Vakava Team Photo

Vakava Team Photo
Vakava Racers at the Mora Last Chance Race

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marine O'Brien

I always look forward to the Marine race.  I grew up doing this race when I attended Stillwater H.S.  It is a great community run race that is low key but always with great competition and a big turn out.  I signed up for the 25km skate race and waxed with Fastwax HSF green covered by flouro cold.  My skis were running average compared to the other guys around me.   I lined up again next to teammate Nate Porath.  I tend to get out fairly well in races but my endurance and training these days are lacking. I held back on the double pole start but still found myself around 5th place at the skate zone.  Overall, the pace felt fairly good for the first few k's but then the lack of training kicked in.  I settled into a group of about 4 guys and was able to relax.  We were not too far behind the second group in front of us at about 8km.  Jay Wenner decided to take the lead but instead took off and was able to catch the group further up.  I was skiing with teammate Flying Fungi Master Danny Kueffer for a lot of the race.  I had ended up doing intervals a few days prior to the race with Danny . . .  instead of the weekly sushi gathering with the other Fungi Masters.  I figured I should get out and ski at least 2 days this week :).   Danny started to slow down before coming out of the woods heading to the south america loop.  I ended up passing him trying to catch up to Skillicorn.  The two of us skied for the next few k's until Danny caught us again before crossing the railroad tracks.  His skis were running pretty good.  I then drafted off of him for the next few kms knowing it would be a sprint finish.  Going down the last hill to the finish both of us thought we were going to yard sale it but was able to stay vertical.  I tried to sprint past him the last 1/2 k but it wasn't meant to be.  Great skiing with friends and back in Stillwater Country!

The real race then started a few hours after . . . our 3 year old son lined up for his second race of his life.  The first race was at 18months but he got distracted when the gun went off and did not cross the start line.   Well his competition today was fierce.  He lined up with 4 other skiers ages 3 and under.  He went with the non waxable fish scale skis to make the 30 foot journey.  The gun went off and again, he stalled . . . hmmm.  Well he made it across with finish line with mommy's help in a whopping 59 seconds!    His highlight was not getting the ribbon but going straight to the fire for hot chocolate and cookies!   We'll be back next year for more fun!

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