Back in West Yellowstone, racing excitement through the roof and the upcoming season sitting ahead of us full and promising, it never crossed my mind to even consider the last bib at the end of it all. But here it was Sunday morning, staring right at me, tantalizing me into going out and destroying myself one more time. But within all that, there’s something about the finality of a last bib that makes that last race really exhilarating.
This weekend, Kaitlin and I headed over to Craftsbury to try to stuff ourselves full of racing for one last time. As a mini tour format, with three races over the weekend, culminating in a pursuit start classic 10/15k for the overall title on Sunday, it was a low key opportunity to bash our heads to the snow one more time. What made this weekend especially nice, and what I looked forward to the most going into it, was that for what felt like the first time this year, it would be an opportunity to race without any overhanging expectations or pressures. We were there for the love of racing and it was one more time to try to feel that fire. This time, I got to race solely for the sake of racing, for that mid-race deal-making, and to me that’s the best feeling there is in skiing.
Some highlights from the races:
#1 The coolest part of it all: for the prologue, we got to start on top of “Mt Craftsbury” (their big snowmaking pile), so out of the gate got to drop into a sharp downhill- SO FUN!
#2 We both got to race sprint heats on Saturday, a privilege we don’t often get in the college season, so that was also great.
#3 Lots of college kids were there- between Bates, UVM, Dartmouth and UNH it felt almost like a mini carnival!
#4 It is actually mid winter in Craftsbury, everyone, so in case your flights to Fllorida for spring break got delayed, you should probably change your plans to go to Craftsbury again.
#5 Lusty came and raced the 30k Spring Fling on Sunday, and won. Nice way to go out…winning!
#6 After the races were done the sun came out and there was a barbeque and sugar on snow. That felt how last races in the spring are supposed to feel. Especially with the sugar on snow part. So happy to end it in the homeland of VT.
Thanks to Stratton and Kate Barton for taking care of our wax this weekend, to Craftsbury for putting on yet another fantastic set of races, and to everyone back at school who’s put up with our craziness in the last two weeks for wanting to keep racing!