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2006 Keskinada Report #1 - Lesson learned at Keski 2006: Don’t miss the train!
By:  Gino Ainsley   (2006/02/19)


Well another cold day for the 50km Skate at the Keskinada. While gliding is not a problem in such conditions it is always tricky to figure out what to wear. In addition carrying a bottle is often useless – so I basically carried dead/frozen weight for 53K this year

This year I had set my goal to do a better relative performance than last year at the 50km-Skate in which I had arrived in 22nd position. So for a similar field, I would have been really happy to make top 15. However I was a little apprehensive about the start – given the course change, I was expecting a FAST start – and this is what happened. It felt like it anyway. I HATE fast starts - I PREFER by far slower starts like at the Keski last year and increasing tempo during the race. But you cannot always dictate your own pace otherwise you can miss the right train.

So things generally went well during the race – got an ok start and I was felling pretty good throughout the race (just a major fall in the CEGEP downhill at the very end of the race hurt a little (euphemism) – ice is hard ;).

Advice: it is better to look straight ahead – especially when 600 skiers from the 29K have already gone downhill.

I made ONE stupid mistake which probably cost me about 2 minutes in my overall time. At Keogan I took some Gatorage and when we turned on Fortune Road, I was at the rear of a group of 7 or 8 then. Major mistake it turned out to stay there when we turned on #3. Somebody fell down as we were going up in the first hill and the group split in 2 – around 30-40 meters. The rear group did not make the effort in #3 to catch the front group – also the front group seemed technically better in #3 which did not help the situation (note that I take responsibility for that too). A few guys in my group then got tired and I was left shortly after Champlain by myself. So I missed the TRAIN going down. Not a good idea to miss the train when you weight just a little over 150 pounds – with all equipment and ice on your tuque - each downhill I would see the distance increasing. At this point it is difficult to catch a group by yourself.

It seems that we learn something every race – actually this I should have learned two years ago – call me a slow learner. I am however satisfied with the race – 20th position.

Congratulations to all who completed the Keski – Special congrats to all local guys and girls which obviously includes the XCOttawa team.

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