February 23, 2009

Snow Cheap Race #5 report

Just had to throw a photo of this in there. This is my college roommate of 3 years wearing a GXC shirt that on the back reads "Streaking our way across the US" because the men's and women's Geneseo XC programs often made it to Nationals and they had a tradition of streaking in the new states trying to get all 50... as you can see most of New England was already filled in. But, I digress...To let you all know, the streak is still alive. I truly believe that it shouldn't be, but I was lucky with a few things last Wednesday night.

The race was a trail race due to lack of snow, so I left the Crescent Moon's at home and brought the Kahtoohla's with me to Cobbs Hill on that evening. I was already in rough shape as that last week I crested almost 14 hours of training. So needless to say my legs were pretty smoked at the start of the race. Now the kicker of the evening came when a light snow started to fall around 5:15pm for a 6 o'clock race. Who knew that this dusting was going to have such an effect on the race?
Turns out that this dusting made a nice little blanket over all of the markers/cones that were out on the course. This added a new dimension of fun to the race as we were now tracking to see if we could even LOCATE a cone, let alone follow a trail.

The gun went off and we clomped around thru the base of Cobbs and immediately went up the nice big dirt hill leading up to the reservoir. I was letting Kurt Spacher take the lead but quickly realized that the entire group was bunching up because we couldn't locate a cone in the newly white field. There came cries of, "Anyone see a cone?" and with so many people it sounded vaguely reminiscent of a hash with other folks joking around and yelling out "beer near!".

Kurt and I tromped along though and managed to make it into the woods. Kurt was leading and on a sketchy, icy section of downhill he took a slide and his feet went right out from underneath him and I swear I almost saw his head bounce off the ground. He quickly clambered up to his feet as I passed, but I was asking him, "Man are you okay?!", and "you took a really hard hit there, you okay?" and I think he must've believed I was trying to get inside his head and freak him out, but I was genuinely concerned.

I led for a while after that and we made it out onto Washington Grove and had to walk to locate the markers for a bit. There were no headlamps in the woods behind us as we had distanced the field by a bit then. We finally located the trail again and took off. I passed Kurt in the woods and we just kinda went on until the switchbacks.
Again, as soon as I knew we were hitting the switchbacks, I turned up the heat once more and started going. I was scared to slip on the icyness, but I had faith in the kahtoohlah's and knew the spikes in them would keep me upright. I heard Kurt being a little more ginger after falling for a second time down the switchbacks and I just pumped it into the finish. This was win #5 for the series and there is only one more race left. Lucky for me, the penultimate race comes immediately after a rest week and will be a good night to see if I can sweep the whole Snow Cheap Series. (my goal from the beginning) This was a good one that I didn't think I was able to win at the start and likely probably shouldn't have, but conditions and equipment allowed me another small victory for the year. :o)

It's a rest week for me and it couldn't have come any sooner. The last 3 weeks were 12, 13.5, and 14 hours respectively so I could use the rest. Take care folks, now's the time of the season to hone in on the base miles and stay healthy. Don't overdo it, but still I implore you to get out there and JFT! Cheers.

2 comments:

Tim said...

It was another fun night and the discs were pertty tough to spot in any of the open areas. So I see that the 6 Hour snowshoe race isn't on your race calendar anymore. What happened? You didn't get a sniffle and have to bail on your friends did you? Because that would suck, you'd probably have to go out for an 8 mile run that day just to deal with the disappointment of not being able to race with your friends that day because you're sick. I mean that would be terrible.

Tim said...

Finally got around to reading your new profile. Don't worry about your affliction man. I can't whistle either. Nothing to be ashamed of.