A somewhat last minute decision I was lucky to toe the line at the 2013 Re/Max Ski2Sea as my first race of summer. A iconic world class event only in the Okanagan with six legs teams of up to seven people (or as a solo) race from the slopes of Big White to the waters of Okanagan Lake. The race consists of Alpine and Nordic skiing, Mountain and Road cycling, Running and Paddling. Three weeks ago Ski2Sea veteran and dear friend Dustin asked me to be apart of the Trashletes as the Nordic skier.
I was fortunate enough to get a lots of skiing in this winter thanks to friends like Bradley and Travis giving me rides to the trails. I have no never felt so strong on skis. Physically I felt strong because of two weeks in the lab as a participant for a research study. I haven't skied so hard this year, hands down. Firstly, this was in part because of the soft snow conditions. Like uber soft. I wish had a pair of Salomon S-Lab SG (next year... next year). Also I was skiing at 5,000ft as opposed to the typical 2,000ft of Edmonton Alberta as very noticable. So in an attempt to remedy these things I want to improve some things for next year. Technique; needs improvement, knowing where to 1 skate, where to 2 skate, skiing offset on my weak side. Get contacts. Glasses fog up way too fast. All in all I went balls out. Next season is looking like I will have my own car to get to the trails so I will be able to see more then three times a week.
The announcement went out that the race had started so I knew our Alpine Trashlete, Cory, was going to be quick. He was stellar and finished 3rd. Cam was the runner (running the timing chip from the Alpine skier to the Nordic Skier) and was able to jump us up to 2nd in the short distance. Yelling our codeword he came sprinting around over the bridge and dove head first. He slid to my legs in order to attach the timing chip to my leg. We then learnt that it was meant to be around my wrist. two second later I was out of transition and trying to catch the kid in first. And it was a kid, skiing for his dad's team, teachers from KLO Middle. He was so fast and light on his feet, I didn't catch up to him.
I have never been in this position before, getting the chip in a podium spot at the start of the race. 3rd was right on my heels from the get go. Unfortunately I went down in the first corner (soft snow, stiff skis with a short ski on my right foot going into a sharp right bend). I stayed with this guy for maybe 1/3 of the course. At that spot is when the taste of blood starts to creep up into my mouth and I was gasping for air. 2/3 of the course I got passed by an old dude with the most awesome of ski pants from the mid 80s with fluorescent pastels. I felt so heavy from the lack of oxygen. Also not having the greatest technique also makes things difficult. On the finishing hill the snow was softer then sand. I was past halfway up the hill and to really make things worse I stuck a ski tip into a snow bank and tripped up. I really need contacts, because foggy glasses means you can not see anything.
As I crossed the line, I was told that the mountain bike leg had been cancelled due to safety. We had to wait then drive down to the transition for the start of road bike. Dustin's ride was cold and snowy to say the least. It was snowing through out the whole Joe Rich valley. This is when the Ski2Sea is really exciting because as you are driving down you can see how the race is playing out. Because of the re-start, they were not able to get the positions right. As a result you didn't really know where you were in relation to the other teams. But this was solved by the timing chips, takes some extra maths but all is good in the end. Our runner Mike ran a solid 15km for 1:06 to the paddlers Ned and Cam who brought us in to the finish.