Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tour Results

A Saturday morning, characterized as all Saturday mornings should by a carne adovada burrito.  We are a week past the Tour of Anchorage, which went well for Team Cobra.  To those unfamiliar with the event, the Tour is the second largest ski marathon in the United States, held each March at three different distances: 25k, 40k, and 50k.  I signed up for the 25k, C threw her hat into the 40k ring.  At the end of the day, I crossed the finish line in the top third overall and C cruised in to a top fifth overall finish.  I took home a bronze age group medal (third fastest 35-39 year old) and C took gold in her age group race.  So, no complaints.

I think my bronze is the first race award of any kind I’ve won, so we dutifully went to the award ceremony to collect our medals.  And given my skiing attempts last November and December, I’m pretty pleased.  I rather expected this ski season to be a wash from the start.  But while I am thrilled to be back into shape and able to ski a respectable 25k a few months after finishing chemo, I think it is worth putting this bronze into perspective.  The 25k is by far the least competitive of the three Tour races.  Assuming an even pace and extrapolating my finish time to the 50k, my top third finish would have turned into a bottom quarter 50k result overall, or 27 out of 31 in my age group.  It also turns out that the 35-39 age group is one of the least competitive age groups to ski in.  While my finish time was good enough for a third place age group placing, it would not have won the girls 1 to 11 age group.  In fact, I skied with the winner of the 11 year old girls for most of my race, but she ended up putting a good two minutes into me over the last 2k.  So much acceleration!  Just for the fun of it, let’s see just where I would have placed in each of the gazillion age groups:

·         Female, 1 -11: Second place
·         Male, 1 – 11: third place
·         Female, 12 – 14: third place
·         Male, 12- 14: eighteenth place (lose the podium!)
·         Female, 15 – 17: fifth place
·         Male, 15 – 17: nineteenth place
·         Female, 18 – 24: third place (back on the podium!)
·         Male, 18 – 24: eighth place
·         Female, 25 – 29: sixth place
·         Male, 25 – 29: seventh place
·         Female, 30 – 34: fourth place
·         Male, 30 – 34: fifth place
·         Female, 35 – 39: second place
·         Male, 35 – 39: third place (actual placing)
·         Female, 40 – 44: sixth place
·         Male 40 – 44: third place
·         Female 45 – 49: sixth place
·         Male 45 – 49: tenth place
·         Female 50 – 54: sixth place
·         Male 50 – 54: tenth place
·         Female 55 – 59: fifth place
·         Male 55 – 59: tenth place
·         Female 60 – 64: first place (top step!)
·         Male 60 – 64: second place
·         Female 65 – 69: first place
·         Male 65 – 69: first place
·         Female 70 - 74: first place
·         Male 70 – 74: first place
·         Female 75 – 99: first place
·         Male 75 – 79: first place

I admit, that was an incredibly anal exercise, but what else am I supposed to do while eating a burrito?  And look at all that we learned!  The kids are fast!  The fifty year olds are fast!  But the 35 – 44 range is the sweet spot for age group podiums!    I guess they were all either skiing the longer distances or raising kids and unable to ski for themselves.

Before the race:

Prepping the skis:

Post-race glow of satisfaction:

Showing off the hardware:

And, wholly unrelated to the ski race at all, out for a trail run: