Monday, December 16, 2019

2019/2020 Race Season Underway

We are already two weekends into this race season.  Both races have been on man made snow loops, but believe it or not, we are all skiing on the natural snow trails too!

Historically my race reporting has been rather long and in depth including pre-race info, play by play, and post race analysis.  I'm going to try something a little different for the Vakava Blog.  My initial proposal is a little team results recap, a much shorter personal race account, and then possibly a look forward to where you might spot the Vakava suits in the coming week.

Team Racing Recap

Skadi's Chase

Racing kicked off with first running of Skadi's Chase as a part of the Three Rivers Park District Nordic Opener at Elm Creek.  Paul and Brock debuted Vakava's new racing suits while Andy was still rocking the previous suit (apparently antique is more than 100 years old, vintage is 20-100 years old, and retro is 1980's or 1990's so none of those apply).

Andy 5th Overall, 1st Age Group
Paul 7th Overall, 2nd Age Group (to some guy named Matt Liebsch)
Brock 18th Overall, 4th Age Group

Andy - Photo Credit: Bruce Adelsman, Skinnyski.com

Paul - Photo Credit: Bruce Adelsman, Skinnyski.com

Brock - Photo Credit: Bruce Adelsman, Skinnyski.com

Hoigaard's/Breadsmith Relays

This past weekend a larger contingent of Vakava skiers headed out again to Elm Creek for the Olympic team sprint format racing.  Among the various teams and categories Vakava had nine folks out racing.  I must say the new suits are rather eye catching.

5 new Vakava suits and 1 old Vakava suit starting the race - Photo Credit: Bruce Adelsman, Skinnyski.com
Vakava had skiers on the 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 10th men's teams and the 3rd, 4th, and 6th mixed gender teams.

Post race the team did some classic video analysis and took a nice long ski the outer loops at Elm.

Photo Credit: Alex Reich and Ian Wright

Ben's Race Report

Brock and I teamed up to be the Vakava B Team.  Get it?  Ben and Brock, B Team... OK, maybe it wasn't that clever.  By virtue of the registration table handing me the bib I pulled the anchor leg duty.  Brock and I skied around for 20 or so minutes before the race.  I was a little nervous, not for the results, but for the pain I knew I was about to inflict upon myself.  Since I was going second, I did miss out on the mass start nerves a little bit.

Brock tagged off to me in a little group that included Dennis C and Clayton K.  Both of whom have historically kicked my butt in anything exceeding 5k.  Time to see how repeated 1.5k efforts and a summer of training looked.  I slotted in behind Clayton, and then when Dennis went around just past the Bottineau House I slipped in behind him.  We held a pretty sharp pace all the way to the next hand off.

A little looping around slowly trying to catch my breath while also cheering on team mates and other skiers and about 5 minutes later I was getting ready to go again.  Another lap, this time holding off Dennis who I had about a 8 second head start on.

5 more minutes... just hoping my legs would clear a little bit of the fatigue they were feeling.  One more lap, digging deep.  Both because Dennis was closing in on me, and I knew Dave was out taking video and I didn't want to look terrible.

Approximate splits of 4:50, 4:59, and 4:59 for just under 15 minutes of hard efforts.  It's a good start for the season.
Color chart of the increasing pain over the course of each lap.

Where To Find Vakava Next

Fulton Team Race this coming Wednesday at Elm Creek.  Wednesday's are normally practice nights, so we should see a pretty solid contingent.  Plus they said something about free beer.

Then it is the Skinny Santa Solstice race out at Woodland Trails.  You should see at least one of us out there.

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