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2006 Keskinada Report #4 - 51km Classic Report
By:  Steven Paradine   (2006/02/21)


In the late fall I decided life was just too easy raising three young boys, or maybe I just needed a little escapism, so I registered for the Keskinada classic race and planned my training. With my ski coaching background I took into account my strengths and weaknesses and other life commitments and came up with a training program similar to my marathon training program.

Once a week long and hard starting at 6:30 am on Sunday mornings.

Race day - I prepared my skis with many layers of glide wax including some old Rex green and put on Rode skare special, covered with 4 layers of Vauhti green fluoro. I did a warm-up for 10 minutes including an uphill were I was happy with my grip and glide. I put three more layers of green on inside and got to the start line in time to get a good spot on the outside lane of wave B. This was a wise move based on experience since there were a few people down over the first kilometre that were easy to avoid being on the outside.

Once I got to the Parkway I knew I had made a mistake in my waxing since I felt my skis dragging while double-poling and others around me were out double-poling me - which I am not used to. However, there is not to do at that point but keep on poling. The wind going across the field 4 times was brutal but at least you knew you only had two kilometres of it before shelter or a tail-wind.

I started feeling tired quite early in the race and thought I was back in the hundreds and not the top 75 which was my goal. However, I kept drinking from my gel solution (7 gels in a water bottle) and I was staying with the people around me and it gave a confidence boost to pass the second wave of skiers on the second 9km loop - and the thought of the Keski toque kept me going! Coming back down the parkway for the last time I felt my triceps starting to seize, then my quads starting to seize and a new one for me - my stomach muscles were seizing up - then on the last uphill a hamstring started to seize forcing me to slow to a walk.

I surprised myself by ending up finishing 61st in 3:18 ahead of my goal and with enthusiasm to do it again next year (and new goals).

Oh, and the waxing mistake(s):

  1. Putting on the last three layers - especially not smoothly enough.
  2. My wax pocket was two inches shorter at the tail end - something that +50km of skiing will show you with what is worn off. With no racing recently getting the wax pocket perfect is hard to do.

Comments and suggestions for the organizers

  1. It was a well run event with great volunteers
  2. A train of skiers I was following made a wrong turn for the 1st 16km loop (turned closer to the Parkway) and later on the 16km loop it would have been very easy to go straight and miss a turn. The second time around there was a marshall and cones on the trail but it was confusing for someone who knew the area and had skied on the course beforehand.
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