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2005 National Championships Report #2: Individual Classic Race
By:  Tom McCarthy   (2005/03/01)

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Today dawned bright, sunny, and as has been the trend, very warm. The windows on our luxury accommodation face due east, and so we get the full benefit of the warm Prince George sun and its crisp, clean air. Why don't more people come vacation in Prince George? It's BC's best-kept vacation secret!

Anyway, today was the first day of individual classic racing. There is not much snow left, and the organizers have done tonnes of work, including trucking in snow, to get the course ready to rock. So the snow is very 'old'- in other words, it does not stay together, it's very granular, and there isn't much moisture in the snow- at least until it starts to melt.

The men started first and skied 7.5k. The course here in PG is pretty tough, with a couple of tough climbs and some very challenging and icy s-turn corners. The waxing was tricky- it took coach John Suuronen until close to the race to figure out what the race wax was. The dilemma (and I don't mean to get too technical) was between Vauhti Fluor Silver Minus klister (with a green base klister underneath) and a Vauhti Universal klister with a thin layer of Vauhti Fluor Red klister. The silver had been working well, but it warmed up today and the snow started moistening, so the universal ended up being the right wax- but by the time we figured that out and got the wax on the race skis, Karl had 7 minutes to his race, and Ed and David about the same. Tom, starting in back with the no-pointers, had a little bit more time. No-one tested, but we ski with faith in John, so we said a prayer and headed out.

The race was 15-second starts, so there were a lot of guys on the course. Karl and Dave had unfortunate incidents- they both fell on the tricky corners (Dave got knee-capped by another skier skidding into him, and Karl got dizzy at the top of a hill and lost his balance.) Tom and Ed were both pretty pleased with their races and they had a really good time. They both said that it hurt like crazy. Tom was also pretty dizzy at the tops of the climbs and was losing his balance, but managed to stay upright long enough to sneak into 28th place overall, only 1:37 off the lead. Ed was 21st overall, 1:24 off the lead. There are a whole pack of men around the 1:20-1:30 behind time, so the pursuit start tomorrow will be a huge show! Ivan Babikov won the race in 19:06, Dan Roycroft hopped off a plane at 9:00 and finished 2nd at 10:00. Dave Nighbor captured third with a very strong performance for the first-year senior.

The women's race was equally as exciting. Megan, our lone rep on the women's side, used her double-poling strength to rip past many of the no-pointers she started with, and finished a very strong 15th overall, only 1:28 off the lead. She took it easy on the treacherous corners because of a bum knee, but figures better safe than sorry. She is pretty happy with her race. Dasha Gaiazova won the 5k race in 15:05, 26 seconds ahead of junior Perianne Jones of Ottawa and 36 ahead of another junior, Amanda Ammar.

Other top performances by Ottawa area athletes include: Kate Brennan (Kanata) 2nd and Julie McVicar (Kanata) 12th in Jr Girls, Marita Cockburn (Nakkertok) 4th, Katrina van Wijk (Nakkertok) 6th and Daniell McVicar (Kanata) 10th in Juv. Girls, Chris Mamem (Carleton) 10th in Junior Men, John Rennie (Nakkertok) 11th and Sven Neiderhauser (Kanata) 15th in Jr Boys.

Quick preview for tomorrow: stay tuned for the Battle of the Brethren!!! McCarthy Ed and McCarthy Tom will battle it out head-to-head for clan dominance in a fierce blood feud. Contingent, of course, on Tom being able to catch the really fast train that Ed will go off with. It's gonna be a blast.

From PG, this is Tom and Ed and Karl and Dave (the Destroyer) and Megan and John signing off.

 
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