City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Talk about upcoming events

Moderator: Moderator Group

SpecialGreen
xcskiforum 20K
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:42 pm

City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby SpecialGreen » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:37 am

I'm curious how people are finding the new, expanded City of Lakes Loppet, with so many different events.

SpecialGreen
xcskiforum 20K
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:42 pm

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby SpecialGreen » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:54 am

I'll start with a race-report on the 42k classic.

I waxed with V30 cushion (in klister zone), V20, and then a thin layer of Swix Special Green. Glide wax was FastWax Teal base, HSLF0 top (fastwax recommendations). Skis were slippery, and didn't ice-up, but didn't seem any better than others' on the descents. Kick was a bit worse than others, and I had to hop a bit more up the hills, when others were still kick-and-gliding. I could do-over, I think I'd have stuck with V30 + V20, and no Special Green.

The mass start could have been worse: at least there were no narrow uphills early-on. But things were pretty tight for the first few K, with few opportunities to pass, until we exited the "back 9" woods and started a gradual climb up "the shelf." Past years were even more crowded in the woods, so I guess this was better than it used to be. Still, I'd prefer a couple of waves, like the skaters will get.

Track was set very nicely, and 4 lanes wide in many places. That was a nice treat, and made me glad the groomers could set-up for just classic today.

The lakes had a bit of glide, especially once the sun came out, though it was nothing to shout about. Less glide than usual, but more glide than we've seen in the past week. My pole tips kept punching through the snow crust (and I have big baskets), so the poling action had to be more of a "long, gentle push," than a good, solid shove. This made DP a little less useful than KDP, for me. I wonder how the strong-upper-body DP'ers managed.

The new route through the Minkhada golf course wasn't quite as well set as the rest of the course, but still usable, and much nicer than skiing in loops around frozen lakes. I think they could have milked the hills there a bit more, as we seemed to follow some roads rather than take the hilliest paths. The narrow path from Lake Calhoun to the golf course was ardous, with some very dirty, sandy snow. My apologies to the kind volunteers who were working so hard to keep it ski-able, if I muttered a few things while skiing through there.

The finish in a new location worked-out OK. I kind-of like "main street" finishes, but the old finish on Hennepin didn't really cut it as a "main street" anyways. A real "main street" has pubs you can lunch at, bakeries, knick-knack shops... not lingerie, sushi and computer stores. If they could have blocked-off Calhoun Village, that would have been great (an uphill finish to a big pizza tent at Punch!), but I'm sure it's just impractical to close Lake Street.

My finish time was a surprisingly high "percent back" behind the winners. I felt pretty good through the whole race, and kept my power output up where it's supposed to be. I know I placed about where I'd expect to, compared to a few other skiers I know. So either Liebsch and the lead pack really skied well, or had much better skis than the rest of us; or I just thought I was doing well, but actually wasn't taking advantage where I needed to.

All in all, it was surprisingly pleasant weather, and a beautiful day to be out on some fine trails. Thanks, Loppeteers! And good lock to the skaters tomorrow.
Last edited by SpecialGreen on Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

SpecialGreen
xcskiforum 20K
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:42 pm

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby SpecialGreen » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:24 pm

The mtec race timing website is now saying that I finished in under 2 hours. It still shows Matt Liebsch as finishing in 2:13, so I guess I'll head down to the finish line for a picture on the podium :partyman:

User avatar
enevala
World Cup
Posts: 612
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:05 pm
Location: Minne(hoping for some)SnowTa

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby enevala » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:51 pm

City of Lakes 42k Classic Race Report

Ski setup was pretty simple given the conditions: Medium flex ski, glide prepped w. a hardened base of Rex LF black, Fastwax LF Teal with HF Green over the top. For fouro, I used 2 layers of TK-72 (ironed). For kick I went with an ironed binder layer of PowerGrip Green in the kilster zone with 7 thin corked layers of Rex Proline Green. Overall the kick was abundant, with the wax wearing like iron, and glide was about as good as it could get given the conditions.

Track was set anywhere from 2 track (best line) to 4 track, however with the new snow from last week, the base was very soft and the tracks were on the chunky side. Conditions were generally soft and slow-ish with small areas of windblown snow that was surprisingly fast. I can't really complain as there wasn't enough snow last year to set track on most of the course.

I started off with my usual mass start tactic--avoid getting stepped on, be patient and wait for things to settle and gaps to form and push from there. The back 9 was the typical survival march (down the hill, up the hill, lather, rinse, repeat). Tracks were pulled (appropriately) in some of the more technical areas and held up well enough. On the front 9 I was able to start catching skiers from the 20k and start moving up through that group as well.

My biggest concern going into the race was the technical sections in the hilly parts of the trail south of Wirth Lake--I was concerned about congestion which turned out to not be much of a problem at all as most of the pack was pretty spread out by the time we crossed Glenwood ave.

I was hoping for some relief on the lakes where in the past I've been able to relax with a nice easy DP/KDP and pick up quite a bit of ground as the tracks are generally much firmer and faster out on the lake versus the woods--sadly not the case this year. There were a few areas where this worked out(the channels and Lake of the Isles), but most of the lake trail (Brownie, Cedar, and Calhoun) was about the same as the trails in the woods (soft).

The golf course spur at 36k was kind of fun--the hills weren't too bad, and there were a couple of nice dowhnills to tuck, relax and stretch a bit--a nice break after the lake. I was able to catch a few skiers and move up a little bit before getting back out on the lake and turning into the wind for the final 2k.

It was finally good to get back off the lake for the final push to the finish, but frustrating to find that the tracks stopped at the "500m to the finish" sign (COME ON!! WHO DOES THAT???) resulting in some double-poling and awkward sorta striding to get to the finish.

Pace was good, I finished ahead of my projected time (I was sorta slow instead of really slow), and it was a beautiful day to be on skis!
Last edited by enevala on Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

E365
xcskiforum 40K
Posts: 456
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:08 am
Location: Minneapolis

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby E365 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:16 pm

I did the Challenge (and where the heck are the results for that??). Never done anything like that before.

For glide wax on Saturday's classic race I had a base layer of Swix CH4, a Layer of Toko LF Blue and a top layer of FastWax HSF10 Green. The fluoro powder was the older version of SkiGo C105. Found that on eBay for cheap last year. Kind of a jumble of different waxes but it seemed to work. My glide was much better than most on the downhills.

Grip wax was simply Swix VR40 with a few layers of older Swix VF20 (equivalent to current VR30, I think) on top. No complaints. Kick was very good, glide was good considering the abrasive snow.

Glide wax on Sunday was Swix CH4, Toko LF Blue, then Rex TK-820 powder - I ran out of the SkiGo C105. Also seemed to run faster than most.

The classic race was good as I hung with the two leading women for the entire race. Then once we hit Minikahda, they pulled away.

I was very stiff on Sunday morning for the skate portion so I wasn't expecting much. I'm also a weaker skater than classic skier so I just decided to take it easy. I actually started to feel pretty good so I kept a nice pace after we cleared the first 7 km (front 9? Back 9? whatever thats called). I always seem to start too hard at the city of lakes and blow up. Thankfully I started in Wave 1 so there was less pressure than the Elite/"Best Of" wave. I passed a "Best of the Loppet" skier every 10 minutes or so which always helps morale. On the lakes I skied by myself and chose the untouched corduroy vs. the skied-in path that others took. That glide seemed faster for me.

I like the new finish area in general but not the last 500 meters. A weird, steep climb towards that office building then skiing along side it. Just seemed kind of "ugly" (not the right word, but I think the finish could be redone.)

I loved that both skate and classic are 42km. 25km was too short for a classic race IMO. Also neat to compare my times between skate and classic on the same course.

Blah
xcskiforum 40K
Posts: 403
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:43 am

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby Blah » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:14 pm

You guys should save yourself some time and skip the LF layer of wax. It is not needed is you are just putting an HF over it.

User avatar
jt10000
World Cup
Posts: 522
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:56 am
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby jt10000 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:56 am

This sounds like such a cool event.
Temporary Signature ---- http://bit.ly/2hKgHk7 ----- Temporary Signature

User avatar
Montana
World Cup
Posts: 764
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:13 am
Location: Choteau, Montana
Contact:

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby Montana » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:09 am

Blah wrote:You guys should save yourself some time and skip the LF layer of wax. It is not needed is you are just putting an HF over it.

I'd like to hear some more comments on this because wax companies often suggest layering the wax with LF waxes first then HF on top. What different thoughts are there on this?
39th consecutive Birkie in 2019!
Ralph Thornton, Ear Mountain Photography

MN Hoser
Ski Forum God
Posts: 1145
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:26 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby MN Hoser » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:52 pm

Getting drunk and breaking ----
------------------------------------
I went bowling Thr night and had four beers, which is as much as I've have to drink in a lot time. I wasn't drunk, but it left a mark. Well, maybe the mark was my soreness from bowling two games. Yeah, that's right, bowling.

Testing
---------
I picked up a sore throat on Fri and then on Sat decided to go ski easy and check out some skis. One was the pair of 610 soft tracks I used at last year's Birkie (and they were super fast). The second pair is my new set of (soft track) Speedmax. The third pair was a set of Fischer 610s that were reground this summer. These are a set of hard track skis that I've been working on getting fast as an experiment. All were waxed the same. So the first lap on the soft track skis (one ski on each foot) was really difficult to tell any difference between the skis. That's good since it means the Speedmax with a medium grind is as fast as probably my fastest skis. Cool. I put one of the hard track skis on my right foot and within about five feet I could tell they were slow. Wow.

The snow was surprisingly soft and I thought that the race course could break down quickly in some of the rarely used areas. From previous tests, I waxed up my oldest, softest pair, which has done well compared to last year's Birkie pair in cold snow testing.

Wax job
---------
Swix LF4 (two coats)
Holm HF Green (probably more like a LF green)
SkiGo 110 (ironed)
Start 92 corked, but I didn't cork too vigorously

Race day
----------
The sore throat felt pretty good but the skis were super slow. Wow, but I assume, everyone else's skis were slow too. The temp was predicted to be about -1 with some hefty winds bringing the windchill to -20F, but the temp was -8F with hardly any wind. The new snow was particularly good at preventing glide.

In the start gate with 5 minutes to go, I realized I left my water bottle and Gu belt in the bag with my warmups. That bag was now buried on a truck waiting for a drive to MPLS. Damn, I'll have to rely on the water stops.

There was nothing too remarkable about the start, or even the first 10 km. I kept having trouble not stepping on the poles in front of me and, in fact, I did step on one basket. Guys just seemed to be rolling slow and I was impatient.

This is a course that makes the Birkie Trail look straight. It constantly turns and climbs hills until you hit the lakes, and then everything is just the opposite.

In a section called Eloise Butler, the guys in front of me formed a gap. This group included Drew, who is likely to win my age group. So when the "Enduro" section came up, I hit it. About the only time my skis seemed good was at high speed, so I said, what the hell. I ended up bridging quite a gap (couldn't see the group) to the guys up front, and then I hung onto them through the bog section. After two earlier feeds where I got water, and ice water, I knew that I needed some "Energy" at the next stop. Well after the group got fed, no one had any feeds for me. Onward we go.

I hung onto the group until it started to splinter on the second crossing of Cedar Lake. I tired to bridge the gap on the third crossing, but no. Dan (a team mate), Cory (my age group) and I skied together, but none of us felt good. When we hit Lake Calhoun, a group of about four guys and Mike (also in my age group) came roaring by. I couldn't get on the back, Mike got shot off the back, and I couldn't get onto Mike either. Then Al (the hammer) Hanson (one age group above mine) came by and I hung onto him.

One more food stop. Al got two "Energy" drinks from the first guy, and the second guy fed me water. "I need energy." He handed me a frozen chunk of banana and said, "That's all I got." Al was gone and I got left with the bar tab.

On the golf course I blew. People on Calhoun said they heard faint boom and saw the smoke, but didn't know what happened. Anyway, I literally ground to a stop going up a mild hill. I stood there and looked back a Dan and Cory. From there I skied in at a pace slower than my endurance workouts. On my next stop at the feed I stopped (ready to hit the feed table myself) and got two "Energys.

From there on home it was like a master skier reunion. "Hey Jay." "Come on Jay," and the look of "I've been there."

Lesson: Don't forget your water bottle belt.

Place: 813th
Age Group: 63rd

Well, almost...54th or so and I think 5th or 6th in the age group.

Jay

Blah
xcskiforum 40K
Posts: 403
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:43 am

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby Blah » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:32 pm

Nice write up Jay! :D We have all been there but we haven't all gutted through it, I know I haven't.
I disagree though with placing blame on drinking as as part of the problem. One of my best races ever, Hoigaards Classic at the Loppet, I had six beers the night before and won by almost 4 minutes. I think I was just properly carbo loaded!

My reasoning on not using LF prior to the HF is that most of the guys are saying they also applied a cold parrafin. I think that at most, on a cold day, you need a cold paraffin or LF wax and then the HF wax of the day, or you could even just go with LF. I think that in the temps we had it makes little difference to use a paraffin or LF wax as a base. Why recommend to use all 3? To get you to use more wax :D If they are really new skis then maybe it makes sense but I wouldn't just flat out recommend it to everyone.

MN Hoser
Ski Forum God
Posts: 1145
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:26 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby MN Hoser » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:13 am

Thanks blah. I'm curious is you heard that anything was gliding better than anything else?

As for waxing, I think it comes down to a philosophical question of values and beliefs. Do you believe that the wax exchanges out of the ski (and does it matter). On the "does it matter" comes down to if you value a ski that is 0.5%, 0.05% or 0.005% faster (whatever you believe) if you do two coats compared to one coat, or do you value the wax and time more.

Lots of people hate waxing. I call it a hobby.

Jay

Blah
xcskiforum 40K
Posts: 403
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:43 am

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby Blah » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:18 pm

I'm basing it off of conversation, observation, and experience. Sharing a wax cabin with Caldwell at Senior Nats and a few years ago at the Birkie all that was going on the skis was an HF wax followed by powder and typically block, liquid if it was humid enough. My goal is to keep things simple, complicating it is tough for the consumer and tough to recreate as a wax tech. I enjoy waxing as well but I think it would useful for people to know they can get the job done quicker and save some cash by putting in less layers. That being said if it's fun and you want to I'm all for it!

Mark Johnson said he had awesome skis on Friday and Saturday running LF08 with SFR 92 block cover ironed in. Similar to your wax job

User avatar
jt10000
World Cup
Posts: 522
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:56 am
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby jt10000 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:38 pm

MN Hoser wrote:Lots of people hate waxing. I call it a hobby.

Yeah.

Once you've waxed for awhile, it's pretty easy to wax fast. I think too many people use irons that are not hot enough, scrapers that are not sharp enough, and brushes that are not good. So every layer is a chore. It doesn't have to be. Some of my friends keep their irons too cool in order to "protect" the skis, and then when they're waxing for moderate or cold conditions they have to wax slowly to get the stuff to melt. Ironically I think they may hurt their skis. Get the iron hot enough so the wax melts very readily (but doesn't smoke) is my way. And moving it fairly fast.

But (big BUT) for me, cleaning up after waxing is the big time suck - I don't have a dedicated space, so setting up and cleaning up take a lot of time. If I'm going to go through all that, I don't mind spending a little time on another layer of wax. The waxing itself is sort of enjoyable.

Also - there's some video on Youtube of Zach Caldwell waxing (selling his "brush program") and Eli Brown (prepping some skis for the North American Vasa at a ski/bike shop) that I just love to watch from time to time - no wasted motions in getting stuff done.
Temporary Signature ---- http://bit.ly/2hKgHk7 ----- Temporary Signature

Blah
xcskiforum 40K
Posts: 403
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:43 am

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby Blah » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:33 pm

Sure you can get fast at it but you're getting no benefit so what's the point?
Totally agree with you on iron temp. Many pale run them WAY too low and just end up doing more damage than a hit iron that is moved quickly down the ski.

MN Hoser
Ski Forum God
Posts: 1145
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:26 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: City of Lakes Loppet 1/31 through 2/2

Postby MN Hoser » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:04 pm

MN Hoser wrote:In a section called Eloise Butler, the guys in front of me formed a gap. This group included Drew, who is likely to win my age group. So when the "Enduro" section came up, I hit it.


I just found out that I was 4th (at 1:45) in this section behind:

-Matt Liebsch 1:26:55
-Mark Johnson 1:30:35
-Chris Pappathopoulos 1:32:90

Sorry about the name dropping. Paul McCartney told me "Never drop names."

Jay


Return to “Races and Racing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests