Twelve hours from now, I’ll be about a half-hour into the 25km “Hoigaard’s Classic” event of the City of Lakes Loppet ski festival. I’m pretty excited about the race, which is my only real ski race of the year. (One of these years, I’ll do two or even more – but not this year.) I skied the classic race last year, and did better than I expected, which was very satisfying.
This winter, I’ve worked a lot on my technique and done quite a bit of intensity training, so I hope that I can shave five minutes or more off my time. A finish under 1:40 would be great, and seems possible given my technique and fitness. I’m a little bit worried by the fact that the race field is going to be gigantic this year: two waves of 220 skiers each, as versus three of about 110 last year. That’s a lot of traffic on some pretty narrow trails. I’m lucky to be in wave 1, so I hope I’ll have the chance to latch onto some good skiers right from the start.
The race is the alpha and the omega, of course, but almost as much as racing, I’ve loved the preparation, from setting up a training program and carrying out individual workouts to figuring out the wax and choosing nutrition for the race. This year has been especially good in all these regards, which is pleasing in its own right. The anticipation has been great – and now it’s time for the real deal.