Off to the races

Today was a good day for the cross country ski races. It was warm with temperatures in the upper teens and low 20’s, and fresh snow yesterday.

Karen was in the kindergarten through 2nd grade girls group and took 3rd place! Not bad for her very first race. (They were signed up for a race in December, but it was cancelled due to cold weather) We originally thought from the group of kids she was in near the finish that she would be 5th, but one of them was a boy and then she passed a girl right at the finish line to get third place. Her race was 1km.

Richard had a big disadvantage. Most of the others in his group (5th & 6th grade boys) were part of the ski club’s developmental competition team. They practice for 1.5 hours/day most days of the week. His race was 2km long. He finished way last, but did complete it so I’m satisfied. We need to practice more often and do more hill climbing so he can get better. He still wants to learn skate skiing next year. Perhaps we can get a good deal on those skis and boots at the fall ski swap or used from another family. He’ll also need new boots for his current skis. He’s growing fast 🙂

I want to give a big thank you to the Fairbanks Junior Nordics for sponsoring them in these races.

Their next set of lessons begin Thursday night. They will be once a week for 6 weeks. Then in March, they will have lessons twice a week for 3 weeks. After breakup when things dry up, we will hit the trails starting cross country running and biking. Hopefully next fall we will all be in better shape for ski season. This year was mostly a test to see if everyone liked it and how well it fits without schedule. So far, I think it’s working pretty good. As they get older, if they are still interested in competing, we likely will have to put more time into it.

UPDATE: Well, we were right afterall, Karen did officially take 5th out of 9. I don’t know why she was given a 3rd place ribbon. Her 1km time was, 9:43.7  Richard’s 2km time was, 24:21.5 There were 13 boys in his race.

Beginning ski lessons

Winter is here. That means it’s time to get out our skis. This year we have a bit more spare time so decided to sign up for beginning ski lessons on Thursday evenings. Richard and Karen are in the Junior Nordics program and I am part of the adults.

It’s crazy at the start of the evening. Basically everyone converges on Birch Hill cross country ski center at 615pm. There’s over 100 kids and at least 25 adults, not counting the coaches. We click on our skis and find our groups for warmup. Karen is usually nervous because she doesn’t handle large groups well. Richard just heads off, making me nervous!

The kids have drills, ski practice, then play a group game. Their groups are by age so Karen and Richard aren’t together. At the end of the hour, I find them near the ski rack, tired but happy.

I’m in the beginning adult classic group. There are 8 students and 1 coach. So far, I’m intimidated by going down hills, but getting better. Last week was the first tine in 5 tries I haven’t fallen going downhill! Most of my problem is mental, not physical. If I’d just relax, it would be a lot better. It’s rather pathetic because the hills we’re doing aren’t very steep (yet). I think we are going to do a different hill trail next week.

Last week apparently Richard had a little adventure. He took the wrong fork on a trail so wound up on the Competition Loop. One of the assistants came to get him. He’s doing real good. They were supposed to go on a loop called Roller Coasters, but did drills instead so will probably do it next week. It’s a popular trail for the tweens and teens.

There are no lessons this week because Thursday is Thanksgiving. The kids want to go skiing anyway. I’m not sure if Birch Hill will be open or if we will got the university trails. However, the temperature is falling, so it may be too cold. Right now it is -15F in town and -5F at our house.