Blaine Penny sends this report from Vernon:
10 km Races – Fedyna and Howell Win Bronze and Relay Teams Confirmed
Day 3 of racing had both the 10 km classic and skate, with Team MitoCanada opting for the classic style. The course was a beautiful rolling course with a couple climbs. The temperatures were perfect for easy wax selection – VR45 covered with VR 40 worked really well for us.
In the M2 category, Kirk and Blaine had an excellent start and were well positioned from the get-go, but the race went out surprisingly slow. I (Blaine) was positioned in about 5th or 6th place and comfortably skiing along and just waiting for the hammer to drop. After a couple of kilometres the lead 3 skiers created a small gap and unfortunately I wasn’t positioned well enough to follow and got stuck in the second group. Kirk luckily was part of the lead group. The second group was also a trio that included me and two American skiers. I was feeling really good and quite comfortable. One of the Americans (Dan) made a move and I followed, which resulted in the 3rd guy falling off at about the 4 km mark. Dan and I worked together taking pulls to share the workload leading and we were increasing our gap on the 5th place guy. At about the 8 km mark after I had taken a long pull I stepped out of the track and asked Dan to have a go and he said he couldn’t. I was at my max by now and really starting to hurt. I hopped back in the track and encouraged Dan to follow but he fell off the pace so I was on my own. I managed to hold the pace and skied to a 4th place finish, only 25 seconds off Kirk who was 3rd. I was really stoked with my ski and really proud to see Kirk win another bronze.
Kirk had been holding 2nd for most of the race but got passed in the last kilometre and couldn’t find what he needed to challenge the silver medal. Great race nonetheless. Brendan had a smokin’ time of 35 minutes and placed 18th holding off the Italian who was chomping at his heels most of the race. Miles went sub 40 minutes, had a great ski and was so jazzed about how fast his skis were. “My skis have never gone that fast. What a treat to have such good grip and glide all at once.”
We managed to get out on course with our cow bell to cheer on Marg in the home stretch to her bronze medal finish. She was so strong in the last few hundred meters. I managed to shoot a great video of her and will send it through for you to post.
The relay teams were selected based on the results from yesterday’s race. In the 10 km skate race, Mikhail Kudienko and Jeff Krar of Calgary were the top 2 Canadian’s. The M2 category will be represented by 4 Calgarians who will all be wearing MitoCanada ski suits. How cool is that! Here’s the line-up for the 4×5 km relay:
Kirk Howell (classic)
Blaine Penny (classic)
Jeff Krar (skate)
Mikhail Kudienko (skate)
Marg also qualified for the F4 women’s relay. Should be a fun day tomorrow to be racing and cheering our fellow Canadian’s on.
One of the hard parts about racing in Silverstar is to get enough rest and not overdo the skiing. We had the most glorious ski off the top of Silverstar Mountain yesterday afternoon. The snow, grooming and temperature was just perfect, and as we were skiing down the “Paradise Trail” I thought to myself that there couldn’t be a better name for that trail. If you have never skied Silverstar, you have to put it on your list. This is as good as it gets!