Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Crested Butte Cosmic Race

6'500 Vertical Feet ~ 16 Miles ~ 3 Hours of Racing
Friday night found me on the road to CB with local Durango skimo racers Miles & Jen Venzara-Gersbach (Pine Needle Mountaineering).  28 degrees as we pulled into Gunnison (3rd coldest town in the country).  Felt like summertime.  Major relief to not worry about cold hands/feet on race day.  Race organizer, Bryan Wickenhauser set a course that included the infamous sidecountry area Snodgrass.  Guide Ridge wasn't included this year due to a lack of snow.  Brian Smith set a blistering pace from the gun.  Mashall Thompson, John Gaston and myself were hot on his tail.  Max Taam not too far behind.  The top 4 transitioned together at both the 1st and 2nd transitions.  Brian had a binding issue and fell back.  Somehow we knew he'd turn up again.  At the top of Snodgrass the four of us descended into the fog.  A snow-snake grabbed me and I yard-saled at the bottom.  I gathered everything up and had to push  hard for the next 10 minutes to catch the leaders.  I caught up to them at the  bottom of the 4th climb where we began a series of about 200 (maybe less) kick-turns.  I looked back and saw Max Taam coming on strong.  Five of us were now racing together 2 hours into the race.  Motivational yet very nerve-wracking....  The top 3 pulled away on the last climb leaving Brian and I.  Brian pulled away after the final climb and I skied the final descent alone to finish in fifth place. 
Congrats to top female finishers Janelle Smiley, Jari Kirkland and Ava Hagan. 


Thompson Harassing Simmons
(photo credit ~ Wickenhauser)

Gaston, Thompson, Taam, Smith, Simmons ~ Top 5 Finishers

Jen Venzara-Gersbach still smiling after 4 hours of racing.

 Back home on the ranch loosening up the legs up with my trainers.
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