Today was my first World Cup in 1 year and I have to admit it was a tough re-introduction. This weekend is unsupported and this is never an easy task to deal with. It’s a juggling act of wax tech vs. athlete. For the day before the race, consider carting all the equipment from the truck, setting up the wax cabin, prepping and zeroing skis to test and then testing those skis all in order to find the fastest 2 pairs. Then the day of the athlete starts where we complete the pre-race session – about 1hr 15mins of skiing in total with some threshold and race pace intervals. When other athletes go back to the hotel to rest up for the following day, we return to the life of a wax tech to race prep the skis. Finally after organising entries, team captains meeting and other duties are complete; the day is done.
Race day is no better, particularly on a classic day with fresh snow falling. The skis need to have the final coats of glide wax applied along with being grip waxed and tested to ensure they are working in the conditions. Then once the best pair out of the two is found, we gladly had Mattias there to fix the top coat and make last grip adjustments. Then after >2.5hrs on the feet already, its back to the life of the athlete with a warm up and finally onto the race. After the race when everyone is feeling completely wrecked, we get to go back to life of the wax tech by prepping the skate skis and testing them for the following day. It’s a tiring schedule that no-one else has to deal with but we just work with it the best we can. It’s not a complaint as it was our own decision to come here unsupported – it’s just a way to raise awareness of what is actually involved in just getting ourselves to the start line. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing our Wax Tech (and all round good bloke) Randy next weekend in Lahti.
The race today for me was very tough indeed. The tracks were completely skied out and I need to be honest and say I am simply terrible at classic skiing in un-even, broken up tracks. I always have been bad at it and even though today was slightly better than usual, I still wouldn’t class it as technically solid skiing. It’s frustrating because my body felt good, but I was just unable to turn that into fast skiing. The result wasn’t disastrous and in terms of percentage back, it was probably one of my better classic World Cups that I have skied recently with about 13.6% back in 90th. Considering not being healthy all week, I am satisfied enough, but I am a lot more excited about tomorrow’s 15km skate. I am confident with my skating at the moment and really excited to see what I can do!