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.


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.