Interview: Richard Chin
January 24, 2001
Richard Chin, a staff writer for the Pioneer
Press, as well as a cross-country skier, competed in the
24 Hours of Telemark
race, held back on the weekend of January 13-14, 2001. Richard
competed in the insane "Solo Freaks" category, skiing the
full 24 hour race on his own! We interviewed Richard by e-mail
last Friday (January 19th).
- Skinnyski: How did you handle things like eating and
sleeping? Did you actually stop and do either?
Chin: I stopped after every 10K lap for a few minutes
and ate something: a half sandwich, or a bowl of soup
or a Clif bar. I also changed my shirt and hat frequently.
I found as the race went on, these stops got longer, up
to 15 minutes or longer. I also took two longer breaks
of more than an hour, once at about midnight and next
at about 6 a.m., where I went to my room at Telemark,
took a shower, ate a bigger meal and lay down for about
a half hour. But I didn't sleep because I was afraid I
wouldn't be able to wake up again. Having a support person
is essential if you're skiing alone. (Thanks Lorelee!)
- Skinnyski: In long distance events, many people describe
periods of delusions. Did you have any strange moments/experiences
during the event?
Chin: No delusions (except for the one that led me to
do the race). But at one point I had this sort of dream
that George Bush won the election even though Al Gore
took the popular vote; then I realized it must have been
some low blood sugar thing. In generaly, my goal was to
go slow, but keep going, so oddly I didn't feel real bad
at any point in the race, just a great accumulating weariness
toward the end. I may have been babbling a little bit
then. But I've felt worse in 50k races, or even 10k races.
Looking back, I think maybe I could have pushed it harder,
but I think the general strategy of not pushing hard but
just going works. In the first 1/3 of the race I dropped
down to 9th place, but then climbed back up as the other
solo skiers who started out faster hit a wall.
- Skinnyski: Did you do any special training for the
Chin: Just the regular training I'm doing for racing
this year. Up until this race, I hadn't skied farther
than about 60k or longer than four or five hours at a
- Skinnyski: How long was it after the race before you
got back on skis again?
Still not on my skis yet. I'm a little afraid to see
what the bases look like. But I've started biking to work
again, and I hope to ski a bit this weekend.
- Skinnyski: Will you do it again next year?
Chin: Still too early to say. Right now I'm interested
in being the manager/support person/masseuse for an all
women's 24-hour team.
- Skinnyski: Any other funny/humorous stories from the
Chin: I was climbing up a hill when this woman skier
pulled alongside and told me this joke about what men
and snowstorms have in common. It was funny and situationally
relevant, however, the punch line is rated pg-13. Maybe
you can drop me an e-mail if you want to hear it.