The Revelstoke Nordic ski club sent eight racers from the Track Attack Team to the BC Midgets at Whistler Olympic Park in the Callaghan valley last weekend. The Midgets were held on Mar. 5 and 6 and included a 2 km classic ski race and a 1.5 km relay race on Saturday; and 300 metre time trials and sprint heats on Sunday.
The B.C. Midgets in Callaghan Valley was very different this year compared to when I was there last, in 2009. Pre-Olympic hype then included a giant billboard showing scrolling messages, swarms of people and Olympic mascots running around everywhere. It was much quieter this year but it was still exciting to race at the Olympic venue. This year still saw a good turnout, with almost 50 racers attending with some clubs, and clubs from as far away as Whitehorse coming.
We arrived at Whistler Olympic park (where they actually have more snow then we do in Revelstoke – seriously!) for the 2 km classic ski race on Saturday morning. There had been fresh snow overnight, the temperature was hovering around zero and humidity was one hundred percent. Waxing was a serious challenge and skiers experienced a range of results – some were sticking, some were slipping, and some had perfect glide. For example: I had so much snow built up on the bottom of my skis I had to run, rather than ski , down all the hills. Amazingly, I beat my time from 2009 anyway In spite of the challenging conditions, Alana Brittin was able to power through the course and win a silver medal.
The relays in the afternoon included two four-person teams from Revelstoke. Wax was less of an issue, and everyone had fun. Unfortunately for the Radical Revy team, a skier from another team collided with Simon Brittin while exiting the track. Both skiers fell and a frustrating delay ensued. Simon skied with amazing determination after this incident, making very good time on his leg of the relay. The Radical Revy team placed 7th.
Sunday was a beautiful sunny day. The time trials and sprint heats were fun and exciting. Many skiers on the team achieved personal best times and Alana Brittin was on the podium for Revelstoke again, this time with a bronze medal. Mackenzie Mallett showed amazing determination, finishing a heat in good time after two heartbreaking falls.
For more detailed results from the B.C. Midgets, check out the Hollyburn Cross Country Ski website or go to: HYPERLINK “http://www.zone4.ca/” http://www.zone4.ca/
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people on behalf of myself and my Track Attack team mates: Brian Mallett and Richard Brittin for waxing support, Angus Woodman and Colleen Wall for coaching support at the race, and last but not least a big thank you to Bruce Granstrom, who has coached us all year. Thanks to all my teammates as well – it has been fun and rewarding training and racing with everyone.
Daniel Blackie, 12, is a member of the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club’s Track Attack team and competed at the race in Whistler.