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Keski Report #4
By:  Matthew Ellis   (2007/02/22)


I was expecting a hard Keski from the reduced amount of skiing due to this seasons poor weather. I decided that doing the double 53km this year would be too much, so I chose just the 53km skate race.

I started in the C wave and I did not get myself placed very well in the wave. At this point my goal is just to stay out of harms way and convserve energy until the race spread itself out on the big climbs. 300m into the race my plans changed dramatically. In an instant, I felt pressure on my pole and it was gone. My pole was broken. I got myself in the right side of the group, then I threw the remainder of the pole to the side. I saw just up ahead people standing with spare poles. Perfect. When I got close I found out it was a local race teams support and they could not spare a pole. They mentioned there were poles available at the top of the first hill. I got to the top of the hill and there was no one. I kept my eyes open but nothing. I realized that I likely have to wait until I made my way through the stadium before I find a replacement. none there. I worked my way up thePinks lake hill probably demoralizing those I passed. at the next aid station there was no poles. I gave up hope on a replacement. I got myself mentally prepared to do 53km with one pole. I climbed all the way up to the Penguin Aid station. I was talking on the gatorade and food when I volunteer asks, "You want a pole?" I gladly took it and thankfully they had the correct length. after 17km of one pole skiing, it was time to race.

The next hill felt like a breeze. Two lovely poles helping me climb the hill. As I turn the corner onto Champlain and started working my way up the first hill I got a full leg cramp. I needed more gatorade and fast. I wondered where the next aid station was. If it was at McKenzie King I might be OK, if it was on the other side of Blacks I would not make it. At this point I had to consider just going back down Gatineau parkway and hit the aidstation and make my way to the startline. I did not want to drop out. A friendly skier stops and turns out to be a training partner. I told him my dilema. He said there is always next year.

As hard as it was, I pulled myself out of the race and headed home. It was the smart thing to do.

The race team who denide me the pole, had collected my broken pole and returned it to me with an appology that they could not not help me out.

I had a good time, and now I have an excuse to look at new poles.

Read Other 2007 Keskinada Reports..

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