Race Report, MN Governor's Cup

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enevala
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Race Report, MN Governor's Cup

Postby enevala » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:33 pm

I did my first race of the season last year (my first since 2006) last weekend, the Governor's Cup 25k Freestyle race at Camp Ripley MN.

The course consists of a combination of riverflats, rolling hills, and quite a bit of heavy-duty climbing, utilizing every piece of elevation along the trail to its limits. The layout is an "out and back" from the Rec Center, to the biathlon range , and then back to the rec center. The Biathlon range, the middle 8K, contains the majority of the hard climbs (in reality, it's only one hill , you just climb the thing about 6 or 7 times from different directions), with the rest of the trail containing either rolling hills, or flats.

Conditions at race start were about 22 degrees, overcast, with a humid breeze out of the west. Camp Ripley hasn't had significant snow in January, so the base was mostly old transformed snow on a very firm base. I set my skis up with Fastwax LF Teal, but could have gotten away with warmer wax as the temps did not drop as significantly as predicted the night before. I opted for a harder wax, I wasn't wrong, but then I wasn't totally correct either. Conditions varied from the expected hardpack base to include: old powder in the woods, and marathon sugar in some parts of the biathlon range. The skis were fast enough, it wasn't the wax that held me back, it was gravity. Dragging my 215 pound butt up some of those hills is a lot of work.

The pack took off at a brisk pace, and things stayed pretty tight through the river flats leading to the first set of hills. There was some moderate congestion on the uphill parts of the rollers, and I had to brake hard a couple of times to keep from running over the skier in front of me, but by the time we swung west (KM 6) towards the biathlon range, there was enough spacing that everyone could ski their own race without too much interference. After the first feed stop, we entered the biathlon area—lots of climbing, but there were some fun downhills to allow for a little recovery. The trail was wide, well marked, and well groomed, but the hills took their toll. Overall the trail was much more physical than it was technical. It was a relief to cross the road out of the biathlon range, and start the return leg. I was able to maintain a nice brisk pace and make up some time, through the rollers to the river flats, and then open it up for the final 3k dash to the finish. The sun came out for the last 6k or so making for a nice trip back to the Rec Center.

Objectively, I got my butt kicked up between my ears, (16 of 19 in my age group, 2 hours 16 seconds), but overall I felt good about my performance. Considering I am coming back after having taken a year off, I think I did pretty well.

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Postby kuan » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:38 pm

Well done! :)

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Postby MN Hoser » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:27 pm

-I tried Swix HF4/HF6. That wasn't it. (Infamous excuse #1.)
-Also excuses 4 and 34.

-I heard Toko Red and Cera was a great combo.

-I think they could have left the big groomer in the shed, as it dragged up dirt. It was weird to see the tracks down the left (for a freestyle race) when the left turns are the hard turns. I didn't see anyone belly flop, but I'd be surprised if no one when down trying to dodge the tracks.

Jay

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Postby enevala » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:56 pm

MN Hoser wrote:-I tried Swix HF4/HF6. That wasn't it. (Infamous excuse #1.)
-Also excuses 4 and 34.

-I heard Toko Red and Cera was a great combo.

-I think they could have left the big groomer in the shed, as it dragged up dirt. It was weird to see the tracks down the left (for a freestyle race) when the left turns are the hard turns. I didn't see anyone belly flop, but I'd be surprised if no one when down trying to dodge the tracks.

Jay


I held myself to one bellyflop for old time's sake, just not in that area. :roll:
There was some sort of funky groomer overlap thing going on in places too that was kind of odd.

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Another race report

Postby donpollari » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:18 pm

I get regular installments from my buddy who recounts his winter jaunts.

Got the latest this morning which I'll cut'n paste here without his permission for your enjoyment:

Greetings fellow Nordic Skiers and nordic ski enthusiast's too!

This week the Nordic Dave Adventure Series takes you to Camp Ripley in North Central Minnesota.
Picture WW2, the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes Forrest with tanks blasting through snowy forests over hill and dale on the move, Hoo Ya! Tucked away deep in the forested hills there are multiple shooting ranges complete with a secret biathlon stadium with bleachers and flags. Ya? Ooh Ya don't cha know..Camp Ripley is 53,000 sprawling acres of Minnesota National Guard Training Base. More importantly it's 50k of hilly and wooded ski trails are a well keep secret of some of the best skiing imaginable.

Nordic thinks Camp Ripley is still around and not converted into a State Park or better yet condo's and strip malls 'cause Wya' Bush has thought of everything in terms of world oil hegemony. Just think of it, them Norwegians' are sitting pretty fat and sassy with all that oil they have that they don't need to work anymore just ski (fun & frolic), the real reason why they dominate the World Cup. Well now... ol' Wya' has been telling them boys up north to train up some guns and ski's in Minnesota's Skando land just in case we get a little thirsty and need some more oil. Nordic thinks Wya' and Dennis Hopper in the movie Water World are one in the same.

Minnesotan's are not Norwegian's though no matter how they try to preserve their heritage. In fact they have let people from Wisconsin inter breed amongst them creating a cheesy mix of nasal voiced heavy set (basically really fat) people who are loud, drunk and obnoxious intermix amongst the more taciturn circumspective Lutherans who are thrifty and like to ski.

Unfortunately Nordic selected the next town north for his pre race night lodging in Brainerd. A town hosting the Brainerd Lakes Ice Fishing Derby. Nordic has found a new human sub species. Nordic may have cast a judgmental eye in the past towards snowmobilers yet nordic has found snowmobilers are actually the more active people who like to get blitzed and pile into trees going really fast. Ice Fisherman and families et al... really don't do much but sit& drink, are basically very fat, very drunk and very loud with nasal whiny cheesy voices. No sleep for nordic that night as he was inundated with dozens if not hundreds of the drunk bastards just outside his hotel room that was strategically located next the ice machine and vending machines. I think one inebriated guy tried to beat up the vending machine at about 2:30 am. Nordic didn't sleep he just meditated thinking of beautiful ski trails and skiing fast.

Yes it is time to race that was definitely on ol' nordic's mind too! The starting line was something like 200 yards wide in the middle of a field. Imagine the great Oklahoma land rush. For 250 to 300
skiers, I don't think many had to line up behind anyone. The temps are a balmy 20f the warmest it's been here in weeks. Many felt like sled dogs ready to shed fur in the midst of a mid winter thaw. The cannon went off and we were in a downhill race to the frozen Mississippi River where things ironically funneled into a skate lane that was two skiers wide. Skiing along the river banks there is no room it's a traffic jam and time to chill. Sure enough 'old nordic spots two or three young bucks around him that aren't too smooth and very aggressive. A minute later a National Guard skier goes down with a thud just up ahead, he gets up just in front of me shaken but focused. The woods and hills are approaching, once again the Guardsman gets hacked by the same guy. A hard stare and a warning, nordic just watches and tries to stay away from the chaos, yet the sloppy aggressive skiers are messing things up at the back end of this group of 30 skiers.

First steep hill a sloppy aggressive guy goes down, the other aggressive sloppy guy steps on & snaps his pole, oh geez nordic thinks, time to get away from these guys.

A gap has been created the lead group is now 15 and nordic is just off the back end slow to realise the move is on in the steep hills. Nordic leaves the others behind furiously churning after the lead group. Nordic has 3 or 4 others who follow but do no work for 5k. Nordic urges some to work together taking turns to ski hard. Nothing doing these guys are at top end and can do no more.
Nordic still anxious to reattach to the lead group just ahead launches and attacks again chasing over hill and dale for the next 10k heart revving, muscles feel gud real guud skis moving well.
Yet skiing alone is much harder. Finally the National Guard skier catches up and nordic lets him lead the way for awhile as the Guardsman is skiing smoothly, purposely but not snappy fast. Another skier catches us and passes us. We are now 3 skiers not quite working together but all within striking distance of each other. We ski somewhat together taking turns more like surges trying to break each other pushing up hills and skating hard off the backside into a tuck. Somewhere around 5k to go we are bringing stragglers from the lead group back into sight. Nordic lets the Guardsman
and the other skier lead out yet with 3k to go he senses they are dogging it. Nordic launches hard a little too late with 2k to go to catch another skier up ahead. Geez it's fun to rev hard at low altitude!

Nordic finishes 16th Overall and 3rd in his age catagory. Midwest races are usually loaded with masters skers and sure enough something like 9 skiers in the top 20 are 40+. A good representation of Minnesota's reputation of having a competitive masters racing environment.

Nordic thinks that for the remaining time that Wya' is in office that Norway is probably safe from U.S. invasion that is lest Peter Northug doesn't create anymore international incidents. If that happens well I'm sure Minnesota's highly trained Guard would be eager to jump into the fray.

Stay tuned for more exciting stories from the Nordic Dave Adventure Series!

:albino:

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Postby Don Callander » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:57 pm

MN Hoser wrote:

I tried Swix HF4/HF6. That wasn't it. (Infamous excuse #1.)

I didn't see anyone belly flop, but I'd be surprised if no one when down trying to dodge the tracks.

Since I am not big into waxing I used LF6/CH6 and for me they were not too bad. But as long as Jay is using it I will too. But I actually wiped out twice. The ruts were pretty big by time I got to them and it was challenging trying to step out of them.

Don

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Postby MN Hoser » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:30 pm

This was not a waxing race. I would think most skis and fluorinated waxes felt good, but I sensed that this very old, fine snow at 20 somep'in F could have been really fast with 20s wax and powder. I thought the snow was going to be old, abrasive corn snow, with the possibility of a little new snow. I have been stung by going too warm (soft) with wax in those conditions and I was too lazy to wax an additional warm set.

I had to laugh at Nordics comments. I saw that broken pole, so Nordic was skiing with me for a while, and he finished only a couple spots back.

Jay

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enevala
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Postby enevala » Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:43 am

Is the start chute typically set up that wide for that race?? It did make for an interesting dynamic on that first left turn. :shock:


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