Today I completed the Individual Race at the Ski Mountaineering World Championships!
It was a gorgeous day in the Swiss Alps with blue skies, some fresh snow, no wind and a crowd of supporters! I tried to make sure I took a few moments to enjoy my views while on course.
I had a great race! I recovered from a tangle with some other racers at the start line, put in a fast effort in the boot packs, ate/drank and was able to push hard to the finish line! Happy to come across the line 31st!
The Senior Women had 5 climbs and 4 descents for a total of around 1,465 metres of climbing and 13.9 km of distance. It was a mass start into climb 1 which is a bit hectic! I almost managed to stay upright after having a ski skied over. I jumped back up and did my best to catch up but also stay calm early on in the race. The first descent took us down a gully into a powder bowl and down by some lakes. Climb 2 included a boot pack up a steep rocky couloir. There were some fixed ropes and a ladder to help us ascend the 110 metres. It was wicked! Descent 2 was down another gully with some fresh snow and scraped sections. Then back up for Climb 3 with a few kick turns in the skin track. Descent 3 took us down into cross country trails. Climb 4 was our longest and hottest with around 400 metres (100 m easy boot pack) while baking in the sun. A quick Descent 4 brought us back to the spectator side and a short and painful Climb 5 = done!
I felt really worked in the first climb. Starting out the race with a fall in the start zone is a little scary. It took me a while to get my heart rate controlled. In the first descent I felt a little jelly in my legs. Then in climb two I started to feel a little stronger and more like I normally do when racing. I was a little nervous in a few spots on the first boot pack as there were some icy rocks. I was glad to have a fixed rope and a few volunteers along the boot pack cheering us on.
I am feeling very thankful for all the support I have received from friends and family! This is such a great opportunity for our Canadian athletes to experience the sport and to grow as athletes. I am particularly excited to see where our Juniors and Cadet aged athletes can take Skimo in Canada in the coming years. Great job to all the racers today!