Mullin's Elm Creek/Fulton Team Race Report


This will be a shorty.

The last three or so years, Fulton has sponsored one of the Wednesday night races at Elm Creek.  They call it a "Team Race" and they bring beer.  Its a pretty good deal.

The race format is a 5k freestyle race at 7:00 and then a 5k classic race at 7:30.

Prep

I got there kinda late and had my Junior Birkie training partner so we skied for just a few minutes before the start.  My warm-up consisted of a few minutes of instruction in the practice field and a couple of 10 second sprints.  Perfect for a 5k race... not.

I waxed with Fast Wax HS30 and HSLF30.  Nothing fancy.  The skis were fast.  For kick I put on Start Oslo Purple.  I did not test skis before the race.  They didn't kick for a darn.

Race

Being the most popular of the Wednesday series by far the race started down at the practice field with the approximately 80 starters.  I got a spot about the third row.  A quick sprint across the field and we were onto the trail and necked down pretty good.  I was double poling through most of that first turn.

After that I was able to start skating and find my place in the pack.  It is hard to say exactly what happened the first few km with all of the chaos.  I know there was a lot of moving with comings and goings.  I was never really jumping from group to group though like at the Winter Warm-up, this was more just going with the flow of people.

Skating around lap 1.  Photo by Kira Stolen
By the time we got back to the practice field at the top of the big hill I was at the back of a good group that had Craig Stolen near the front.  I was able to hang with that group fairly well through the first lap.

Aaron Nelson was out at Elm Creek and took some video of the race from the bridge for the freestyle portion.  The link below goes to the Midwest Nordic Facebook posting with the video.  You might have to be a member of the group to see it.  You should be a member there anyhow.  Lots of great discussion on waxing, races, and various nordie nonsense.

Video From Aaron Nelson

Coming around for the second time I started to string off the back a little.  The high speed was taking its toll and I could taste the iron in the back of my mouth.  I think I started conceeding a few places as we headed up under the bridge for the second time.  I lost one more spot coming up the donut, but then I was able to pull it together enough to hold onto my position to the finish.

The pace was blazing fast but I held my own alright.  It would have been nice to not fade a bit at the end but that's ok.  Its hard to judge results from a race that short with that much commotion but I feel good about it.

Herringboning the big hill on lap one.  Photo by Kira Stolen
Next up the classic race.  Or should I say the double pole race.  I won't elaborate much other than to say this was very strong evidence that my upper body strength is highly lacking.  I was absolutely crushed by many people I crushed in the skate race.  Guess what I should be working on next year?

Video of the Classic Race From Aaron Nelson

Analysis

None.  This was mostly for fun and to get a hard workout in.  The spreadsheet is going to be useless on this one.

About to be passed by Dave Christopherson around the end of lap one.  Wishing for some more power.  Photo by Kira Stolen.

What's Next

If the snow holds, I'm planning on racing at Boulder Lake on Sunday.  It should be a wet and sloppy race.

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