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2016 Season Kick-Off!

Hey folks, we’ve been a bit lax on posting stuff, but seeing as it’s a new year we’ll make a resolution to keep the masses up to date on what we’re doing.

To start, we, again, had a great group out on January 2 (not that we were shirking running with hangovers on the first, but maybe it was better from a traffic standpoint on a Saturday as opposed to Friday???) for the Peanuts for Pnet Resolution Run.  It’s a great cause that’s near and dear to the SSSMST family, and this year, funds raised were donated to families of some fellow cyclists that we lost in different auto/bicycle accidents.

Since then, most of us have been hibernating, save for Mike Schaefer, who has been waxing his skis in anticipation of cross country season.  Nothing like a 5 hour drive to the State Up North to find some action and, incidentally, for those not in Greater Cleveland reading this, snow.  Kinda important.

I skied the 26K skate race in Michigan this weekend -the “Cote Dame Marie Loppet”/Michigan Cup half-marathon. Of course, my race prep was minimal this year, with only ONE real day on snow and only a few rollerskiing sessions.. BUT a race is a race, and it wasn’t as bad as expected. I started very slowly (on purpose) so was able to pass a number of people between 6and 10K as they were “blowing up”.  Settled in with a nice pace group of 6 guys for the middle portion of the race.   I cruised comfortably here, and focused on technique (essentially the “learning how to ski again” that most racers do in November!!  I finally decided to attack this group with 5k to go because I didn’t want to take my chances in a group sprint –2 of them looked young and quick and they had fast skis!. One of the young guys had been out-climbing the group consistently, but I waited to attack until he came off of a pull. I opened up a gap of about 5 seconds before he got back in front to start chasing, and I put another 5-10 seconds into him in the next few minutes.  The course goes very gradually downhill after 2K to go, so I figured that if I could get out of sight before the top of the last climb I’d be OK, but it was definitely FULL gas from 21-24k.  Eventually I broke clear and the group didn’t get organized to chase, so I got to cruise in to the finish.  Total of 1:28 (times are very similar to running races) making 3rd in 40-49 age group and 12th OA. The guys I’m usually with were three or four minutes ahead, at sixth-8th overall, but I really can’t complain being my first week on snow! Figure that’s about as good as it gets for “desperation training”.  The Birkie is looking pretty large, just 5 wks away!


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