Andrea and I headed up the northern Utah for the CROWBAR Ski Race last weekend. This was our first SkiMo race on our own gear - although that wasn't a huge advantage over borrowing, as we didn't really get the chance to train/practice on our new skis beforehand. Andrea's were mounted up the afternoon before the race!
Our new toys
I thought a 10 mile race with 6000 feet of climbing would suit my strengths (being an aerobic monster) and buffer my weaknesses (everything else - transitions, downhill skiing, etc). Boy, was I wrong about that! I lost so much time on the technical aspects and sort of gave up on racing relatively early in the race. I'm not proud of throwing in the towel, but I still got in a good workout and finished the course in one piece (despite a handful of crashes).
Some thoughts that Andrea and I talked about over the weekend, in no particular order...
-Getting used to the skinny skis will take some time.
-Expectation levels in competition need to be adjusted, especially for the first year of doing this. Being a faster runner than everyone else means absolutely NOTHING in SkiMo racing.
-Running is more important. It's not worth taking chances (on downhill) that would risk injury.
-I have a tendency to get frustrated and then downward spiral. I need to work on staying composed when I have technical / gear issues.
-We need to practice transitions and have a consistent system (thanks to Christian for that tip)
-These races attract really cool, interesting people. It's fun to mingle and get to know / talk to them.
-What is better than spending hours skiing around in beautiful mountains?
-SkiMo might be a sport where we enjoy the training more than the racing. That's OK. And it's OK to be more of a participant in the races instead of a top competitor. It's still a lot of fun.
We spent the weekend up in Garden City, along Bear Lake. It was really quiet up there this time of year. We had a nice dinner at the only restaurant open, and then on Sunday did a nordic-style ski to Idaho and back. The Bear River Mountain Range has a lot to offer, and isn't that far from SLC. We'll be back for sure.