Racing on Snow!
It's a tough climb up on cross-country skis and at -44 Celsius with wind chill, it's not any easier. Why do these crazed athletes do this to themselves?
My husband has been training four times a week to get his body ready for the upcoming cross-country ski races. We had a slow start to the season so it will be interesting to see how fit everyone else is. There are 2 distinctly different types of ski races; classic and skating.
The classical type of skiing is the one most people are used to seeing and uses a diagonal stride. It involves hours and hours of waxing! This process has to take into account the length of race, the snow temperature and the air temperature. There is grip wax near where your feet are, and glide wax everywhere else. It is extremely high tech and all the Olympic skiers have technicians to do this for them. You can bet that wax is very expensive when you're talking race calibre! My husband has no technicians and has been known to spend 12 hours waxing for a one hour race! The man is a fanatic, but a very patient one!
The ski-skating type of racing which you see my husband demonstrating in the above pictures, (unbeknownst to him!) is so graceful to watch. It looks as though he is magically and effortlessly floating along the surface of the snow! Sometimes he doesn't use the poles and just puts both hands behind his back! This looks amazing to me since I never mastered this style of skiing and was never a strong ice skater. You don't need to wax quite so much for skate-skiing.
The races he's done in both categories are 15k, 25k, 30k, and 55k. He's done the World Masters in Banff , Thunder Bay, and Lake Placid and has placed as high as Silver in his age group. He works so hard at fitness, I think he deserves to get great results. When a few of his patients asked him how he did when he won Bronze one year, he modestly mumbled through his beard something that resembled, "Okay." He's a Gold in my book!
Mother of Invention, thinking he looks just like one of those explorers returning from the South Pole in National Geographic!