This past weekend a couple of us made who were finished exams (or didnít have them at all in my case!) headed to Duntroon Highlands for the first Ontario Cup of the season. With sprint skate races on Saturday, and a distance skate race on Sunday, and a lot of snow, the conditions were excellent.
On Saturday, the qualifying time round for everyone took place in the morning, and then heats in the afternoon. Matthias and myself raced Saturday, qualifying in 2nd and 5th respectively (full qualifying times here http://www.zone4.ca/results.asp?ID=3284&cat=all). After a lunch and nap break, the afternoon was the heats, with some exciting and fast paced action; although not really a sprinter, I enjoyed not one, but two heats (Quarter Final and B Final) where I carried my momentum from the culvert hill up the hill before the finish to pull even with the person in front of me. Both times I didn't quite get my boot ahead; time to work on the lunges! (I suspect being on the side closer to the officials might also help!). Matthias took a more commanding approach, advancing through all his heats for a 2nd place finish (full results http://www.zone4.ca/results.asp?ID=3282&cat=all).
Overall, it was definitely a sprinting day ; after each qualifier, it was right back to the start line to go again, and the course was nice and fast.
The next morning, it was back for an early 9 am skate mass start. The course was 10 km; 3 times around the 3.3 km loop, which I heard has the maximum amount of climb for a womenís 10 k under FIS regulations, which my legs definitely felt by the last lap.
The mass start went off well, as I avoided crashes, and got into a good position with two others at the front of the pack, and we worked our way around the course, leading at different times, until the last lap when the hills took a toll and we pulled apart, and I crossed the finish as the 2nd senior women.
The men's race was on the same course, and they started 5 minutes before the women, meaning that they came through to finish as we were heading out on our last lap. Its always a little hard to see others heading into the finish as you're heading out the lap lane, but when Matthias and Peter passed by me to finish 1rst and 2nd, it wasn't too bad! Full results at http://www.zone4.ca/results.asp?ID=3286&cat=all.
All round, the Duntroon race is always a good way to kick off the race season, and also give a little more motivation for training over the holidays!
Men's Mass Start with Matthias and Peter in the blue hats at teh front.† Photo Credit: Mark Dewan
Women's Mass Start - we finished in roughly the same order! Photo Credit: Mark Dewan
Leading up one of the first climbs in each lap.† Photo Credit: Mark Dewan
Matthias rounding the hairpin corner with Peter up in the woods.† Photo credit - Mr. Purdon