The Scumshine 5000 was the first long course race on my lighter race setup, and only the sencond long course race that I have done. I was pretty pumped for the week leading up.
In support of the ski patrollers and the rest of the staff, I refused to pay the $66/$45/$26.44 (all +GST) that they wanted out of me for a ride to the Goat's Eye base for the start; instead I opted to skin up the ski out and add the money saved to my Little Big Planet 2 fund.
Instead of giving a long, drawn out, blow by blow, tri-geek/Cat5/Novice style, overanalyzing race report, I will give you a summary:
Course: The course was pretty fun. More low angle skinning, but otherwise a good balance of long/short/steep etc, and the course provided a good tour of the resort, while preventing encounters with the paying public. The descents were not ridiculously technical and the snow was good.
Gear: Since I am new to this style of racing and have not put too many miles on my gear, I am expecting some hiccups. Boots were awesome, but I need to make sure the levers on my boots are engaged! The skis had just been tuned by MT and were very predictable. I had some skin failure early on (I shouldn't have left my skis w/ skins outside before the start!). I found that the "middle" climbing aid on my bindings was too high, so I skinned the whole race with no climbing aids (heel on ski mode).
Engine: I was sitting pretty good off the start, until I blew a skin. I lost some time there, but the gap continued to increase through the race. I barely fended off the cramps on the last climb. Maybe a little more fuel (water, gel, etc.) required.
Technique: My transitions need some work to be competitive. I really stuggled on the last climb as it was steep and slick with lots of kick turns. I didn't have anyone to compare my descending to; the legs were burning, but I felt in control, so I obviously was not going fast enough!
TSN turning point: I was in contact with the last group of national team members near the top of the first climb, but one of my skins blew off my ski, so I had to stop and put another one on. I was rattled, lost some time, and crashed on the first descent where I needed to carry speed when one of my boot levers did not engage. This caused the initial gap, but I would lose more time on the climbs and the descents as the race went on. I got beat by faster racers...
In terms of placing, this is exactly where I thought that I would probably finish. There's room for improvement, so hopefully that gap can come down...
The Rx: MORE everything
I am probably the youngest skimo racer in North America who has the balls to rock a onezie. This is good, as I am sure that most people wish they had started racing at an earlier age...
MT raced the short course, got 2nd place, and collected some swag. Steve and my parents cheered me on, using the lifts to follow me around the course, keeping me pumped! We also had an unreal descent to the bottom at the end of the day!