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PenguinMan Report #4 - Pulling the Fridge.
By:  Gino Ainsley   (2008/04/02)


I wanted to do a 100km ski this season and the PenguinMan event seemed perfect to end the season before cycling races starts. I had no real objectives other than not killing myself doing it. A few friends of mine were also participating and given the weather, this was going to be a great day.

I soon realized right after the start that some people indented to do the event at a fairly good pace. I found myself with Yves Deguire, Jean-Christophe Vialaret, Martin Scrive and Marcus Boyle in front. Marcus was setting the pace being about 20 meters in front of us. We completed the first lap and I still felt great. At P8, J-C and Marcus quickly crossed the road and continued. Yves and I stopped at the car to get a drink. We are on 5H45-pace so thatís pretty good. So 25 down, 75 to go!

We start to the second lap and at the top of Penguin we see J-C. Marcus must be a bit ahead because we cannot see him anymore. We catch up to J-C after Champlain and the 3 of us complete the second lap. I am still feeling great and so are my companions. 50km completed - I stop at the car, get something to eat and drink a little. I also take a new pair of skis. I quickly realize that I should have probably kept my original skis Ė the new pair is not as good, oh well, itís not terrible though. 50 down, 50 to go!

Same story goes on the third lap, J-C leaves before Yves and I and we catch up somewhere on #1. The 3 of us will complete the third lap. Near the end of the third loop, I start feeling a little hungry! HumÖ did I eat and drink enough in the first 75km? The answer would soon be told. Up until then I was feeling really good. At the end of that third loop, the first signs of fatigue started showing. Again, a stop at the car to get something to drink and off we go - chasing J-C again!

Yves and I then start the fourth loop together again. Oups, things are not going so great anymore for me. I struggle in Penguin and Yves is still going strong Ė I let him go. I just canít sustain the pace at this point. Yves will eventually catch J-C and they will ski together. I struggle on #1 while feeling sorry for myself. It seems that I am pulling a fridge. I then meet a familiar face Ė I am not the only one pulling a fridge. Near Huron, I pass (very very very slowly) Marcus and the look on his face tells everything. We are both in trouble. Good thing a group of 95-year-olds were not skiing that day, they would have left us in the dust. Together we make our way to #24. I have to stop to eat something; my legs are not cooperating anymore. At that point every step is a struggle. Near Champlain, I take another 2-minute pause and eat the rest of my bar. Then after this 45 minute break-down, I start feeling a little bit of energy coming back. Itís probably the feeling horses have when they are near the stable. Of course, the course from Champlain to the bottom of Fortune is essentially downhill, so no real exploits here but I am feeling better, much better than 30 minutes before. I feared the stretch from P9 to P8 but everything is going great again. Well as great as you can feel after 100km!!! I even finished with a little sprint to impress Marcus who had arrived a couple of minutes before me.

So despite losing about 15 minutes in the fourth loop, I still clocked 5H55 or 5H56. I think my sudden decline is due to lack of proper feeding in the early laps. Something to keep in mind for next year! It was a great event and I hope we continue this in the future.

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