Eastern Cup #2: A Learning Experience

Last weekend, the NENSA Eastern Cup's Maine Weekend was held in Farmington, Maine at Titcomb Ski Area. I left home Saturday morning at 5:00 in order to get to the mountain for course preview, for which I slept most of the way north.

The first day was a 1.6 km classic sprint qualifier, which was for the afternoon sprint heats. My time of 3:24.79 was good enough for 102nd place, but not enough for the final heats.

Men's Sprint Quarterfinal

The big challenge, and the learning experience, came day 2 during the 12km skate: an 8 lap ordeal that could have gone better for me. The temp at the start had risen from -4 degrees (F) to a balmy 7 by 1pm. The race started out fine, and was going well til around lap 6. That day, I was feeling strong, to the point of arrogance. I neglected to drink anything that day, and it took 6 laps to kick in. I stopped twice that lap: once in the woods to dry heave, and another to talk to my coach about the possibility of a DNF. He told me to keep going, and lap 7 was the same thing... stop, heave, go, stop, put my poles on, lap 8. I was feeling better by that point, and powered through the final lap, finishing 7 seconds behind the guy I've been chasing since freshman year. Had I not stopped, I would've beaten him. Even with my rather painful performance, I still managed to pull out a 100th place finish.
12km - Lap 5
12 km - Lap 6


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