Last weekend, our family packed up coolers and bags and skis (read: our car was very FULL) and drove two and a half hours to stay in the little town of West Yellowstone. Erik was signed up to race his second annual 50K ski marathon, while Elisa was excited to join other kiddos in a 2K. She has really blossomed in her skate ski ability this year, and racing has become fun for her. She was proud to wear her West Yellowstone hat (bought on an earlier trip) bedecked with her new race pin.
And the rest of us? Well, thanks to the kind help of my friend Dancy (her husband is Erik's racing and training partner), I actually jumped in my first ever ski race - a 10K. The funny thing about ski race distances.... the "good" skiers, the well-trained ones, the ones who have done this before.... well, they race big. Like my husband. So I joined a race filled with high-schoolers (Yup. They are faster than me), and a large group of older ladies and gentlemen who were (mostly) out for a Saturday morning jaunt. :) I knew that I was not going to compete against the 15 and 16 year-olds, so I just started at the back next to people who looked older than me, and then concentrated on slowly working my way up during the race. It was actually really fun! I enjoyed just skiing on the varied terrain of the course, and paying attention to technique on the downhills, which are challenging for me. I beat my goal of finishing under forty-five minutes, and I didn't fall. And, because all the fast 30 year-olds ski in the endurance races, I got a medal for my age group! I would love to race again next year, but maybe I'll be really brave and try the 25K! I can guarantee you there would be no medal.
At the finish line..... the kiddos played and played on a giant snowplow mound with their friends. The two daddies came in at 2 hours and 25 minutes, and 2 hours and 30 minutes, so there was plenty of time running, skiing, and sledding on their bellies. I love this photo of Raina with her buddy Jonathan.
Sadie sledding with Olivia.
Grinning at the start line after the start of Mom's race. Elisa and her friend James started their 2K five minutes after my race began, so sweet Dancy was in charge of getting them to their places while juggling six other kiddos. She's pretty amazing.
At the start.
Cheering on Daddy as he comes to the finish. He had a great race -- he improved his time by 20 minutes and he said he felt strong and ornery - which I took as a good thing. :) Doesn't he look handsome in his mid-nineties race suit? :) I love that he is bright and easy to identify on the course.