This was a huge season for me. I made some big leaps towards where I want to be with my skiing, and found even more things to work on and look forward to for next year.
This year, the SLU Carnival played host to the EISA Championships, as well as being the NCAA Preview for those who qualified.
The weekend kicked off with a 10km Skate for the men, held on the notorious 1980 Olympic Trail "Ladies 5k." This course features a twisting 1.5km downhill, with athletes reaching speeds of 60km/hr, only after a 3.5km long climb, with a total climb of around 180m. Per lap.
This day was not my day to crack the top-40, but I was not far out. I placed 44th overall, but was only a minute out of 30th, 90 seconds to 21st. So even though the place wasn't there, the pack was so close for this one it was exciting.
Saturday, on the other hand, did not go so well. It was a 20km Classic Mass Start on the same course, and the field got really spread out. After being caught up in a crash right off the start, I played catch-up for the rest of the race, but to no avail. The adrenaline wore off after a couple of laps, and I just fought to bring it home. I ended up closing my collegiate season with a 55th place finish on what is by far the hardest course I've raced.
The next day was the Lake Placid Loppet, and though I was not racing, I still ended up skiing more than some of the racers. I stayed in LP with Silke to be her wax test/moral support as she tackled her longest race to-date, a 50km Classic.
She survived! And won a huge amount of maple syrup for being first in her age group!
And because one marathon is never enough, the following weekend, the two of us travelled to Bretton Woods for the Bretton Woods Nordic Marathon, my first long race. It was a fun race, and at the end of 42km, I was in 34th place. It was nice to be able to have a race that I could just kick it into one gear and go for a while (2:20:11.1), and not have to worry about splits or making a move, I had plenty of time.
But the season wasn't over yet! Before spring break took hold, I jumped into the 2nd annual Cochran's NordiCross Race in Huntington, VT. Last year they didn't have me in the results, so I made myself known this year.
This year I came in second overall, first in my age group, was the first collegiate skier by almost a minute and a half, and walked away with two wax irons, some chocolate, and was one of only three people to break the 10 minute barrier on this years course.
It was a good year.
I have decided to forgo this years collegiate cycling season due to something called academics and choosing to take spring training easy.
Here's to the next time.