Q Burke Skimo Race

This last Saturday I finally got to try out a Skimo race. It was put on by Skimoeast.com and was a burley course at Burke Mountain consisting of nearly 12 miles  and 5,500' vert with six bootpack sections and 3 ski descents. I was excited to see how I'd stack up against fellow east coast skiers - I knew I had the fitness to perform well but there's a lot of things that need to go right and it was evident out of the start how many things could go wrong. No more than 15 seconds into the race my goggles popped off my helmet and onto the snow, killing my chance at getting a good position heading into the wooded skintrack. I worked my way up to 5th place or so but had a second malfunction at the first bootpack when my skis fell off my pack. I dropped back to 10th and worked to make my way back up to 8th but was bottlenecked behind several skiers who were moving well but I wasn't working very hard at this point and the leaders were definitely gapping us. We popped out of the woods and the course from here on out was opened up, no more getting trapped behind anyone, it was up to me to step it up and close the gap. The first descent I moved into 4th place. I saw the leaders ahead on the first ascent under the lift. It was a skin/bootpack/skin section. It was here where I realized I lost my pole basket - not a show stopper but certainly didn't make things any easier. There wasn't anyone immediately near me at this point which made it hard to push myself but at the same time I needed to save some gas for the last lap. The ski descent on the East Bowl trail was fun and familiar - Exactly like the Sherbie mid spring - bumped up with descent coverage and just a few grass/rock sections. I was able to make up enough time on the descent to put 4th place skier, Lyne Bessette (Bunny), in my sight for the last ascent. I didn't gain any time on her on the uphill but on the last downhill, I was able to pass her merging back on the groomer before the lodge. She kindly guided me from behind telling me where to go to get down to the finish and I crossed the line in 3rd place, just over two hours. I was very happy with my debut and know that there's a ton of room for improvement. With this race under my belt I'll be looking to head over the the other VT races at Jay and Magic. Here are some photos from the race:

Race Start. Missed the memo on the theme party. p: David Moore 

Burke with a fresh dusting of snow. p: David Moore

Coming out of the woods after a tough skin / bootpack. p: David Moore

Sharing the podium with some very talented atheletes. p:  David Moore

Sharing the podium with some very talented atheletes. p: David Moore