Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Coldest Place in the Country

To the left is me (in the rainbow hat) racing Beth.

I did my 1st long track race over the weekend at the olympic oval in Lake Placid, the Charles Jewtraw meet! I came in 2nd in my age group (16-18), not bad for my first time on clap skates! Man, thoes things are FUN. The day we got there, Lake Placid/Saranac was officially the coldest place in the US with a temperature of -25 deg. Needless to say, after the races I got a bad cold, since the oval is outdoors.
Long track is so much different than short track, especially the crossovers!! Omigosh, I swear I slowed down on the turns because I couldnt do the crossovers right, I think I could have gone faster without crossovers, just pushing with my right foot. Unlike short track, you can't lean into the turns as much or the blades will slip out from under you and/or you'll go into the next lane (learned it the hard way).
Anyway, Jim's races were the most amazing speedskating races ive ever seen in my life. He went up against his arch rival, a guy named Pat, a Canadian former olympian. Pat seems to be better at the sprints and Jim at the longer distances, which led to Jims getting 2nd instead of 1st because in long track they count the shorter distances more heavily (also why I got 2nd and not 1st). Their races were truely a thing of beauty, they really inspired me. It was way better than anything ive seen on the olympics, the TV really doesnt do the sport justice.

We got a deal from John Dimon ( http://www.dimonsports.com/ ) on some long track blades and boots so im all set :D Ill probably go to a long track camp over the summer along with all the short track ones. I found a webcam of the oval, there is a link to it on the side of this page, the oval is shown on the top of the page. There are cams below the oval for the other venues too, the jumps, whiteface, xc stadium, and the rink. Unfortunatly it doesnt have Mt. Van Hoevenbergh :/. It takes pictures of the oval every hour so you can see whats going on. Cool, no?

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