Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunday River Nor-Am: Part 1

From the bottom of the triple at the Barker Lodge
I am half way done with my first race series of the season. Most people choose to start the season with low-key races.... I... ummmmm... didn't.
I am currently at the Nor-Ams in Sunday River. For those of you who are not ski racers, Nor-Ams are formally North American Cups. They are, in a nut shell, the most competitive races in North America aside from the World Cup races that are hosted once or twice a year.
Basically, I said "What the heck?" and jumped right in. Now, I'm not going to tell you I skied fabulous or did anything spectacular. As much as I'd like to say that, it would be way too positive, even for me.
The first two days have been GS (Giant Slalom). This particular course is pretty long. At its fastest it's about 1 min 14 seconds, but it's usually around 1 min 20 seconds.

At the finish
Now, I assume if you aren't a skier, this might seem short. Here is my genius analogy. Have you ever sprinted for a minute or more? Think that plus a frozen throat and burning quads. It's a GREAT feeling. :-P
So on Day 1, things actually went pretty well until I got my arm hooked in a gate. Note to self: Give yourself some room at the gate. I was in 28th at the first split. I started 63rd, so that would have been quite a jump if I had kept it up. However, I ended up with some fabulous bruises.

On Day 2, I finished both runs. That was the goal. I really wanted to use these races as training because I haven't much time on GS skis. Considering I was racing against girls who have raced World Cups and that most of them have been training non-stop since August, (I had 3 days of GS training going into Day 1) it was pretty good. I ended up 40th. I'm fairly certain that is my best Nor-Am finish ever.
Aside from the racing, there is a social aspect to ski racing. My friend, Rikke, is from Norway, but is here doing the Nor-Am circuit and killing it (by the way). I met here when I was training with Treble Cone Race Academy down in New Zealand this summer. (To see posts from that trip, check back in my posts to July/August of 2010 or check out my travel blog.)

Maine Lobster
Yesterday, I was headed to dinner at my hotel with Rikke and her mom. One of the girls from the Alberta ski team invited us to join them at her condo for lobster. Now, from the picture, you can see that I mean which got our own lobster. We had to crack them and everything. I've never done that before. It was also really nice of the Alberta girls to invite me in when I haven't met them before this trip. It was also nice to hang out with them since I am up here by myself. I do have help from GMVS. (Thanks, Micah!) However, it's still hard to be without my team. It's a comfort thing.

So now I'm getting organized for tomorrows SL. If you are bored, you can tune into Live-Timing --> http://bit.ly/gDf3t2. It starts at 10:00 am.
Otherwise, I'll update you when I'm back at school!


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