Event: middle distance skating
Conditions: temps in the mid 30s, corn snow, icy and fast
I went with Suzanne and Rob to watch the skating races today, partly to cheer for Kent and partly so I could check out the lay of the land, where you get the bus and where you get off, where the start and finish areas are, stuff like that. Kent had a really good race, skiing in a tight lead pack of 6 or 7 for the whole race. He ended up in fourth, but we found out later that he had a big crash on one of the downhills when a slower skier cut him off, so he might actually have finished higher if not for that.
Three things: one, there are a lot of really interesting people here, and it is a ton of fun to chat with them and find out what their lives are like. This is what I was hoping for when I came, but I am very intimidated! For one thing, pretty much everyone skis more than two days a week. For Minneapolis people, Theodore Wirth Park, where the races are, is just a 15-minute bus ride from downtown, with a wide variety of trails and some of them are lit. It would be like skiing at Green Lake after work; just imagine how much better a skier you would be.
Two, I went back to the race venue after lunch, when all the races were done, just to ski around the course and see what it's like. What it's like is seriously hilly; to me, it feels like Ozbaldy over and over and over, but wider trails. Other, better skiers don't feel it's that extreme, but it is seriously hilly.
Three, everyone is talking about the weather. Big blizzard forecast for some time tomorrow: will it come before dawn, during the morning classic races, during the afternoon skating races, or not at all? Will it snow two or three inches or two or three feet? Waxing is a total mystery!