Thanks to Blaine for this report on today’s action:
4th Place Relay Finish for Team MitoCanada (M2)
We awoke this morning to heavy snowfall and what was shaping up for a great power day on the ski hill. However, this posed some challenging conditions for the xc skiers who were racing in the relay. The 4 x 5 km relay had 2 classic and 2 skate legs. The classic course was covered with about 10 cm of fresh snow and it was still falling heavily as the groomers set out about 30 minutes before the start to set the tracks.
The MitoCanada (M2) relay team consisted of Kirk Howell and Blaine Penny skiing the classic legs, and Jeff Krar and Mikhail Kudienko skiing the skate legs.
Kirk started the relay off and had a great start. The M1, M2, and M3 categories all started together so it was really tough to tell which teams were which. About fifteen and half minutes later Kirk came through and tagged off to me in 3rd place in the M2 category (with the Russian and American teams ahead of us).
I blasted off as fast as I could and was quickly in pain as the lactic acid crept in. I recall thinking that I probably should have done some interval training this winter and this short stuff is tough! A couple people in different age categories passed me and I was able to hold them for a short bit, but my upper body was tired. I kept going as hard as I could and maintained our 3rd place position as I came through the stadium and tagged off to Jeff Krar.
Jeff skied hard and maintained our position with a really fast time of 13 minutes and change, and then the rest was up to Mikhail. The German team had picked up a little ground and were right on Mikhail’s heels as he began his leg. We rallied the troops and made our way to the finish line to watch Mikhail giving it his all in the final sprint against the German skier for 3rd place. Unfortunately he got nipped by a few seconds and we finished 4th. We put up a good fight and after 20 km only 1 minute and 19 seconds separated the top 4 teams. That’s a competitive relay!
We didn’t stick around to see Marg’s relay, but I did catch up with her just before their race and we took the opportunity to snap a photo of all the skiers who represented MitoCanada over the course of the week. See attached photo. There was confusion with the relay team organizers and initially Marg’s name wasn’t on the list. After looking at the results, the F4 Canadian women placed 3rd, and I am pretty sure Marg skied. So hats off to Marg for her 3rd medal.
The M4 Canadian men placed 3rd as well, and the team had 2 Calgarian’s (Mark Thomas and Darryl Mekachuck). Congrats to the boys!
Tomorrow is the 45 km skate race for the men, 30 km for women and then the same on Friday for the classic style.
Lake Louise Loppet
Phil Widmer, pictured above, was the overall winner of the Lake Louise loppet. With a time of 1:10:32 in the 20K, no other skier was within 10 minutes of him. Full results
It’s always fun to watch Ian Clarke cross the finish line with the pipe in his mouth.
It was a beautiful day today when Cheryl and I skied on the Ribbon Creek trails. Tracks were in great shape after being groomed yesterday, but the snow was a bit on the wet side. Wax was just barely working(I used Swix violet rated for zero degrees). I didn’t realize that Ribbon Creek had been groomed all the way to the bike rack, so we skied out as far as the tracks go. Shouldn’t go any further anyway because of avalanche danger.
We skied on Hidden, Ruthie’s, Troll Falls, Ribbon Creek, Kovach, Terrace. It’s been a thrill everytime we’ve descended the last 700 metres on Terrace this year. There’s no better way to finish a day of skiing. That stretch of trail is so much fun on the great conditions we’ve had this winter.