Thursday, February 25, 2016

Another Speed Skating Race Report

This time a picture!

There I am just starting the 3000m mass start event. But first things first.

The day started out much warmer than last week's race. This time the wind was a head/tail win and not a cross wind which was nice. But the warmer weather and rain we had received during the week made the ice quite soft and took away the snow piles in the corners.

The day before i was trying to go hard in the corners during training and fell. Nothing major, just a slip with no consequences, but it did give me a little hesitation during the race because without the snow piles, you basically go onto a gravel area and into a fence. Ouch.

Anyway, first race up for me was the 500m Olympic style race. I was facing off against Greg this week. I decided to really go for the start and once given the go I was off, running awkwardly down the ice and quickly into the lead. But then my less than stellar cornering combined with the desire to not fall lead to me falling behind pretty quickly. I kept up slightly on the back stretch but Greg easily pulled away in the second corner. The push to the finish was on wobbly legs, as is always the case in the 500m and I crossed the line in 1:01.71. While I felt like it was my worst race in the 500m of the year, it turns out my horrible awkward skating style still managed a PB time by 4 seconds. I guess that running start of mine actually did some good.  Overall I was 13th out of 25 skaters. Mid pack seems to be my finishing place this year in that race.

Then onto the 300m  mass start. Mass start requires  little more safety equipment (check out my cool Kevlar ankle protectors). It also requires some guts for the glory. You need to be bold at the start of the race and I certainly was not. We all started quickly together and I was right on the tail end up in the group until another skaters barged in at the corner. I got stuck there for a moment and then repassed on the straight. Unfortunately I lost contact with the skaters in front by that time.  I opted to be conservative with my speed for the race lasts quite awhile but still tried to catch up to the skater in front for a draft. I just couldn't make that push through though and by the last couple of laps my legs were dying.

I pushed as hard as I could on the last lap with wobbly legs and crossed the line in a time of 7:41.74. 7th out of 8 in my group. And seeing as this was my first 3000m, a PB I guess. Hopefully next season I can blow that away.

One more race I know about coming up this weekend. Another 10K marathon skate. I look forward to it and trying to beat my old time. We'll see!
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