1. The level of competition has risen significantly.
2. All aspects of the skimo race are performed @ a high level; transitions, uphills, downhills.
3. Must be able to skin fast on groomers, off-piste, low incline and steep terrain.
4. Upper body fitness/strength is vital.
5. Don't become discouraged if you're feeling horrible. The other racers are hurting too. In the course of a race you will usually come around.
6. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and race accordingly.
7. Always preview the course the day before the race.
8. Train for all scenarios in a race (skin failure, frozen water/goo, frostbite).
9. Don't stop racing until you've crossed the finish line.
10. When a bull moose crosses the course directly in front of you take time to enjoy the moment (in spite of being anaerobic).