This past weekend a fleet of local cyclists turned skiers headed north(ish) to Seeley Lake, for the annual OSCR 50k. Naturally, the crew was mangy, with the likes of Radley, Brian, Joel, Jeffro, Ms. Carim, KG, Laurel and myself in attendance. Having not ski raced in over six years, I apprehensively committed to racing the night before after a few beers and a healthy dose of peer pressure.
We woke up early Saturday morning, packed up the cars and chugged up to Seeley Lake. After registration, a few trips to the ol' port-a-loo, a gel or two and some last minute hyperventilation fits, I was ready to race.
We all lined up, partook in a bit of nervous chatter, and after a shot gun blast, we were off!
After navigating through raging rapids of poles, skies, and tightly spandexed bodies, I found myself in 4th behind Zack Strong.
I knew from past experience that his namesake describes him well and felt if I stayed with him I could be in the running. The course was brutal, with soft snow underfoot, we climbed for 25k to the top of a ridge far from anything. By this time, I had dropped Zack while he shed some clothes and was skiing more or less alone.
Over the next hour or so, I would bonk then unbonk, get lost, rebonk, get passed, get passed a few more times, experience complete bio-mechanic shutdown, and eventually, drag myself to the finish in 7th. Zack played it smart and flew by me with a kilometer or so to go.
Whilst I was in a complete state of delirium at the finish, the race of the year was unfolding behind me. Jeffy, Brian, Laurel and Shaun were in a heated battle. In the end, Jeff came out the victor, barely holding off a late charging Laurel at the finish line, Brian followed and Shaun, who veered way off course, pulled in a few minutes later.
I'm sure Jeff would like to thank the infamous Joel Brown for his one and only "Hot Bacon Aid-Station" at the 40k mark. That crispy, cured pork undoubtedly gave him the fuel needed to hold off Laurel in that final kilometer.
After a hot bowl of chili and cornbread, we headed home with sore legs and droopy eyes.
Nice work everyone,