Ages ago, we did “two day pursuits” quite regularly. For some reason, it was eventually decided that these should be replaced by the “one day pursuit”, and finally, by the “continuous pursuit”. Now, we have the three day “mini-tour”, which this weekend at Mt. Orford, was essentially the same as the original two day pursuit, with the addition of a very short classic race to start things off. More simply, on Friday, we did a “prologue” of 2.5kms (women) and 4kms (men) in classic technique. On Saturday, we did a very old fashioned 10km individual start classic race. On Sunday we did 15km (women) and 20km (men) pursuit start skate events, with the start order being determined by the cumulative times of the first two races, as well as bonus seconds awarded for the prologue.
The races were very well organized, the courses were in excellent shape and provided great variety and scenery. They get a personal “hats off” from me for having us race a 10k on a SINGLE LOOP! To read more about my thoughts on this topic, see my old article here: http://www.xcottawa.ca/articles.php?id=948. The weather was close to perfect, and the races had great atmosphere, managing to be both very competitive and fun at the same time.
XC Ottawa performed its annual weekend without its designated number one wax man, John Suuronen. Stepping in to fill this considerable void were Anna Geiger-Whitlock and Justin Demers, who did a superb job. Big thanks to them. Thanks as well to John for waxing and structuring all the test skis ahead of time, and for providing a specific waxing guidebook for the Mt. Orford weekend, which we did our best to follow.
Occasionally, some of us racers did make mistakes that the professional techs wouldn’t (“ …..damn, we just rilled all the skis with the V pattern in the wrong direction. Is it better to leave it that way, or run it again in the right direction to make a diamond pattern?”). Overall, however, with the abovementioned help, we managed to have good skis overall for the weekend.
It was interesting to note how the three quite different race formats meant that more or less everyone got to do at least one race they really liked, and also at least one that they didn’t. Personally, I now have a distaste for the 4km classic distance. But that’s fine. I loved the 10k classic on a single loop, and the 4 X 5km 20k skate was hard and fun in close to equal proportions.
The next mini-tour is only 2 weeks away. The name is the Eastern Canadians. The host is Skinouk. The venue is Nakkertok. It will be good.
If you’re into that kind of thing, results from this weekend are here: http://www.zone4.ca/results.asp?id=3503
Here are some pictures, all courtesy of Anna:
Katie and Vesta ready to start the classic race.
Vesta, powering to the finish in the classic race.
Anna enjoying her ski after all her hard work preparing our skis.
Anna's domain for the weekend
Sheila, ready to go in the handicap skate race.
Brittany and Liz about to start the skate race.
Megan getting started in the skate race.
Vesta and Katie at the tip of the V for the skate race.
And they're off.
Megan lapping through with Myriam, Caroline and Sofia (all Quebec skiers).