Friday morning 33 folks of varying racing backgrounds once again toed the crooked start line for another race in our Wasatch Citizens Series. The unusual start time was to accommodate some out of town racers who were attending the Outdoor Retailer Show.
The format for this race was simple. The first to complete four laps up a skin track set that morning through the trees, powder groomers, and over a small sub ridge would be the winner. To add some friendly competition, we decided to score the race like a cross country meet – each place counts (through the top five on each team) as its number of points and the lowest number of total points wins. The confusing question was on whose team would Luke Nelson count? He is this years USSMA National Champion and lives in Pocatello, ID. Since that’s basically an extension of the Wasatch and he’s going to be seen at times in a Wasatch Skimo speed suit, we claim him. The problem is so did the “out of towners”.
Anyway, the competition was fantastic with 5 out of the top ten at this years national race in attendance and the former woman’s National Champion, Janelle Smiley giving us all a run for our money. Just a bit back, everyone on more standard gear (extra girth and lacking carbon fiber) waged their own battles. It was pretty awesome to look down the skin track and see 30 headlamps bobbing as people were making kick turns through the trees on the first lap. After the first descent, Jared dropped out citing illness and a bloody cough. I transitioned well and chased Luke through the trees with Wick and Pete following. Once the course opened up, I could feel Wick on my heels and let him go by as he in turn encouraged me to stick with it. After the second descent, Luke got out first with Wick chasing and Pete turning in a fast transition and getting out before me. That’s the way things stayed with the gaps widening slightly.
|Pete Swenson giving chase (photo by JI)|
The final standings (according to Jared who became the default course marshall):
1. Luke Nelson. 56 min
2. Bryan Wickenhauser
3. Pete Swenson
4. Andy Dorais
5.. Tom Goth
6. Janelle Smiley
7. Courtney Phillips
8. Mark Smiley
9. Chad Brackelsberg
10. Layne Caldwell
11. Tim Holmberg
12. Luther Birdzell
13. Matt Hart
14. John Swain
15. Adam OKeefe
16. Nate Kartchner
17. David Morris
And about 15-20 others, before he had to leave. Sorry to all those that didn’t get counted.
So for the scoring, Team Wasatch Skimo placed 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 10th and Team “Rest of the World” placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 8th. That would make the final score 35 to 20 with the out of towners taking the win.
Except we count Luke. Ha! So the real score was 1, 4, 5, 7 vs 2, 3, 6, 8 (only 4 present) or 17 vs 19 giving the Wasatch the W!
Regardless of how we score it, everyone had a great time getting faster and skiing some powder. Our next race is Feb 2nd with more on the 9th, 23rd, and March 1st. It all leads up to the Powderkeg and then hopefully to ticking off some of our more adventurous objectives for the year. So come on out and join the races. It’s free, a good way to meet others and learn how to be efficient, and great training for your own projects.
Check out citizenseries.wasatchpowderkeg.com and subscribe to get the updates.
And lastly, a Cannon S100 was left at the lodge and it’s owner would desperately like it back. Please comment below if you have it or know where it went.
|The top three (photo by JI)|