Since most of my focus & energy was spent on yesterday's race at Jay I'll make this brief. Owl's head was an unknown and afterthought going into this weekend. It's super close to Jay so it made sense to head to the event since we were already up in northern VT. Additionally it was an excuse to head over the border to Canada, something I haven't done in over 15 years!
Tristan and I head up early on Sunday AM knowing we had to deal with the border crossing and I had to remount my bindings from my broken ski to a new one. As anticipated, we had a thorough inspection at the border lasting over 20 minutes. Once through it was a quick drive to the mountain. After a couple attempts, I successfully mounted my ski and went through my pre-race motions.
The course was very clear for this race - two small laps followed by two big laps. There was a traverse across the mountain with a down bootpack into a long gradual skin up the lakeside woods of the mountain that dumps you out on the groomers to the summit. See my Strava for more details.
It was evident from the start that George was going to have a good race. He put a healthy lead on the pack after the small laps and was well out of sight as we traversed over to the lakeside skintrack. I wasn't feeling very sharp and was definitely tired from the previous day. I tucked behind Jerimy Arnold for much of the early race, eventually passing him a third of the way up the skintrack. I pushed had through the woods but wasn't able to shake the pack behind me. In fact Tristan Williams had moved into third place and I was very concerned. As I ascended the groomer to the summit, George came down with a healthy 2 minute+ lead. I transitioned and passed Tristan / Jerimy / Lyne all together. The descent takes you around another lift and I didn't want to miss it so I ended up skating up and around the top of the lift instead of tucking in below it. I passed George who was already skinning up for his second lap. At the transition my skins weren't sticking to my skis so I had to swap them out. This was tough as Lyne and Jerimy skied in as I was wrapping up. I followed this up with making a wrong turn, ducking into the woods too early, giving up my 2nd place lead. I was able to catch back up but now Tristan took the lead through the woods. I was worried that he would have a strong kick and gap us but he never did. I took a spill crossing a stream and had to put my ski back on. This was the last issue I'd have and I tried to enjoy the company of my fellow Americans as we made our way to the lap two summit approach, taking us to a bootpack to the summit. I was able to pass Tristan here and at the summit I just thought of how easy I'd take the descent after yesterday's disaster.
I finished well behind George but was pumped to salvage 2nd place. This course wasn't really suited for me as the descents were on groomers so it wasn't a surprise to have a tight finish with Tristan, Jerimy, and Lyne. Team 'Merica suited back up and de-flagged the skintrack before awards. We had a few beers, won some raffle items, and thanked the SkimoEast crew for putting on another great event.
The drive home was uneventful. My ass still kills but I plan on having another great week of training doing whatever this injury will allow me to do.