Thursday, February 5, 2009
Rock and Ice Ultra...
After 2 years of talking about it, I finally decided to sign up for the Rock and Ice Ultra - I'll deal with the consequences later! I would love to say that winning a sexy diamond was the sole motivating factor but honestly, I think it's more the idea of racing for 6 days in the freezing cold that really does for me - really. (Is that wrong?) Diamonds or not, I'm psyched to be lining up on the start and looking forward to the challenge - let the planning begin...
Training aside, I think that planning is the key - I've been following the event for the past 2 years and seen many talented and experienced entries (both skiers/runners) drop out due to a lack of preparation. You're racing in a foreign landscape at an avg temperature of -20C (at best)...so you have to train as you would race - specificity is the key.
During this past weekend, I ran into Richard Weber (Polar explorer) and fired off a few questions to break the 'ice'. I met Richard years ago while competing at the 55km Canadian Birkebeiner in Edmonton. I was a young punk back then and he, an experienced long distance racer. I remember trying hard to break the pack by attacking on all the hills...and although I had dropped him a few times, Richard had clawed his way back on every occasion. At the 35k mark, I pushed hard and finally broke him...but I paid the price 10kms later and started to feel the 'bonk' creeping into my body. With 2km to go, I had nothing left, and the heard the rhythmic breathing of Richard closing in behind me...There was nothing I could do as he flew by me with 1km to go...and took the win under my nose. Never underestimate your competition.
The Rabbit and the Turtle
A few days after I entered, I ran into Mike Argue, one of Canada's top sprinters and he pointed out that he too had registered for the R&I...As a Yellowknife native, and strong development skier, there is no doubt that he is one of the favourites to take the diamond.
So the battle is on: The 'Rabbit and the Turtle', or Sprinter VS...Old man speed? Either way, there's a month and a half to go - so I better start planning!