After a month with no competitions I returned to the race course at the NorAms at Whistler Olympic Park last weekend. These doubled as trials for World Juniors and World U23 Championships coming up in Turkey. Since I am no longer a U23 I was much more relaxed than usual going into these trials races. Despite not having trials to worry about I was still stressed due to other circumstances. My grandma passed away the weekend before so I stopped in Vernon on the way to Whistler for a few days to see her before she passed away then again on the way back for her funeral. It required a lot of planning and cancelled flights but I was glad I was able to spend some time with her and go to her funeral.
The first race was Thursday with the 15km skiathlon. I skied in a group of 4 for most of the group. Emily broke away on the end of the 3rd lap of 4 and I wasn't able to stick with her. The three of us remaining slowly reeled her back in on the last lap but she still had a 7sec lead at the finish. I was able to outsprint Zoe and Alana for 2nd place.
|Photo: Angus Cockney|
|Photo: Heidi Widmer|
Saturday was the skate sprint event. The hard fast tracks that we had been enjoying were replaced by a foot of fresh soft powder just in time for the sprint. These were definitely not my ideal conditions! The normally treacherous corners were now so slow I had to free-skate into them. I felt really flat in the qualifier and my legs were shot by the time I hit the 2nd climb and I qualified in 5th. I still wasn't feeling great in my quarter final but was able to make it through. I started to get some energy back in the semi-final and felt more like my usual self. In the A-final Heidi got a gap at the start and I sat in 3rd behind Marlis. The course was basically one lane wide and it was very difficult to pass so I ended up staying behind Marlis until the final corner when I was able to pass her for another silver medal.
|Photo: Mike Cavaliere|
After getting silver in 5 of the last 6 races I had competed in I was determined to stand on the top of the podium on Sunday. Unfortunately my body was not on the same page and I broke my silver streak in the opposite way I had hoped in the 10km classic. I felt flat and legs were heavy so I had to settle for 4th. It was still exciting as I finally passed Jesse Diggins for the top spot in the NorAm series and wore the NorAM leader bib for my first time ever.
|Photo: Kathy Wylie|
After four easy days we'll get back on the race course tomorrow with the Western Canadian Champs in Canmore. The plan is to race Friday, Saturday and Sunday but that could change since it has been -20 to -35 the last few days! It is supposed to warm up over the weekend so hopefully we'll be able to run all 3 races.