Unfortunately, since the Tour of Anchorage, my focus on ski racing had waned. We train full-time starting May 1st, and race from mid November through March. By the time spring rolls around, I'm ready to be doing something else for fun. I did a lot of climbing and a little back country skiing this year to get my kicks, so I'll admit that I wasn't in perfect racing shape when I showed up in Fairbanks.
Though I didn't have spectacular races, I did have a lot of fun. It's cool for me to return to my home trails a couple times each year. I feel like a different skier than I was when I skied them in high school. I had fun racing hard in good weather with all of my Alaskan racing friends. We've all been racing each other since I was cruising around at Weller Elementary ski club.
Because it is out of season according to NCAA, we weren't allowed to wear our UAA ski team suits. So I wore the Stealth Suit. I acquired this legendary garment from Brett Broda when I was racing at Lathrop High School. I've been told that it is a 1990 Swiss team suit. I have no idea if that is the case. All I know is that it's rad.
The idea behind the Stealth Suit is pretty simple. When you show up at a race start wearing this ridiculous outfit, people that don't know you immediately dismiss you as a loser. Because you look like one. You then blow past them after cruising in their draft for a few k, and fly into the finish in first place to the awe and amazement of all. Thus you are stealthy. Thus it is the Stealth Suit.
I found a new application for the stealth suit at nationals. I was a little worried about racing all of the fastest guys in the nation (and very few of the mediocre or second-tier types like myself), and getting my butt kicked in my home town. Though I initially wore the stealth suit because I think its style is awesome, I ended up being grateful that few of the Fairbanks spectators that knew me, recognized me. I did get my butt kicked after a several week hiatus from race training.
In the 30k pursuit race, we did 4 laps of one course and 4 of another. It took 6 laps before all of my highschool buddies standing at the top of the hill recognized who this goofy-looking straggler was. Stealthy indeed...
Nothing like checkered spandex!
Update: Here is a shot of the legendary Gunde Svan being very stealthy. I guess it was Swedish...