Andrea Dupont

Archive for February, 2010

The Great Canadian Birkie

Being a sprinter, I don’t often get the chance to do much long distance racing. The few 30km races that I have entered have always been a struggle for me, either with wax or pacing or just not having enough left in the tank to finish strong. But surprisingly my longest race ever, the 55km Canadian Birkie, was my best long distance race yet!

The course was well suited to me with short little climbs but for the most part this course was a double poling course. I was able to hold onto the second pack of guys which skied at the perfect pace to push me but not fast enough to drop me. I struggled a bit between kilometres 42 to 46 because the bottle I was carrying with my GU gels froze closed, and I was seriously running on empty. I lost the pack I was skiing with, but after I got a feed at kilometre 47 I got my legs back and was able to catch back 2 of the pack I was skiing with. I crossed the finished line 9th overall and the first women, only 12 mins back from the lead.

It felt great to race that hard for that long. Now with any luck the 30km at Nationals will feel short!

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Baby Steps and Giant Leaps

You want the big races to be breakthrough performances but the reality is they rarely are. I took some giant leaps this year at Olympic trials and was hoping to take another leap at the World Cup in Canmore. Instead I took some baby steps. Baby steps aren’t bad, they are just not as exciting as the leaps. I had the opportunity to race against some of the best skiers in the world at the time when they are peaking for some of the most important races of their lives (ie. the Olympics starting in a couple of days). And on a really tough sprint course I was only a couple of seconds off of making the heats. I was 43rd in a good World Cup field, which is probably a better result than my previous best of 41st in a weak field. Not quite fast enough to make the heats this time, but a few more baby steps and the heats will be within grasp.

I have now had the opportunity to race 4 world cups and this was the first one that I felt comfortable leading into. I felt completely relaxed on the start line, maybe even a little too relaxed. But it was the first time I felt like I belonged on a World Cup start line. And maybe that is more than just a baby step!

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