Skinnyski.com Race Team Weekend RecapMarch 7, 2006
The first weekend in March and much of the team was back on the trails again, racing across the region. Half the Nelson gang crossed the border to participate in the big 50K Sibley Ski Tour, the other half, along with John Munger, headed up to Maplelag for the popular Lotvola Cup classical race. Mark Parman and Paulette Niemi scored top results in the Lakeland Loppet on the Minocqua Winter Park trail system.
David Nelson 7th male Sibley Ski Tour 50K freestyle
Grant Nelson 11th male Sibley Ski Tour 50K freestyle
Josie Nelson 3rd female Sibley Ski Tour 50K freestyle
Mark Parman 3rd male Lakeland Loppet 25K freestyle
Paulette Niemi 1st female Lakeland Loppet 25K freestyle
John Munger 4th male Lotvola Cup 12K classical
Per Nelson 7th male Lotvola Cup 12K classical
Margie Nelson 1st female Lotvola Cup 12K classical
Read the full race story from Dave.
The 2006 Sibley ski tour in Thunder Bay, Ontario was a great race! Josie and I made plans to race in Sibley this year mainly because my good friend from high school cross country running, Dan Horihan, had just moved there in January. We figured it would be a good excuse to visit him and a great way to close out the season.
Grant and I lined up on the far left of the front line with an anticipated 90 degree right turn approximately 200 meters down the trail. Grant told me the outside edge of the start is always preferred since you can normally avoid congestion and ski around people on the outside. The official starter gave a “5-4-3-2-1-GO!” count-down for the start. Unfortunately, but as expected with a countdown start, the majority of the front line surged ahead at about “3.” This put Grant and I at a disadvantage when we started at “GO!” But we sprinted ahead and were in fairly good position going into the sharp corner. At the corner a skier next to me seemed to ignore the turn and pushed me and Grant straight towards the woods. Before I could react I had pushed Grant into the brush. Somehow I stayed on my feet, rounded the corner and raced ahead to catch up to the lead pack. I looked back over my shoulder and saw Grant trying to get untangled from the little balsam tree he seemed to be hugging. I was bummed because I was hoping to ski with Grant again like the previous weekend at the Birkie.
About then we passed the 11km mark and began a long climb. My form fell apart and I watched the pack of skiers glide away from me. My previously lightning fast skis felt slow, and I began to think about how long the next 39km would be. I struggled on my own for about 4-5km and really didn’t ski much faster than my training pace. A group of 5 skiers caught up to me including Tyler Fish who I skied well with in the Vasaloppet 58km. I caught on their train and felt better and better and rotated through the lead several times. My skis felt fast again and I had a hard time staying behind the skiers ahead of me. By the end of the race I was excited for a sprint out at the end. At the last hill I pulled ahead and gave it everything I had, Tyler yelled, “I knew you would do that!” as I roared around the corner to the finish line. What a great race!