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Bonk Series: 2002 Keskinada
By:  Megan McTavish   (2005/02/16)

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In 2002 I had entered the Keskinada 50km skate for the second time. Theday before was beautiful and the tracks were reasonably hard and well set as we tested our skis and got ready for the big race. When we woke up the next morning, we found that over a foot of snow had fallen overnight. I definitely wouldn't choose soft snow as a favourite condition but I wasn't too worried about it. The groomers did their best, but with a 50km course and not much time I think they made it around once and there was at least half a foot of fresh snow on top of the set section that went down the middle of the parkway. Going up Pink Lake, people were all skiing up the middle with the odd brave racer battling the snow on the sides to get ahead. I remember thinking that they might regret that later!

Once we reached the highest section of the course, the snow was at its deepest and I was starting to feel pretty tired. I had a cramping problem in my calves early in the race but luckily that had disappeared. I was feeling ok as I headed back down the parkway to the tee intersection at Mica where we turned to head home and then I started feeling really tired. Every hill was a challenge to keep going hard, but I continued to push through it....maybe that was my problem all along? I was wasting a lot of energy pushing against the soft snow rather than being light on my feet.

As I approached Gamelin I started to feel better, we were almost done! I saw a friend of mine ahead and caught him just before we turned to head back up to the start/finish area. I could tell that he was having a rough time in the soft snow, I usually wouldn't be anywhere near him! That made me feel a bit better, sometimes its good to know that someone out there is feeling worse than you. I skied past him and turned onto the bike path to head up Mont Bleu hill. As I approached it, my friend caught back up to me and we both paused to take a final drink before the last 2 km. We were so tired that instead of drinking on the move, we stopped. This was a big mistake! It was so hard to start moving again! At this point he took off on me, although I'm quite sure he wasn't moving fast at all. I struggled up the Mont Bleu hill at a snails pace quickly losing sight of him and being rapidly passed by others. That last 2kms felt longer than the rest of the entire race put together. Somehow I made it to the finish line and at that point I decided that I did not like racing in soft snow! Karl, however, obviously liked the conditions since that was the year that he won the race.

 
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