How To Properly CRASH in a Cross-Country Ski Race



That guy at 2:55 does it perfectly--the link was briefly down, you can follow it here.
In some ways it feels like ski season is winding down...except for that huge dump of snow that hit us last night. I was out running in it by the way, I came home and you could barely see the red on my CyclovaXC warm-up jacket. It kind of looked like a snowman had stumbled into the entry way.

Anyway, although the Birkie has already passed, I came across this video and I thought I could use it as a teaching tool for those of you out there who are new to skiing the Birkie or are still waiting to get into your first one.

This is a video from the 2012 Vasaloppet in Mora, Sweden (not the one in MN). It shows a deceptively harmless track of trail that inexplicably causes about half the field to crash for no apparent reason. However, it's almost maddening to watch these skiers respond to their crashes.

Look folks, I realize that when you're doing a race you're pretty focused on your own effort and if you fall it's like the world ends, but the sad fact is that THE LAWS OF PHYSICS ARE STILL IN EFFECT and that means that you can't stand around collecting yourself because OTHER SKIERS ARE GOING TO CRASH INTO YOU!!!

Watching this video, it's strange that a couple people crash and then they just sort of stand around for no real reason. You catch some of them looking behind them as if to merge back into traffic, but I think even that is a problematic tactic. What you need to do is start building momentum as soon as possible. That way if somebody still runs up and hits you from behind the impact is less.

There are one or two instances where you see people comically scrambling to the edge of the trail. This is the proper reaction, even though it doesn't appear to work out well for those involved.

Still, my overriding reaction is how self-absorbed people are. You see this in the Birkie all the time too. People crash and then they just stand around, oblivious to the fact that hundreds of other skiers are flying desperately by. It's a matter of self-preservation people! When you crash do your best to clear the course as quickly as possible. There'll be time for dustin' yourself off later, when you've extracted your vulnerable body from the line of fire!

Please...pass this sentiment around!

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