Silver Star Update: Final night race a success!
By: Team XC Ottawa (2008/12/15)
Women raced 10km (3 x loop), and men raced 15km. Although a lot of the organization seemed to be taking place at the last minute, race organizers impressed again with this event considering all the logistics they had to deal with. They even moved the start at the last minute to keep racers out of the wind.
A technical glitch did add some memorable moments for most women. The only place that lights weren't working was on a fast downhill with a high speed corner - so we skied into a tunnel of darkness on the first lap. By the third lap, thankfully, a skidoo was providing a bit of light.
XC Ottawa women had some of their best performances of the week, highlighted by Adele Lay finishing 2nd in the Junior Women Category, right behind Yukoner Janelle Greer. In the Open Women's category, Megan was 20th (9th Canadianl) and Sheila was 25th (12th Canadian). The race was won by Kristina Strandberg of Sweden racing for XC Oregon, followed by Madeleine Williams (Team Fast Tracks) and Brittany Webster (Highlands Trailblazers/National Ski Team).
The men’s event featured similar conditions, including cold temperatures, strong winds, tracks which were in some places very soft, and inconsistent visibility. According to Zach Caldwell, the result was “a bit of a tough guy’s race”, with people employing all kinds of different techniques (pretty or not) in order to complete the course as fast as possible. While the author of this report didn’t see how Dave Nighbor skied, his techniques certainly worked as he won his second race in a row. One non-traditional technique was apparently used by Robin McKeever when he ran into the day lodge mid race in order to exchange his gloves for mittens. In hindsight, Karl thinks that maybe he should have tried this because he finished the day with slightly swollen thumbs caused by mild frostbite. Despite this oversight, XC Ottawa fared well, with Colin Abbott (who was apparently as comfortable as can be thanks to his northern heritage) finishing 9th in Junior Men, and Karl 23rd (15th Canadian) in Open Men.
Thanks to some mechanical problems on a West Jest airplane,
we are currently in the midst of a 17hr trip home to