Minnesota Marathoners - Fourth Race Weekend
February 16, 2004
By Justin Pavlish
I am starting to think the American Ski Marathon Series should
have its name changed to the Frigid Ski Marathon Series. For
the fourth weekend in a row, the race day temperature dropped
to below 10°F. This time the forecasted temperature for
the start of the Minnesota Finlandia in Bemidji was -4°F
with a wind chill of -22°F. Four weeks ago, the forecasted
race-time temperature for the Lake Placid Loppet was -5°F
and as a result the race was postponed two weeks. With this
in mind, I had a strong feeling that the Finlandia would also
be postponed. After discussing this idea with Dan on the way
to Bemidji on Friday, we decided to bet on it. I bet that
the race would be postponed to another weekend, while Dan
bet that the start would merely be delayed an hour or two.
What were the stakes? A double cheeseburger from McDonald's.
Friday's afternoon temperature was in the 20's, which meant
that we were unable to test our Madshus skate skis and Swix
wax combinations prior to the morning of the race. I guess
you could say that the subzero forecasted race-time temperature
was a small blessing in disguise because you can then usually
correctly guess that your stiffest skis along with your coldest
glide wax will give you the fastest ski combination. That
night, Pat, Evan, and I ironed Swix CH4 into our stiffest
skis that have cold weather base structures and then proceeded
to lie back and relax for the rest of the evening. One small
note about waxing in hotel rooms: don't setup your wax bench
next to the television. Virtually all of the wax particles
generated while brushing seem to be statically attracted to
the screen, creating quite a cleaning mess.
We woke up Saturday morning and discovered that the weather
forecast from Friday was incorrect. The actual temperature
was -9°F and the wind chill was -24°F! As we drove
to the site of the race, I started to think about my bet with
Dan and how good that double cheeseburger was going to taste.
As luck would have it, neither of us won the bet. The Finlandia
went off without a problem and I had my best finish of the
season! Shortly after the start, I found myself in a group
with three other skiers a short distance behind the two leaders
(Cory Wubbels and Skinnyski.com's very own Brian May). By
the 15km marker, our group had fallen apart and I was left
to ski alone in 4th place. From that point on, the only other
skiers I saw were those who were doing the touring race. I
believe this was the first time I have skied in a race by
myself for 35km. Luckily my glide held out for the full 50km
and I was therefore able to hold a respectable pace.
* Just a quick reminder that this Thursday and Friday
we will be helping Alpina and Madshus at their demo booths
before the American Birkebeiner on Saturday. Stop by and say
Hi to us if you are planning on skiing in the race.
Justin Pavlish: 4th, 2:45 (50km)
Pat Lorentz: 8th, 2:53 (50km)
Evan Pengelly: DNF (Was not feeling well.)
Dan Campbell: Took the weekend off from racing.