Last year we had very little snow in Northfield, and I spent almost as many days on rollerskis as on snow during the winter. Then during the race I wasn't smart enough to realize I was not in great shape and on slow skis. I went out WAY too hard and honestly was blowing up by the end of the powerline hills. Oops. Consequently I started this year with bib 103.
Wearing that triple digit made it easy to start on the second line. Plus looking around at the start there sure seemed to be a lot of fast looking European skiers this year. My goal from the start was only to stay relaxed and ski as easy as I could through the powerline hills. Fortunately my skis this year were pretty good (FinnSisu fine grind, Fast Wax HF Green with Flight Cold), and I soon found myself right behind Vakava teammate Derek. It took some pressure off me mentally to just stay right on his tails, and so that is exactly what I did all the way through the powerline hills. At that first feed stop I was excited about how good I still felt - especially compared to how I remember feeling last year! The field had already broken apart, and Derek and I (along with another Vakava skier Eugene) were a part of a large second group skiers that had formed quite early in the race. It probably had to do with the slow snow conditions, but that group stayed pretty much intact all the way to the finish.
|Myself (103), Eugene and Derek (36) skiing in the pack (photo: Julie Joy Wenner)|
|Jessica driving to the race|
|Me with gel. Nice job Nichole. (photo: Kerry Yndestad)|
|After Rosie's field (photo: Brett Morgan, Birkie.com)|
I would consider this a very good result for me, and right where I have historically been. Helps to have some snow this year :)
My Birkie history:
2001- 430th (senior year of high school. the top wave 10 skier)
2005- 73rd (senior in college. skiing out of wave 1)
Vakava had a great day. Some Vakava results highlights:
Birkie skate men:
124th Anthony (east coast vakava crew)
Birkie skate women:
20th Mary Beth
42nd Carolyn (east coast vakava crew)