Feb 7 2018
Thursday. The final day of our week in the mountains. In the morning we had the “individual race”, men over 5k, women over 3k, on the loops below the hotel.
Originally, I was scheduled to be a “race official”, but I managed to reorganize the logistics plan, and free up a place for myself to race.
Conditions had changed a lot. There was a lot of fresh snow. I waxed my skis for Classic Skiing and set out to do a reconnaissance run, which doubled as “track preparation”. If you look carefully on the Strava map, you can see a place where I lost the course. It was difficult. At that point, there was just trees and fresh snow, and I had to remember how the 5k loop continued, and I made a mistake.
I realized it soon enough and backtracked.
Veronika did a similar prep round for the 3k loop.
Then it was time to race. I was the fifth guy to start (at 30 second intervals) and in the first turn, I passed the guy in front of me. After that, I was alone. It was pretty hard, but at least I had put on the good wax. Heart rate close to 180bpm on some of the climbing intervals.
I came in fourth.
In the afternoon, there was the team steeple chase run. We set out a flat track of 500m in one direction, 1k total. I manned the turning point and took pictures. Each team consisted of four skiers, and each team member skied 1k.
After the races, we hiked to Ovcarna for a final few drinks in one of the huts there.
In the evening, we had the prize ceremony. On Friday morning, we hiked to Ovcarna, boarded the bus and drove back to Brno. Travel/rest day. The travel was only 2 hours.