Ski bum

This is the time of year SSSMST’s Mike Schaefer is gobsmacked for!  Give the man some powder and some trails and he’s in his element.  Which was hard to be in during December (which brought us virtually nothing).  But now into the new year we’ve had a layer of it around for a while.  Which means Mike is working hard.

First XC race stop is at one of his usual rounds in that state up north for the Cote Dame Marie Loppet, a 26km cross country event.

Great start to the season! I had one of my better Michican Cup finishes and beat last year’s close competitors by ~3-4minutes, improving from 22nd overall last year to 7th! (times vary a lot from year to year due to conditions)…. I chased an old rival for the first 10K and caught him just before a major climb (up and over the local Alpine ski hill!). He dropped me again at the top as I didnt’ have the courage to stay with him (first race insecurity I guess)…. So I spent the entire 2nd half chasing him again. I got the gap down to 10seconds with a despirate surge on the last hilly section, but I couldnt close it. Still, I couldn’t be happier considering our lack of snow in December. The highlight of the weekend, though was some great father-daughter time with Julia as she travelled with me, and we did some Alpine and XC skiing together!

Then, this past weekend, the Ohio Nordic Ski Club was able to pull off the Ohio Cross Country Ski Championships at Lake Farmpark in Kirtland.

The relaxed 5k Classic style race start

The relaxed 5k Classic style race start

We had a great turnout – 84 different skiers from 4 states! My “nemesis” from Pennsylvania Jim Samuels showed up and won both races. I struggled in the 5K classical race and got out-kicked by our friend Frank Pattison and Jared Gregg (a young former Michican Tech Varsity skier.) In the 10K freestyle race I got some immediate revenge – I took it out pretty hard trying to stay with Jim (unsuccessfully) but this gapped Jared so I kept pouring it on until I got out of eyesight. This was a painful tactic but I got one heck of a workout! The back-to-back 5/10Ks and the soft snow really made this one tough. Next week is the PA state championships, and I’m planning to stay with Samuels this time! The weather is looking great and the Birkie training is on schedule!

Taking on the big climb in the 10k Skate-style race

Taking on the big climb in the 10k Skate-style race

Mike powering into the finish line of the 5k

Mike powering into the finish line of the 5k







Awesome job!!


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