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US XC Nationals 10.15km Classic Report

Mon, Jan  6, 2014 - By Ian Harvey

Overnight low was 22f and the snow was old manmade that had gone through some transitioning. Crystals are rounding. For the 10km women's race, the snow stayed firm and abrasive, but for the men, it got kind of meeley and started to break apart. For glide, the same waxes that worked well in colder conditions yesterday worked well today. Our best tip was Toko LF Black/LF Blue mixed for a base. Then Toko HF Blue. We covered this all with HB004 a race service powder that works very well sometimes but isn't as universal as JetStream Red for example. This was is generally only found on the World Cup and with elite teams.

For kick for the women's race, we went with Base Green binder with 3 drops of Green Klister in it for added durability and grip covered by Nordic Gripwax Blue. For the men's race, we went with Base Green Binder heated in and smoothed out and then covered with multiple layers of Base Green binder. A successful alternative was also Nordic Gripwax Red over Basewax Green.

I noticed something today that always leaves me scratching my head. Before the stadium, there is a steep downhill with a rise followed by a long gradual downhill with a long runout that eventually is followed by a gradual hill into the stadium. So many skiers were descending this steep downhill almost standing straight up, or just bent over at the waist, or in a high tuck with their hands way down low scooping up air into their chest. We train hard all year, spend tons of money on equipment, sacrifice, and then willingly give up 5 "free" seconds on such a section. I don't get it. I think that if people really knew what they were giving up, they wouldn't do this, but on such a hill with the high speed section in the beginning followed by such a long runout, this is exactly the price that is being paid every time. If I were too tired to tuck properly, I would ski the uphill before the steep downhill a bit slower such that I could tuck properly and make the time back up without burning too much energy so on my last lap, I could hit it hard. Anyway, this is something to think about.

Toko-sponsored skiers:

Caitlin Gregg, Team Gregg

Kris Freeman, Maine Winter Sports Center (Gloves only)

Rose Kemp, Sun Valley

Reese Hanneman, APU

Patrick Johnson, Far West Elite

Rosie Brennan, APU (Gloves only)

Miles Havlick, Sun Valley

Kate Fitzgerald, APU (Gloves only)

Matt Gelso, Sun Valley

Brian Gregg, Team Gregg

Mary Rose, Sun Valley

Karl Nygren, CXC

Jennie Bender, BSF

Eric Packer, Stratton

Dimitriy Ozerskiy, CXC

Chelsea Holmes, Sun Valley

Brent Knight, Atomic (Gloves only)

Annie Pokorny, Stratton

Sam Tarling, Maine Winter Sports Center (Gloves only)