The second race was at Ragged Mountain on February 6. I didn't do so hot. After the race I wasn't feeling as jazzed about the whole idea of uphill racing. Earlier today was the third race of the series at Whaleback and I'm jazzed up again. My enthusiasm may slightly have to do with my results, but not entirely. I'll slog through a quick report of the second race at Ragged.
I went into the second race at Ragged feeling pretty pumped up. I even preregistered! Which meant I spent an extra $2.50 due to runreg.com's fee. There is no day of charge. Doh! Ragged is about an hour away. Jesse Norris picked me up at the crack before the crack of dawn. I drank coffee, talked kid stuff and bikes with Jesse, and pondered domination for the day.
That morning (February 6) was very cold. Unfortunately, it had not been cold leading up to the race. So I hadn't been skiing much and the trail we were supposed to go up on at Ragged had been closed down. The race director, Chad Denning, changed the race course because the planned course was too dangerous. What was an ascent up a green circle became an ascent up a blue square and much steeper trail, though I had no idea as I got a front line starting spot.
The gun went off and I cooked it along the flats with some runners and the other skate skier. First race I held back and had to go around too many people. I thought I'd take a different strategy at Ragged. We got through the false flats and hit the vertical. Lactate, lactate, lactate BAM! And I am herringboning (not a word) because I can't move the skis without sliding backwards.
I watch the runners and the skate skier (Bill McGandy) move up and away from me. I tried to move up the hill with my skis in a V and my knees almost touching the hill. I even missed a pole stroke. I kind of looked like this guy except with skis strapped to my feet and not at all intentional. Lots of people came around me. Was it skills or strength that were lacking? Probably both. McGandy kept skiing up the steep, but I just couldn't get forward movement.
The top finally came, but I was defeated. I cruised down the slope mostly in a snowplow. I had become a complete wuss after my pathetic attempt at getting uphill. I came in 17th overall. But I came in 2nd for the track ski division even though I finished four minutes behind the leader after only being a minute behind him at the first race. Still fun, but a classic case of squashed hubris. I thought I had a chance for glory that day.