Monday, January 6, 2014

Wyoming Rando Roundup, race report

I spent a long and intense two days racing at Targhee, Snow King, and Jackson.  My best race by far was at Targhee, where I finished in 11th place, just in front of Chad Bracklesburg and Stevie Kremer.  Despite a mild cold, I was able to summon most of my normal energy reserves on the first climb, and topped out in about 15th place.  After a horrible transition, the remainder of the race went fairly predictably, with three good descents and two more steady climbs.  I had quite a bit of gas in the tank for the last climb, and was able to pass Chad as his skins failed, and only loose about a minute to Stevie Kremer.  Stevie is one of the strongest ultra runners in the country, and it was inspiring to see her burning up the skin track on the last climb with a huge grin on her face.  If only I could keep such a positive outlook on life from the depths of the pain cave.  I was able to pass Stevie on the downhill and stay ahead of Chad, but there was never much of a chance of catching John Curry.

The sprint race at Snow King went predictably poorly, playing to my weaknesses of poor transitions and hatred for stupid fast starts.  But it was great fun, and I am excited to keep working away at the sprint format where opportunities arise.  Consistent transitions and stronger resolve to push hard through the entire climb would go a long way toward improving my performance.

The Jackson race was hands down my worst race performance ever.  I woke up with a worsening cold, and from the start it was clear that sickness and low energy reserves would keep me from moving at a normal pace.  Accepting my fate, I settled into an even pace, gutting it out and trying not to loose much time.  The temps and wind were extremely cold, and I was not smart enough to stop and deal with them at the sixth transition, as I should have.  As a result, even with after Nate Brown bailed me out at the top of the Corbets ladder, I arrived at Corbits cabin with mild frostbite on my nose and a depressed body temperature.  I wisely heeded Forest Dramis' advice to duck inside the cabin and warm up.  I took a full 20 minutes in the cabin to thaw out my face and fingers, and let my core temperature rise to near normal.  Once the uncontrollable shivers subsided, I went ahead and finished the course, advancing from roughly 32th place to roughly 25th during the last two descents and final climb.  Although it was wise to duck out and address the frostbite before it truly set in, the entire race experience was a good reminder to keep working on a more smart and measured approach to racing, as a 2 minute stop to cover my face with a buff and don a jacket would have provided sufficient protection in the cold conditions.

Thoughts
  • Even with a mild cold, it was still worth showing up and toeing the line with so many fast skiers.  There are more and more middle of the pack racers every year, and it is fun to have a whole new set of people to battle with.
  • Stage races are fun. Why not indulge in 14,000 vertical feet or so of racing, given the opportunity?
  • I am excited to race again this year when I am 100% healthy.
  • Thanks again for all the race organizers and volunteers who made all three races happen, especially the volunteers who braved the extreme cold at the Jackson race.
  • I am excited to ski powder this weekend with Missoula friends.  Anyone in?
race results can be found here.

2 comments:

  1. Will you be heading up for the whitefish whiteout?

    ReplyDelete
  2. No. Touring conditions are too good right now.

    ReplyDelete