Monday, April 2, 2012

Adventure Ski Race!

I participated in my first Adventure Ski Race (basically a Rando Rally) at Bear Valley Ski Area last weekend. Overall, I was quite pleased with the race and had a great time.

Folks at the starting line.  There were about 30 racers. And as you can see, even a splitboarder (my pride told kept me ahead of him!).

Cruising up the first climb... it felt like what I've had cyclocross races described to me as.  Pretty much red-lined it the entire race, and should've got my heart rate going a bit before the start... didn't warm up at all, and my heart rate was all over the place in the beginning.  

Check out this article from ASJ about the race.

It was a beautiful day for the race.  Not too breezy, not warm, great visibility, and cool clouds.

As in all small events, there were some misunderstandings and rules that should've been clarified: At the second check point I was told that I had to put my skins on, although it was basically flat and skating would have been much faster... which is what the two skiers ahead of me were doing.  They gained quite a bit of a lead over me here and I never caught up to them after this point.  

Second, the modified course.  I had signed up for the 11 mile Mt. Reba Classic with 4500 ft of climbing. 
But due to low snow conditions, they changed the route... our modified route was much shorter (maybe 6 miles?), didn't climb Reba (which I was looking forward to), and only had about 2500 ft of climbing.  This made it a much shorter race... a disadvantage for me. Here's the modified course:

Another disappointment was being told that the awards ceremony would take place at 2:30 pm.  I actually rode up the chair with a MAS employee who happened to tell me that I had come in 3rd (I didn't know until he told me), and that they had been looking for me as the awards ceremony already took place and I should go pick up my prize.

So yeah, I'm happy about getting on the podium (a clear winner in the non-Dynafit/non-Spandex category).  But I was hoping to win... and think I could have with an 11 mile course and a clearly marked skin on/skin off/skate section...  The win was good for a T-shirt and 2 free tickets to Bear Valley for next season.  8 min behind the winner.  I know putting on this kind of an event is very difficult, so given their low snow conditions, etc, I was very impressed overall with the folks at Mountain Adventure Seminars.

Also coincidentally, I finished at 2 hours even.  Just like my trail half marathon time at Redwoods Regional park.  What a coinkidink!

Learned a few things from doing this race:
  • Don't carry 100oz of water... (I probably only drank 5oz, as I was out of breath the whole time).
  • Warm up!
  • Start out with less layers on.  I started sweating 15 min into the race, and never had time to take off my jacket.


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