With your host Anna Geiger-Whitlock
Nationals are quickly approaching and have all of XC Ottawa eagerly anticipating our trip to Whitehorse. For Lee and Colin, they are heading home for great races on familiar trails and for the rest of us, we are pumped to see Whitehorse and throw down some fantastic races as well. This will be my ninth national championships but every year still seems like a fun and exhilarating adventure.
†The preview for the week looks quite exciting. We will start off with the sprint relays on March 14th. Not to be fooled, sprint relays require a fair bit of endurance and fast recovery between both heats and laps. So although XC Ottawa has a history of being more of a distance team, look for some keen results!
Alana and Anna in last years sprint relay.
On March 16th we have an individual start short distance classic race. The women will race around a 5km course and the men will race 10km. This race is interval start so it is a chance to race the clock and post your best time.
The next day features the medium distance skate interval start. The women race 10km and the men 15km. This race is long enough that you need to watch your pacing but at the same time itís not long enough that you can make up tons on time if you start too conservatively. So we will skate our hearts and lungs out and search for saving extra seconds.††On March 19th we have the sprints. With sprints I find you are always in for a fun day regardless. If you do well, you get some intense head to head racing and you have to race with your body but not lose your head (or pole). If you donít make the heats, you get to throw down a fun quick loop in the morning usually involving at least one fun downhill and during the heats you get to watch some amazing sprinters duke it out.
The distance race comes last and is one of my favorites. The women do a 30km classic. The men, on the other hand, get to do 50km, the ultimate man race. This race is a fun challenge and a great way to wrap up the week of racing.
Throughout this competition I am hoping that there will be some time to explore Whitehorse. The whole race team, wax team and coaches are feeling confident and prepared for the upcoming competition and festivities. Check our progress†on our website as we post updates from the races. Or, you can check out www.zone4.ca for results. To find out more about the event check out www.skinationals.com/2010/en/index.shtml