Monday, 3 December 2012

Gålå

So this weekend past was BUL-sprinten at Gålå in Norway. The plan was a skate sprint on saturday, and a 30k skiathlon (15k classic and 15k skate) on sunday. I was meant to be going with NTG who i have trained and raced with the past two years. But for them coming from Geilo and with the temperatures forecast right on the limit of what's allowed for racing, they decided not to risk the long trip and the races being cancelled.  So i was a left on my own.  Fortunately team veidekke, the private team that Andrew Musgrave skis for, jumped to the rescue and waxed my skis.
The temperatures on Friday weren't too bad, testing skis and an easy ski went well.  I liked the new stadium and the new course up there. The sprint course had some more twists and turns and more short sharp uphills than before. It was also really wide and should be really fair for skiing in the heats.
The distance courses are similar to before but going in different directions and and in a slightly different order.
At the team captains meeting on friday they explained the cold limits and what they would do if the temperature dropped bellow them. Bellow -15 and windy and the 30k was shortened to 20k, bellow -18 and the 30k was shorted to 20k. Bellow -20 and it was cancelled.
I walked up to the stadium from the hotel an hour before my race start on saturday.  It took me a while to find my start number, being registered as both a nation (GBR) and a club (geilo il) and so my number goes to either the area Buskerud or to GBR, but seeing as i'm the only one from gbr and the buskerud team wasnt there, i was surprised to find it wasnt at the race office.  Eventually i found it, and headed out to start warming up.
My feet got really cold warming up but it started to go over and i didnt notice it.  I collected my race skis and headed to the start.  The start of the race was really shaky and i struggle on the first few corners, before the second half where i skied really well and nailed it all the way to the finnish.  I crossed the line into what i thought was 20th (tjuende and syvende sound alike in norwegian), but actually it was 7th. I ended up in 12th only 2 tenths of a second behind Andrew Musgrave in 11th.  It was a great prologue and i was ready for the heats.
Unfortunately the heat went bad and i finished 6th and 27th overall.
At the team captains meeting that evening things kicked off. Some people want the 30k changed to 20 because of the cold forecast, others wanted the decision to be made on sunday morning. Then it turned into people calling people names, and teams claiming their athletes weren't going to race under certain temperatures and so forth.
On sunday morning the race start was delayed and then cancelled. The coldest temperature i saw was -18,6. But apparently it was as cold as -23 in the race course.
I drove home and had a gym session. Today i had an easy ski up at sjusjøen. It was -21. And officially bloody baltic.  Hopefully the cold snap will pass over soon and things will get back to normal.