Monday, January 31, 2011

St. Mary's 10K Nordic Ski Race - January 30, 2011

I participated in the St. Mary's 10K Nordic Skate Race yesterday.  Pictured with me to the left are Megan and Ryan Ping the winners of the overall Women's and Men's races.  Ryan is the brother of Garrett Ping who I skied with at the The Fridtjof Nansen Ski Race on January 16, 2011.  Both Megan and Ryan were members of the CXC Ski Master's Team last year and also have skied the American Birkebeiner seven times.

The conditions were great with temperatures around -4 C, a slight wind from the north, and as I have found each time I have skied on the St. Mary's Trails, excellent grooming.  A big thanks to Gary Borash the Outdoor Leadership Coordinator at Saint Mary's University for his leadership and organization of the race.  As can be seen from the race poster there was also a 10K Classic race held earlier in the day.

I had fast skis and felt fortunate as I had not re-waxed them from last week at the Birkie Tour where temperatures were between -20 and -16 C.  The reason I had not is because I have been under the weather for the last few days and was not sure if I was going to ski the race until the morning.  I still have something going on as I sneezed the whole way back from Winona to La Crosse but felt it was still worth getting outside and enjoying a wonderful Midwest winter day.  I am feeling a lot better today as the bug I had was probably moving into the respiratory phase yesterday anyhow or so I rationalize.

My Garmin did not record the course as I must not have hit the start button as I thought I had.  My official time was 54:58 for the 10K course which was a double loop around the main trails at St. Mary's.  To show you how fast the elite skiers are, they were finishing when I was near the turn for the second loop!  Garrett was with a group of four that finished very close together and well ahead of the rest of the field.  He was 4th overall.  Ryan's time was 25:43, Megan's 28:32, and Garrett's 25:51.

I still can not get over the beauty of La Crosse and the surrounding areas.  The drive up to Winona, Minnesota along the Mississippi is very scenic even on an overcast day like yesterday.  I did not have time to take pictures of the many folks who were out enjoying ice fishing.  I certainly can understand going out and fishing but not driving my vehicle out on the ice, especially on a river where there can be a strong current underneath.  But I am not an ice fishing or even regular fishing expert.

Finally, I wanted to provide a picture of the overall winners of the St. Mary's 10K Freestyle Race without the trail sweeper.  Congratulations Ryan and Megan!

1 comment:

  1. Great article on Skate Race, Creative points to observe, should use in my future Back Office Support