Thursday, January 5, 2012

In Thunder Bay for O-Cup #1

Happy New Year! I know I'm a bit late, but that's a recurring theme in this blog, so oh well.

I'm in Thunder Bay this weekend for the first Ontario Cup of the year and, incidentally, my first race of this season. I'm excited! We finally got snow in Ottawa on Christmas Day, and it was the best present Santa could have brought us skiers. I had all of last week off work so I skied up in the Gatineaus to my heart's content and we even held a short time trial at Mooney's Bay, which we needed to do in order to qualify for the Ontario ParaSport Games to be held in Huntsville in February.

But back to this O-Cup. Harris and I flew in yesterday, and we are staying at Patti's sister's house. Caroline will also be coming to stay with us today. She was supposed to arrive late last night but missed her connection and was stuck in Toronto overnight. We came out to ski at Lappe Nordic Centre yesterday afternoon, and it was a gorgeous day. They have a bit more snow here than we do and it's surprisingly warmer here than in Ottawa. I skied with Brian Berry, who has agreed to guide me in the World Cups this year. Brian is Robbi Weldon's guide of several years, but Robbi is tandem cycling this year in preparation for the London Paralympics, so I'm borrowing her guide in the meantime. Skiing with Brian was awesome. We skied the 3 km race course a couple of times and he launched into race strategy right away talking about where we can save time on corners and downhills, etc. I think I'll be able to learn a lot from him.

Our races are a 3 km classic prologue on Friday, classic sprints on Saturday and a 5 km skate race on Sunday. I will try to write updates throughout the weekend but Maureen, our host, doesn't have wi-fi, so it might be tough. I'm writing at Lappe right now.

Well, I'd better go and see if I can find Brian and get ready for a ski. Good morning from Lappe!

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