my favorite races.

After a very slow and crowded start, where no one seemed anxious to break the headwind for the first several k’s, things finally started moving when we got to the far end of the lake and switched directions.  I tried to stay on the faster, crustier snow, but there was enough slightly wet new snow and slightly dirty wind-blown snow that you definitely wanted a good fluoro top coat on your skis.  I chose Fast Wax Flite Warm, ironed on with the Fast Wax Base Saver, on top of HSF-30, along with a pair of uni-grind Rossi’s that can handle softer snow.  I think everyone felt their skis were a little slow in some of the wind-blown stuff, but then my skis seemed to take off when we got into more of the new-fallen, fresh snow.  Of course, it also helped a lot that I had two team-mates to help pull me along with a good draft – thanks, Rob and Paul.

A strong, hard finishing sprint up Main Street didn’t move me up any places, but it at least looked good (hopefully) for the crowd.  That’s 24 of these under my belt now, and I’ll be back next year.

Vakava results:

35K Freestyle
Mary Beth Tuttle -- 1st overall, 1st age group
Kathleen DeWahl – 2nd overall, 1st age group
Angie Robinson – 4th overall, 2nd age group
Nate Porath – 2nd overall, 1st age group
Rob Edman – 10th overall, 2nd age group
Dave Christopherson – 11th overall, 1st age group
Paul Olson -- 12th overall, 3rd age group
Andy Schakel – 13th overall, 3rd age group
Mark Ahlers – 15th overall, 1st age group

42K Classic
Michele Oja13th overall, 3rd age group
Eugene Beletskiy – 2nd overall, 1st age group
Kevin Ivens – 51st overall
Brent Oja66th overall

58K Freestyle
Bonnie Weiskopf – 3rd overall, 1st age group
Katie Splan9th overall, 2nd age group
Derek Wallen7th overall
Steve Yore – 29th overall

(And our east coast contingent, temporarily on leave in Baltimore, also did very admirably, despite almost no time on snow this year – Carolyn Bramante was 3rd overall in the 35K and Anthony Bramante finished 33rd in the long race.)


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