Yesterday I did my very very first ski race. I guess most people do their very first race doing a 5K or something along those lines. I haven’t been racing much overall at all, I have done a couple of 5K running races and also one mountain bike race. What I do know from living here is that if you put your mind into it nothing is impossible. Here it’s very popular for the regular community to run/ski/bike/ski-jour/mush different races throughout the seasons. We have the Eqquinox marathon, which is extremely poupular at the end of the summer. It is not your regular marathon since you basically run up a “hill” and then down again. The race itself is around 42K but there are Ultra marathon options or relay options. The relay options are really popular and throughout the race spectators bring folding chairs and sit and cheer on the runners as the complete the full course. Going from the bottom to the top, the elevation climb is about 550 meters or so, but the total elevation climb is much more than that. The fastest women and men run it in around 3 hrs.People of ALL ages are participating, some younger than 9yrs old and some older than 74 years old, this is really a family event.
However back to my first ski race. I did not really see this as a ski race, since I know I am a slow skier, but I really wanted to test and see how it went and if I was able to finish it. I spent the night before putting on new glidewax on the tips of my skis and melting in basewax and then adding A LOT of wax, and I actually never reapplied ski wax once during the whole ski race. The first few miles were pretty flat, and then you started to climb, and climb, and climb. According to my running app that died before I finished the race the total elevation climb to around 32K was around 2300feet… Basically up a “hill” and then down again. Up on the ridge you had this amazing view, and I stopped a few times to take some pictures. As you can see in the picture below, you would be in trouble if you accidentally got “off” the trail.
The whole day was absolutely beautiful, really really cold morning but climbing uphill it definitely got up to at least -10 C. The sun was shining and the view was gorgeous.
You could also see the moon very faint in the background
25 miles, or they actually said it was about 26 miles (around 42K), is a very very long way to go on skis, especially when you have a total elevation gain of at least 2200feet… In this picture below you can see a white stripe in the distance, that is the trail I was going on.
They really did not joke around when they talked about switchback turns in the down hill sections. There was a gradual drop in elevation from time to time but just enough to make you pick up A LOT of speed…and then the trail went like this when you least expected it:
Keeping focused was the key to say the least, especially since some of those turns had a drop on the side like the first picture I showed, if you lost control you could really be in trouble.
Overall I had a really nice day and only fell once! It took around 7hrs for me to finish…quite a long time but I am not a racer and definitely not a great skier. Awesome experience though! All alone for 26 miles gives you a lot of time to think ðŸ™‚
Have a nice week!
I am a:
I currently live in Fairbanks, Alaska, and have lived here since August 2009. In this blog I will share my photographs from my life here, and of course stories about life in general in Alaska. So if you are as enthusiastic about an active outdoor life and love nature and photography as much as I do, you will probably like it.
Here you can follow me and my adventures, enjoy.