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Conquering the Peaks of Lake Placid on Four Wheels
By:  Liza Rozina   (2012/10/13)


A mere couple of weeks, right after the intense XCOttawa Lake Placid training camp, a few of the girls on the team decided they haven\'t had enough of the mountains. Kyla Vanderzwet, Ingrid Hagberg, and I along with Holly Jones from the Carleton Ski Team, headed to the NYSEF Climb to the Castle skate rollerski race  on Saturday, September 15th, 2012. Located in Wilmington, New York, the race involved a 700m vertical climb over 8km to the top of Whiteface Peak, the 5th highest mountain in the Adirondacks. The field very competitive field featured several members of the USA National Ski and Biathlon teams. There were nearly 30 women racing.

Even though race morning revealed a significant cloud at the base of the mountain, along with damp, chilly air, we were unfazed by the dreary weather. Pre-race jitters and excitement were in the air, even though some of us may have had several wipe-outs during the warm-up. The wet pavement and sand at the side of the road were a bad combination, but everyone made to the start line, without too much trauma.

During the race, as altitude increased, so did the chilling wind, rain, and fog, but we persevered through a challenging race that can only be compared to the prestigious final hill climb in the Tour de Ski. The climb was so steep that burning quads and suffering lungs were a constant presence. Pavement was rough and slick with rain, but we managed to keep up our balance and good spirits, and got through the race without too many close calls. After a long, arduous climb, we were eventually greeted by the sight of the Whiteface Castle at the very top, barely visible through the thick fog. Even through the fog, it was a pretty cool sight. The warm radiator was an even more welcome sight, and we spent quite a bit of time warming up next to it.

The results of the race were the following: I finished 11th in the Women’s field with a time of 57 minutes, 30 seconds. Kyla Vanderzwet was close behind in 12th with a time of 57:42. Ingrid Hagberg was 16th in 1:00:17 and Holly Jones came in 22nd at 1:03:42. The results can be found here.

Cold and tired, we were pretty pleased with our solid efforts that day, but not quite satisfied with the pain, suffering, and soreness endured during the climb. Shortly after the race, and as the weather slowly began to clear up, we headed out for a short hike in the Adirondacks.

At the top of our route, we were finally rewarded with the clear sight of the Adirondack mountain peaks.

Interesting Reading. . .
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