Shivering at Shenendehowa, 1/23/2011

Bob Underwood and Heidi Underwood won the overall titles in Sunday’s Shenendehowa 10 k classic race, held at Saratoga Biathlon Club in Day, NY.  Scholastic division winners were Ashley Forshey and Brian Halligan, skiing 5 k.

Despite low temperatures and an inch of early-morning new snow, conditions were relatively fast.  Racers went out two at a time at 30-second intervals.  While omitting some of the club’s steep grunt hills, the technical five-kilometer loop featured two good climbs.

The race was a qualifier for the Empire State GamesPeru Nordic and HURT were the clubs with the biggest turnout.  Full results are here.

Personally, it seems like every time I race here, it’s wicked cold.  I’ve also concluded that I suck at interval start races.  Warming up for an interval start gives me conniptions.  How close do you cut it before your start time?  And the most appropriate terrain never seems to be close to the start; here, I did pickups on a stretch that was about as flat as a grocery store aisle.  I never got my heart rate up during warmup, and it showed in the race.  On this constantly changing race loop, I never got into a rhythm and never really buried myself.  For sure the hills aren’t as big as at some other venues, but if you can ski well here, you can ski well.

In addition, I miscalculated the kick wax and it cost me.  At one above zero, my kick wax worked fine.  By
the time I started, temperatures had warmed to nearly 10 degrees, and I slipped some on hills I should stride
right up.  It’s hard to believe that the only race I ever won outright was a wax race.  Pictures below.

outside temperature on above zero Fahrenheit

Toasty.

ski preparation in parking lot

Ski prep in the parking lot.

flat section of the 5 k loop

Flat section of the 5 k loop

view of Sacandaga Lake

Sacandaga Lake from the House Loop

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