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Uncertain Weather Doesn't Deter Racers in First Fall Pursuit

Sun, Sep  24, 2006 - By Mike Muha

The weather was a bit iffy, but five skiers and two spectators turned out to "race" the Team Trail and Tarmac Run & Rollerski Pursuit. Race Director Dan Motowski did a splendid job designing a new run and rollerski course at Kensington Metropark. The running course - 315 feet of climbing, 315 feet of descending - was  cursed by more than one participant at one point or another during the event.

The Run

The ground was a bit damp as spectator Rob Blazoff officially started the race. We ran up a paved incline toward the toboggan run as a group. Down the side of the toboggan run, Dan and I outran everyone down the hill and took the lead across the road to the Spring Mill parking area. Hugh, Dave, and Glen passed and started gaining over us.

The order was maintained as we headed up a two track to a short but still uphill single track section of the course. The single track exited onto a two-track that took us to the top of Kensington Metropark's "lookout hill", where we crossed the road and headed down a steep cross country ski trail section. We then darted up and down short steep hills, freshly mowed for use by the annual disk golf tournament, before coming out of the woods.

And what was waiting for us? The longest sledding hill at Kensington. By this time, Hugh had a commanding lead. Dave had a bit of a lead on Glen, and I trailed behind. Dan was behind me. I gained a little on Glen up the hill, since much of my running this fall has been on uphills.

As we got to the top, we turned right and headed down a path back to the bottom of the sledding hills, ran away from the hills on some two track, before gradually turning back toward the hills. This time, it was the second longest sled hill in front of us. Nearing the bottom on the hill, Glen caught Dave. At the bottom of the hill, I passed both of them and reached the top with Dave "I don't like beeing passed" Fanslow panting behind me.

We looped around the toboggan hill parking area before heading down, up, and down a short grassy section to the finish. No more than 150 yards from the finish, I suddenly got a huge side stitch and had to slow down. A quick peek behind showed Dave gaining. As I got halfway up the final little climb, the stitch disappeared and I barely held Dave and Glen off for second place in the run.

We recovered a bit, made sure we had everyone, then headed down to the boat rental parking lot where we were parked and where the rollerski leg would begin.

The Rolleskis

Neither Glen or Dan were going to rollerski. And Dave said, "I'm cooked. I'm going out for an easy rollerski." Dave only had rout runs under his belt after a long season of bike racing.

Hugh and I were left for the rollerski segment. As we changed into ski boots, it started to lightly rain. I decided to classic ski so I wouldn't have to deal with wet paint on the pavement. Hugh didn't have his classic skis along, so he skated. Before the rain got any worse, I took off.

Hugh heading toward the finish line. Note the wet pavement.

The rollerski course headed clockwise from the boat rental area, down and around Maple Beach, then up a long gentle hill to Possum Hollow, the field where schools have soccer and cross country meets. We then headed down a gentle grade to the entrance road into Possum Hollow. We took a sharp right onto the road, and skied to the end on the flat and generally well-paved section of tarmac. At the end, we turned around the traffic circle and retraced our steps back.

As we hit the road, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Hugh started about three minutes back and was about two minutes faster.

Glen and spectator son Justin drove around the course to watch;  Rob had to take off for an appointment.

Not a bad training day. I will say that I could feel my knees from the aggressive running down the hills, but overall, a pretty good outing.

Name Run Rollerski Total Technique Rollerski
Hugh Pritchard 19:38 15:35 35:13 Skating Marwe 610
Mike Muha 21:26 17:34 39:00 Classic Pro-Ski C2
Dave Fanslow 21:28 - - - -
Glen Maylath 21:34 - - - -
Dan Motowski 26:23 - - - -