Relay Race – Ski Mountaineering World Championships 2017

The Relay Race was the last race of the World Championships. The event was hosted at the Piancavallo Ski Resort on a beautiful sunny day.

The course involved two climbs, one with more technical switch backs and the second was a repeat of the Sprint Course with the diamond switch backs and a boot pack. The descents were marked with gates.

The Women’s Teams are made up of three athletes and the Men’s Teams have four. There were 10 Women’s Teams.

Mass start of racer 1 from each team

Racer 1 from each Team left the starting line at the same time. It was a flat sprint, then a small slight downhill with skins on before the technical first climb.

Canadian Racer 1 – Kylee and Racer 1 from Great Britain

Here is Kylee, our first racer from Canada, battling Great Britain in the start of the second climb.

Canadian Racer 2 – Michelle skating to the finish line

The second descent was the same as the Sprint race. Here is Canadian Racer 2, Michelle, skating over the second bump towards the transition zone.

Canadian Racer 2 tagging Racer 3

Racers have to physically touch the next racer within the transition zone that is marked on the ground. If you do not tag within that zone there is a time penalty. Here Michelle makes contact with me perfectly in the zone.

Canadian Racer 2 – Lori Anne chasing down Great Britain

As the final racer from Canada, my task was to overtake the racer from Great Britain that was ahead of me. Using some of the skills I picked up this Fall from my Cross Country Ski Friends in town, I was able to pass my competitor in the first skinning section that involved a small downhill angle. The next section was quite technical with two tracks to choose from. I slipped at one point and my competitor was able to pass me on the inside track.

Lori Anne on the first descent

I was able to pass Great Britain again at the top of the second climb. I have been practicing my transitions a lot this year and this transition was the best one I have ever done in my life! I clicked my boots into downhill mode, switched my bindings and ripped both skins off in record time. Then onto the descent!

Lori Anne in her downhill form

I was more cautious in the downhill than I would normally be, given that I already had the lead and needed to maintain it.

Lori Anne in her transition to skinning

In this transition I had to put my skins back on. I had a second set of skins in my suit, as the other ones I had ripped off earlier were in a giant ball inside one side of my suit. I had a little bit of trouble getting them apart, as I did not have them folded in the way that I normally do. Always double check your gear!

Lori Anne in the second climb

I was feeling some fatigue at this point, but motivated to continue to maintain the lead. I continued to lead through the switch backs and down the final descent.

Lori Anne Donald - Skimo WC Relay (14)
Canada leading Great Britain up the diamond switch backs
Celebrating all that was accomplished at the finish line

I crossed the finish line to the sound of the announcer celebrating Team Canada and the crowd cheering us on. It was a wonderful experience competing with Kylee and Michelle as a Team and representing Canada. What a fantastic way to end the World Championships!