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Racing at Lappe Nordic 2011- Trials for pretty much everything
By:  Matthias Purdon   (2010/11/10)

The first big races of the new year are at Lappe Nordic in Thunder Bay this season. Combine a challenging course and that these races are qualifiers for World Junior, U23 and Senior championships, as well as for the Ontario race team for Canada games and most racers, including me, are getting a bit nervous. If you are nervous about these races this article is for you! Take the stress off and read on...

For this article I picked four themes that are unique to the Lappe ski center. The first two themes may be a source some anxiety while the last two are something to look forward to. The idea of the article I guess is to remind you of the good things in store, while making you less anxious about the things that might be tougher.
So here they are:

1) Cold- Thunder Bay in winter is cold. I remember doing a short morning run before some races at Kamview and having tears from the cold freeze on my eyelashes so much I could barely open my eyes. Racing in the cold isn't all that bad but its going to be early in the season and we want to be prepared! Remember to cover your neck, and get a cool hat that is warm enough and covers your ears. If you feel like complaining just think about the look in this humiliated birds eyes... It certainly has the right idea with that scarf and hat though.

2) Grunt- this is the name of the last climb on the distance courses at Lappe. It is seriously steep and comes right after another seriously steep and long climb. If you're in a pack going up this hill there is a good chance you will exceed your previous high water mark for pain in a race. You should come up with a good positive thought or image for the crest of this hill when its "do or don't make the team". Or you can Google image search grunt and find this... These are grunt fish- Maybe you can be the one with his or her spikes up?

3) Pancakes- Any successful mental preparation for races at Lappe involves some consideration of the delicious Finish pancakes the cafeteria at the lodge offers. How many will I eat after my last day? Will they be icing on the cake of success or will they console my failed ambitions? Either way they will be delicious...

4) The Saunas are underrated at Lappe. Nothing beats a sauna session after a long three days of racing. Try not to think about this though when you get up in the morning for the 2 times 15km pursuit and its minus 25!

Thanks for reading! And good luck to everyone getting ready for these races!

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