Wednesday, 30 November 2011

First races

All over Europe ski resorts are struggling for snow, in what has been a very very slow start to the winter season. This has caused a few changes in the plan for myself, as the opening races in Beitostølen were canceled, and with minimum time on snow i decided to drop the world cup the following weekend.
You may remember from last year, at this time, we were experiencing extreme cold here in Geilo, with the coldest day coming in at -33 degrees Celsius. This also lead to my opening races last season being a write off. There were a few who braved the baltic temperatures and raced, but NTG had decided to give it a miss. This year, the same set of races, Bulsprinten, has been plagued by no snow. And so, rather comically, the races have been moved to Beitostølen, which couldnt run the season opener due to no snow, but now has plenty, with a 5k loop. The temperatures are forecast to be good for ski racing, around -3 to -6 and a little bit of snow about too. So things are looking good to start the racing season on saturday. Saturday is a skate sprint on schedule and sunday a 15k classic time trial. It had been a 20k mass start but yet another change was needed due to lack of snow. I think this is better for me. Mass starts are notoriously hard and a 20k early in season i tough. But with a 15k time trial you can start at your pace, focus on good skiing and have a good race without all the worries of a mass start.
Training has been going ok the last few days, with some good intervals yesterday. Here in Geilo, we have had some snow last friday and saturday. It then turned to rain and everything turned into and ice rink. its been warm the last couple of days, eating away at the ice on the roads and paths but also at the snow on the track. It has held up surprisingly well, but after a biathlon Norges cup at the weekend and some warm days, there are a few patches dirt and ice.
Last night i was out for a jog in the evening, and was completely over dressed. There was a warm wind, and the ice was melting rapidly. In the night i woke up to the noise of rain hitting my bedroom window, but when i woke up this morning there was a pleasant surprise in a white blanket covering everything outside. Since then its pretty much snowed none stop, and the weather forecast is for it to remain cold. So hopefully, we finally have winter at long last. About a month later than last year!

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