Monday, 25 January 2016

Parallel Sprint day

Well, I made my feet sticks really sharp so that if I slip when handling them they cut my fingers so hopefully the dig into the ice, and put on special chemicals from the pouch of chemicals so I go down the steep hill fast.  I put on the tight aerodynamic suit for more speed too, but also the pads and protectors and crash helmet in case I don't balance so good, because of course I do this with my feet only attached to the sticks a little bit. That way it wouldn't hurt too bad so I could do it again tomorrow.  Funny concept really. 

Early morning today, up about 1.5 hours earlier to commute over, and didn't sleep so well.  Did a session of work email around 1am when internet wasn't being used by 100 other hotel guests, then had bad dreams like my pets were stuck at some crime scene and I couldn't retrieve them or something weird like that. 

So we skiied over to the start which was nice, I think 5 lifts to get us there.  I'll count my wins no matter how small today - first was I didn't wipe out when carrying my race skis and break my thumb. One guy did.  Second, I carried my race skis without flailing about.  Although everyone but the Czechs and I had vans drive them over. 

Course was beautiful and sunny. Inspection was fine, then jump inspection.  I always find that one funny. You stand about talking then it's your turn to remember which building landmark you noted, tuck straight between the gates as you're not allowed to go around them, and launch for the line.  It has a bit of a lemmings feel to it.  They moved it up 2m from original as nobody but a couple guys made it. 

My first test of the loom felt ok too.  From there it was stand around and wait, watch racers, try to stay ready and limber. I struggle with that part. 

Women went first and it was finally time to go for men.  Norwegians were changing wax with roto brushes and portable stands because it was getting warmer and slushier.  I was more in the "run what you brung" mode.  

My run had the course feeling soft and choppy, felt like sheets of snow peeled off on corners and rolled into little balls. That's sub optimal but doesn't matter for me - actually that's exactly why good people go earlier. I think there was 50 men and 25 women roughly.  

So I think my absolute time wasn't awful at 47.98.  And 10 men dnf'd - crashed or missed gates. So I'm happy I finished, people who don't look sad. But my 6 seconds of penalties was not good, so really I was almost last of finishers, probably 40th or so. The fastest time which also had zero penalties was 39, so I'm 9 seconds slower than the worlds best just in snow time and I lack the grace to avoid penalties. If I was the coach of Erik, which I guess I am, I would have said:
1. You can hold an edge better than that, what gives?  I think the French is ne pas derapage - no skidding!
2. Give up on the jump distance, take 3 second penalty and do a small one land tele and take 3 seconds but not 4 (4 is 3 for coming up short and one for alpine landing it which a lot of people did).  
3. Number 2 would help avoid the other two penalties which were not enough boot space (ie deep tele turn) on the two gates after the jump where you were correcting the line and "surviving". 

So I'm not in the finals - no surprise.  My compatriots of the week said from below that my run looked smooth, but they were probably just being nice ; )

Anyway I think only those who go to next round even show up as having a result, which is the trick with the parallel as you have to make that league to even get a result.  I should know this is a "throw away" and just pull a 360 off the jump so at least I get a highlight reel ; )

At least I wasn't in a cast for a thumb, hauled off in the sled, or just wiped out.  

First gondola stairs view. 

"Commuting" over to the next valley. 

Course from bottom. 

Jump inspection. "Aim for the tall brown building".  

Panorama of valley from run above course. 

Course start. 

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