Andrew Wynd qualifies for the World Championships again!
By: Team XC Ottawa (2008/08/23)
Last weekend on the other side of the world an XC Ottawa alumni qualified for his second World Championships. Andrew had a grreat 10km skate race in the Australia New Zealand Cup. Here's Andrew's account of the weekend events..
Well what a weekend in NZ. The sprint was the usual foul up for me, but I actually felt like I was moving better and it was more of a warm up for the following day. As each day went by, I caught up on more sleep, adjusted more to the 1800m altitude and felt better and better.
I woke up on Sunday morning knowing this was going to be the best chance to ski under 120 FIS points. With a new change to the FIS point system (avg. of best 3 from top 5 finishers now, instead of losing the best and worst points and avg. of remaining 3) this made about 10 points difference. Furthermore, the Japanese skiers are certainly skiing fast, but they did not reduce their overall training load, which made them not quite as sharp. Bring in McKeever to the mix, Ben Sim skiing fast and the penalty was under 50!!! I knew I had to ski under 2 minutes behind and that should be enough to make it.
I started hard, but controlled and skied a solid first lap with enough in the tank to keep the laps consistent. I got a split from Finn (Marsland, Australian National Team Coach) at the 8 km mark saying I was dragging back some time on those ahead of me, dug deep, pushed to the limit and skied 1:57 behind. That was good enough for a World Cup wild card start and enough to qualify me for the next World Championships in Czech Republic, 2009!
I must admit I am a bit shell shocked given I have only been training about 6-8 hrs/week and struggling to balance work, life and training. That being said I feel my base of training in Ottawa and technique developments under John's guidance are the main factors in me still skiing fast. It really is typical of the FIS point system when I was in way better shape last December in Canmore and I couldn't ski under 120 points, yet now in NZ, tired and struggling to hit peak shape, I ski something like 102 FIS points???
So now to think about training for 2009 Worlds and another overseas trip. I have already toyed with the idea of training in Ottawa or Canada for 2 weeks prior to going to the Czech Republic, so I will keep you posted. I also have to come up with some way of getting into World Champs shape whilst juggling work!! Arrgghh lots to think about, but at least some time to plan for it too.
Right now, national champs are next weekend and then the Hoppet the following weekend. Then start training again... who would have thought.