The Weston Tuesday Night Sprints kicked off this week in typical fashion. It had rained hard the day before, followed by the Arctic blast that froze everything up. I was afraid of what the course would be all ball bearings and death cookies.
But the Weston guys, in their sturdy Pisten-Bully, ground it all up, sprayed some fresh snow on top, and we were good to go. Due to construction work, the course was different this year. They had laid out a 1.6 km course like intestines, coiled into the limited real estate that could be covered by the snow guns. We lost the ascent of Mt. Weston, bypassing instead by the right side, up a hill that proved to be more difficult than it initially appeared. There was hardly 100 meters of straight before we hit a hair pin. And, despite the good job they had done grooming, there were still boilerplates of ice hidden away under the snow.
And it was cold. 8 F with a windchill that took it to low single-digits.
I wasn’t nearly as cold as I thought I’d be during warm-up. But on the line, in the race suit, with a slight sweat from the warm up, I froze my ass off.
Then we were off.
Three laps. A short one to start out. It spread out pretty quickly. Doubts of my form faded as I skied easily in the front group. I drilled it with one lap to go, but didn’t go all in. Just enough to go clear with Frank, tire myself out, and get gapped by him coming to the finish. He skis the hard icy stuff so quick and smooth. I have to learn how to do that, too.
It was a good start to the racing season. No falls. No damaged equipment. No frostbite.