Long Drives for a short Carnival - Bates and Colby @ Quarry Road

Well, the carnival season is upon us, and things got off to a very interesting start. Our first weekend, the Bates College Carnival, is usually supposed to be at the historic Black Mountain of Maine. But unfortunately, due to a few days of warm and rain, the race was moved a few hours away to Quarry Road, home of the Colby College Nordic Team, and, you know,  my first ever collegiate race.

After leaving training camp at Sleepy at 8:30, we arrived at the venue at 3:30 for our course preview. The course in question was a 1.4km loop to be used for both the sprint and 10km races this weekend. Oh boy.

Many laps were skied, and the course looked the same each time. One big uphill out the start, followed by a descent through a field, then back up to the stadium.

Day one went about as expected, with classic sprinting not quite my forte. At the end of the qualifier, I sat in 79th. Oh well, I was more focused on the 10k the following day.
No Classic Sprint Photos at the request of myself.

For the '10'k, we skied six laps of the short course, so it ended up being much closer to 8.5km. There was also snow. A lot of it. That, coupled with much traffic, resulted in the course quickly devolving to sugar, so it was a battle as to who could better balance light feet up the climbs and power through the field. In the end, I could do neither, and ended up 45th. I also couldn't see.
T'was a bit snowy...

We returned home eventually, and then came back the next weekend for the Colby Carnival!!!

This time around, we had a fun 15k Classic Mass Start, followed by Freestyle Team Sprints! New things!

The classic race actually went pretty well considering I had been sick for three weeks leading into it (oh yeah, that was a thing). I tried to keep a fairly even pacing for it, and ended up finishing the three lap race (full race course!!) in 51st overall (45th collegiate). I hung with a good group the whole time, and nobody passed us!

Then, it was time for the most serious race of the weekend. The race to determine no NCAA points, but still saw teams out testing fleets of skis. That's right, the Team Sprint. Two people, three laps each, 18 minutes of madness.

Liam and I partnered up to lead St. Mikes to a 26th place finish, which we'll take considering neither of us are sprinters.
 The course was the Colby Sprint Loop, different than the previous week's course in the addition of another climb and descent. Three times.

 It was a fun race in the end. Not very often do we get races that stray from our usual routine, so it was nice to be able to not take one as serious.

We're in an off week this week, back next weekend at UVM/Trapp Family Lodge!


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