Sunday at the UAF trails was about as perfect as you can get for a classic ski race. We've had a great week of weather and it was about 15 or 20 at the start and no more than 30 by the time we finished. Even though the past couple of afternoons have gotten above freezing there was no need for klister and the waxing was pretty easy.
I went with a binder layer ironed in, 3 layers of Swix VR40, and then a top coat of Star S5 Top Violet. Seemed to work pretty well. The glide wax was just LF4-6 mixed (to make LF5). Glide maybe an A- compared to the guys ahead and kick was an A for 80% of the race. Only over the last 4-5K did I slip some (and everyone was slipping by then). The only thing I would have done different was to add layer of moly-and LF4 as a base layer. The tracks were strewn with debris, particularly over much of the first 10-12K.
I was no match for Dash, as we sped out of the start. By the time we crossed Smith Lake (about 3.5 or 4K in) Dash was already 40 seconds up on us, and we'd see him no more.
Midnight Express felt fine, but climbing out of Big Whizzy was tough (for me on classics it's about 2X 3 or 3.5 minutes at threshold effort with a 30 second 'recovery' on semi-techical S turns), and by the top I was practically screaming for oxygen and mercy. No doubt the trickiest was the powerline off of T-Field, which was south-facing, almost slushy, and soft (my pole busted through twice). The home stretch through the single track and back across Smith Lake were solid--I just wanted to stay on my feet and not crash into a tree on those tricky downhill turns. We had a fast course this year and it was a good day for a workout.
Here are the top 5 men and women with a link to the overall results (20.3 km): https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=YWxhc2thLmVkdXx0cmFpbHN8Z3g6N2RiZmJmOTk1NjFmYzcyZQ
1. Dash Feierabrand 1:05:28
2. Me 1:09:09
3. Max Kaufman 1:11:27
4. Peter Delamere 1:13:31
5. Bruce Gard 1:13:55
1. Maria Bray 1:13:47
2. Dana Fjare 1:21:52
3. Julie Schwab 1:27:20
4. Laura Grage 1:33:25
5. Zoe Ratzlaff 1:45:19
I like this event, it has the feel of a true citizen's race. Young and old, fairly fast to just going out for morning-afternoon ski. Everyone gets the same patch and the offer of cookies at the finish. You can hang out and chat for a bit and see the other skiers finish. Nice way to start spring.