Racing team updates

 

March 2017 Report  

So how do we get to what we have?  What do we concentrate on as our skiers grow into amazing people who can adapt to many things. Results? sure. Go to zone4, it is all there.  

This, for me is about skiing.

It was klister at each Ontario Cup this year. Jackets, ski bags, boxes, are all sticking to things by now.  Klister was the best kick of the day in all classic races, a reality we need to get used to as this planet is warming. 

Ontario Cups are defined by the large portfolio of different races and styles. 

All of the following races have at least one in Skating and Classic style. There are 4 race events spread over the winter, each one has 3 races, Duntroon had 2. 

Each Ontario Cup tries to cover both technical styles, classic and skate in some format. 

Distance races come in 2 formats, mass start and interval start.

Sprint races come in 2 different qualification formats, Elimination and King's court. 

Start lists are seeded by Ontario Points, which are part of a formula that involves the level of race, who shows up, and your time behind the leaders, a points total established over 12 months of race results. 


Lappe Nordic hosted the first Ontario Cup near Thunder Bay. We had 4 skiers who had never traveled that far for a ski race Together with 3 who had been here many times, taking the edge off for our Lappe rookies. We always stop over at the Wawa airport, about half way to Lappe, to get them to  stretch out their legs. There are other reasons we stop over in Wawa, but those reasons are secret, not. Small town North Ontario is special, skiing there is usually on a snowmobile trail leading into town from the airport. Last year we double poled the streets in a close by subdivision. It was -15, windy, and nobody out and about, so we noticed a couple curtains were pushed aside, "who the heck...", curiosity I guess. A quick photo of our team and we are on our way to TBay, we call it. Forgot writing about coffee at Timmies? Yeah, a given.
Thunder Bay races? I would like to mention one outstanding one. 
King's court skate sprints. Simply put it is the best thing going at Ontario cups right now. Developing speed.  
Buddies Matjaz and Malcolm after raceBuddies Matjaz and Malcolm after race

Duntroon, Ontario cup #2 for us. Easy to get to, all our skiers have skied there. Easy all round? yes. Almost had the entire team there, plus a couple midgets from the Track Attack team or Racing Rabbits as some people prefer to call it. Our first run with 4 Technicians in the wax room. Great conditions and not bad skis....klister. 

Rookie Kate fighting her way throughRookie Kate fighting her way through

Eastern Canadian Championships, Ontario Cup #3. Located just north of Ottawa, Nakkertok Nordic hosted well over 800 athletes this year, one of the biggest nordic events in North America. It is also one of the most competitive 3 race events that requires accurate planning and many people to help out with many things. This year it was 2 classic races, one skate. Klister again. ye. Our service team is now top level, they are doing everything, and are involved in the testing.  

Temiskaming Ontario cup #4. Best trails, best grooming, best atmosphere, amazing volunteers, best events.

XCO decided to repeat the King's court style classic sprint event. Not for the light hearted skier who disappears into the bush merely to reappear later. This ain't it, no. 

Classic sprinting puts the body into a beast mode effort, many of us only use when someone runs at us with a pitchfork, not that anybody ever did. It requires the use of the highest gear that most people forget they every had. On top of all that is the competitive mindset when they ski in heats with others pushing and shoving around corners. Heats are set up in such a way as it takes each skier to the next heat by adding them onto same speed like skier heats. Brilliant.

The fact that our skiers no longer need to qualify for the heats is an opportunity for every one of our skiers to go through the most fun event the Ontario cup series offers right now. Bravo CCO, well done. Again, almost our entire team attended. 

Anna Anna

Nationals in Canmore is just ahead. March 15 to 25, 3 skiers going. Focus on racing at altitude, the training plans have been modified to meet that challenge, for several weeks ahead. Matjaz is already in Edmonton looking at school and skiing, while Malcolm should be close to Canmore by now, trying to acclimatize. Shay will be there a few days before her first race and all are in good spirits. Bring it on. Forecast, check. Snow, check. Trail maps, check. Captain's meetings, check. Ontario Team meeting, check. Fast and Female event, check. Confirmation lists, check not yet. Wax, benches, 20+ pairs of skis plus our skiers stuff, equipment in Canmore, check, got there with Dave Thompson as he was driving out. Wax space, TBD. Testing zone, TBD. Food, check. Carbs? Major check. Good to go. Wish us luck.

Fundraising. Lots of stuff required to make skiing more fun, way more fun. So we need a bit of money. 

Loewen Farm concert fundraiser for the toy and food drive also included us with 1/3 of the funds, Then there was our team waxing fundraiser, the huge Active women contribution just announced recently, all while we are selling wax forms and... wait for it... Klister Bars, yeah. 

Now about our athletes. It is supposed to be about them. Not easy to do. I will try to explain of the many aspects that support this goal. 

For kids to have more time on skis and liking it more, it is important to start at home. Tamara and Stephanie came to a 2 hour wax clinic Jan 21 at the burrow, certainly taking a couple of things away from that to show their kids. Hoping to get more interest next year, but this is a start. Ski preparation is still a largely misunderstood aspect of motivation to get kids to enjoy skiing more, something we need to work on. Parents should know some of the basics, and know how to show their kids at home. 

We need our club trails to keep our kids engaged in skiing. We appreciate well groomed trails at home, we do not take that for granted, as we ski on anything with rock skis for many weeks starting in October. By the time kids use their racing skis to get used to them we are usually well into late December, often early January. So time is limited on home trails, we spend many weekends away. 

Our skiers who joined the Jr team in April will decide by September to join the cross country running team or any other sport in Highschool. All good. Then in Novemenber most join the PSHS nordic team. We have a great thing going as we collaborate on everything now. Our skiers get a chance to see many coaching philosophies, not just one or the other. Training and racing schedules fill our events calendar to such levels that is creates comments like: "there must be a way to list less on our calendar" hahaha mission accomplished. Parents please do not be confused by this, it is a good thing.

April is transition month. Not easy to get them to not even think about skiing for at least a month. Impossible when you have skiers whose ambitions to get to World Cups is a daily thought. No, not impossible at all. Mandatory is a better word. So our kids need time to tune out, stay active and do something different. Adults have all kinds of fancy words for this. Adults have goals of their own, often applying them as what is best for everybody. 

Ya, you need to  Recharge as well, ja!

To keep our kids in this, we need to keep the stream intact.

Elementary school skiing, Ghislain reached new levels of participation, amazing.

Jackrabbits, Racing Rabbits, Jr team and contacts to University skiing, Loppet skiing, all in place, but never to be taken for granted. 

Leaving us this year is Lindsay Raymond and Matjaz Cigler, both are actively in the process looking for a school that has at least the possibility to continue to train, maybe join a Varsity team. Joining us this year? No idea yet, even though we have discussed that option with some. 

Cool. 

From ages 5 to 18, we now have them engaged at home in some kind of way in skiing at our club and school. Less or more competitive, depending on each individual's goal. Able and disable is also now part of the picture, awesome!

It is a big deal not to have gaps in any of the steps, be it skill or physical development. 

We all need to keep the gaps closed all the time, not easy but required. 

If you are reading this, look for a way you can help. We need you.

Volunteer, share your ideas, do something.