It was an early morning as qualification started at 9am. We arrived a quarter till eight, ready to behold what the weather had thrown at us. The night had been cold so the snow was firm, but not icy since the groomers had passed over the course sometime in the middle of the night. The big question on our minds was whether to classic or double pole on skate skis. The course was not flat, with two significant climbs where striding was undoubtably a big advantage. The kicker though was that the second half of the course was all downhill–having skate skis would surely mean a huge advantage on gliding on the long downhill. For me it was never much of a question: I am a strider and double poling up big hills was not going to do me any good. David went with classic skis as well, but Tyler and Packer opted to double pole. They made the right decision, finishing 4th and 1st respectively.
As for me, my skis were slick in the uphill and I slid on one of my kicks and broke my pole in half and had to ski a double pole section with one pole. My day of racing was done, but I was ready to see how my teammates would do. From the beginning and all of the way to the end it was clear that Rosie Brennan was going to win in the women’s rounds. This she did having never been seriously challenged.
As for the men, Eric Packer made it through to the semi finals on skate skis. After his round, however, the snow warmed up significantly and double poling became unfeasible. Unfortunately our three next qualifiers all opted for skate skis. They were all in the same quarterfinal. Though they were mid pack coming into the downhill, Tyler unceremoniously let his skis slide out from under him while David missed out on the lucky loser spot. Packer unfortunately didn’t advance to the finals either due to slick skis.
We try to put it in perspective and remember what they say: “It’s awesome to win, it’s awesome to lose!”