Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017, Speed Skating and Race 1

Race 1 of 2017 was supposed to be the MEC Winter PPP race. Sadly it was postponed as a big snow storm came rumbling through the night before and made it too dangerous to get out. The race isn't canceled though, so in a few weeks we will try again.

Instead my first race this year was on the speed skating oval. The local clubs host weekly races, sometimes serious affairs and other times, like this past week, more of a relaxed fun time. These races are more practice races for the top end athletes and a chance for us casual skaters to try out what we are made of.

I signed up for the 500m and the 3000m. The style ended up being Olympic style (head to head) for the 500 and a mass stray for the 3000 (due to time constraints).

First up was the 500m, which is a lap and a straight away in length with a cross over half way through the lap. They are strict about the starting procedure, which is fun to go through. You also have to give it your all and not just race the person lined up with you as the final results are made from your time alone, not how you did in just your race. One shot and you are done.

So I lined up with James and we were soon off, with a bit of a running start to get speed in to the legs and quickly we were in the first corner.

I was totally up to speed and with James the whole first bit, but ultimately my lack of cornering ability really slowed me down and by the time we hit the final corner James pulled ahead. I pushed on the final straight and wound up with a time of 58.75. I'll have to see how that compares with last year, but I haven't been on the skates that much this year. I ended up 9th out of the 25 skaters that started (there weer 5 DNS's).

Time passed and it was almost 3000m time. The wind had really picked up and it got much colder. Being a mass start there were 6 people in my race. We got off to a start (I was in the second row) and I was keeping up with the main pack. A bobble ahead of me lead to a bobble from me and I lost quite a bit of momentum. I picked it back up and was able to stay with a couple of other racers for a bit, but by the half way point my legs were screaming and I couldn't hold a big stride anymore. I was lapped once and ended up last in my heat, but 9th out of 19 skaters that started. My time was 7:27:68.

All in all a fun, but tough morning of racing. Can't wait for more.
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