1/4/09

US Nationals, sort of...

Well, for the last two days we've been skunked for ski races by the weather over at Kincaid park. Anchorage is hosting the US Cross-Country Skiing National Championship races this week. All of the big-wig, super-fast US skiers from the entire nation, and everyone else for that matter, came up here to race. Pretty nice for us locals to have the home snow advantage. However, the weather is unusually cold even down here in Anchorage. It has been hovering around -10F for about a week. Unfortunately, we can't have a legal race until it warms up to -4F.

It's really sort of a silly game. Everyone shows up early so they have time to prep and wax skis, check in, ski the course, warm up, stretch, and leave extra time for contingencies. That's pretty standard pre-race routine. Multiply that by 600 or so racers, add coaches, wax technicians, race officials, volunteers, and spectators. Kincaid becomes a crazy place. Then, as soon as everyone is in full on race preparation mode, delay the race by a couple hours. The race officials think that maybe if we wait for a while, it will get warm enough to race. So we wait. Then, as the new race start time approaches, the process begins again. Then the race is officially cancelled for the day, postponed until tomorrow. Repeat the next day.

It's pretty tricky to mentally prepare for races as it is, even tougher if you're not sure you'll race. Sitting around trying to relax and reserve energy while being nervous and excited to race, and wondering what the temperature is and whether you'll race and being in a big noisy room with hundreds of skiers is tricky too.

So today, after the race was cancelled, I went to the mountains. Near them anyway. I decided to do my ski training out at Glen Alps. I skied for about an hour up the valley. The sunlight is pretty low angle, so I was in the shade, but it was a beautiful day nonetheless. It was super relaxing to be skiing away from all of the ski racing craziness that was Kincaid. That will surely help me keep a positive outlook on the upcoming races.

Some of that low angle light on the Wedge.

Denali and friends across the inlet too!

Tomorrow we are supposed to have a 10k skating race, again if it is above -4F. Looking forward to a fun race, I hope.

More as it happens...

1 comment:

pschauer said...

Good luck dude! Nice shot of The Wedge and the moon.