The Great Bear Chase! Wow, and OH MY God, is all I have to say. First of all, I am not an intermediate skier, for those trails are for badass skiers! Beginners beware!! Or, folks like me who love to ski with tracks!
Start of the race is an icy incline without trails and it was by sheer luck I didn't fall going up. Then, onto a slopping downhill, without tracks. Knees already shaking and we are 5 minutes into the 10K. And, there are skiers in front of me, skiers on side of me, skiers behind me.
Go go go!
I was registered into the CLASSIC 10K. Classic to me means tracks.
My second attempt at a hill without tracks, I made down, but it wasn't pretty....only to be met with a steep icy incline. I fell.
The second steep down hill, I felt I may as well give it a go, the bottom wasn't too hairpin looking....but, I wiped out. Glasses flew, skies all crossed and poles every which way. It wasn't as gentle as my purposeful fall on Hairpin at the Tech trails.
Another Fear Met and conquered. I can fall badass!
After that, each time I came to a trackless hill, I took my skis off. Except one time, it didn't look too bad and I tried again, only to fall part way down.
I really didn't want to injure myself, so tried to be a gentle badass!
I learned it is easier to take them off at the top and walk down, then to try and remove them while legs and skis are crossed and poles going every which way - on my back.
By the time we were in the last 4 K of the race, the 25 K skiers were racing by! And, they were racing, not just trying to finish. So, I walked down more hills to stay out of their way and up a few too, just to keep them racing by me.
They were serious, and I would have been messing with their times!
I think, the hardest part of the race is not knowing the trail and what is up ahead AND not being able to ski without tracks down hills. I guess in my mind classic means tracks and I am comfortable in them.
We did have some nice tracked downhills as well, and on those I feel quite comfortable.
But all in all, Swede Town trails are hilly!
Oh, and one time me and real ski racer were going down the hill neck and neck, poles out into a tuck, eyes watering, hair flying - Felt pretty badass then!
And, you have to remember we were skiing in about 5 degrees with some strong winds. It was very cold! Takes a badass to think she can do 10 K in that weather. And, we did it.
I had a buddy, who waited while I climbed down and Up. She did not take her skis off once. She is a badass intermediate skier! Her time would have been much better, had she not taken the time to ski with me!
I am sure I hold a few records - for most steps taken, most times I took off my skies, and I am even thinking the most BMI - Boy are there some sleek muscled skiers! Not an ounce of fat on them!! Oh, and did I mention 704 skiers registered; the most ever!
After the icy no track beginning, I then fretted about coming back down that hill to finish, on my butt or with a big wipe out. Instead, it was a nice gentle hill into the finish gate!
Fun to hear the people cheering, bells ringing and knowing you only have a few more glides to go! I made it! It wasn't pretty, it wasn't perfect but it was a finish!
We had three of the full time employees of Chassell Post Office in the race. Kenny came in third in his division! Kenny was our inspiration for signing up!
So, here are a few funny things. First of all you wear a Race Bib. Pam and I noticed we looked like were are wearing training bras, at the End of the Race! It is so funny. And, the people at the Finish, couldn't read my numbers. Seems my training bra had ridden up on my falls along the way! We got the giggles!
And, so we then changed into warmer dryer clothes and had a delicious pasty dinner. I had hot tea, water and was feeling pretty badass for completing and UNDER 2 hours!
After eating, we are on the bleachers, chilling and waiting for the winners to be announced and behind us sits some serious skier dudes and they are discussing the race and talk about a woman out there who could have been making quilts she was going so slow. Well, since I was the slowest in the shortest race, IT had to be me. HOW funny...and almost true! (and thankfully, I had taken off my bright pink hat and hyper green jacket and the riding up bra, for I don't think he knew it was me sitting in front of HIM!)
Oh my gosh, this is how it feels to enter into a higher level of play than where you are!
All in all, I am happy that I did the chase.
I am happy that even with knees shaking at times, heart racing at times, heart pounding , walking, and falling at times, I was successful in finishing!
I didn't quit.
I flew head first into my greatest fears while skiing!
I did the Chase!
I am a bit sore from my wipe out, but no broken bones - and, it was the scariest thing I have done in awhile!
But, I finished!