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Birkie thanks



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 1st 06, 04:18 PM
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Default Birkie thanks


My 12th Birkie experience will definitely go down in my personal
archives as one of the most memorable. It's not the results (a DNF),
but it's the extreme selflessness that two Birkie skiers showed
during the race to help a fellow skier.

I decided a few weeks prior to the Birkie that I would join the classic
ranks. All was going well until a few KMs past 00. The rest is still
somewhat of a blur, but I will try to reconstruct.

I was heading down a hill, in the tracks, when I noticed some debris (a
foil wrapper). I'd seen debris in the tracks before, and simply
lifted my ski to go over. I really don't know what happened
next...perhaps the foil wrapper caught on my kick zone, or I caught an
edge...but I suddenly found myself down on the ground, hard.

At first, I thought I just broke a pole. But the sudden, intense pain
in my left shoulder told me otherwise. So, here I lay in the middle of
the trail, flailing about and in severe pain. I could do nothing. I
tried to move to the side, but it was dreadfully painful.

I really don't know how long I was on the trail. It probably was only
a few moments, but it seemed like an eternity. Soon, two skiers stopped
and dragged me to the side of the trail.

So, there I sat. I was unable to move my left arm and was in extreme
pain. These two skiers stayed with me until the ski patrol arrived, and
even helped as I was loaded into the snowmobile sled.

I was driven to Gravel Pit, where I was loaded onto an ambulance and
transported to Hayward. The diagnosis was a broken left collarbone. It
will heal, in time. But my skiing is over for the winter.

While it wasn't the way I wanted to finish my Birkie, I was very
thankful for a number of folks, including the ski patrol, the ambulance
drivers, and the volunteers at the aid station.

But most of all, I would like to thank the two skiers who stopped and
rendered aid. In the blur and my state of mind, I unfortunately can't
recall exact names or numbers. One was a wave 4 skier and the other a
wave 3 skier. They both stayed with me even after the ski patrol had
arrived.

I'm still very sore, and in time will heal completely. I will be back
next year. But I will also be back with a renewed sense of what the
Birkie is all about. Sure, finishing times and personal bests are
important. But so is the sense of family that the Birkie brings.

I will never be able to thank those two skiers enough. And I will
probably never be able to repay them for the aid they rendered. I only
hope to carry on their selflessness by aiding my fellow skiers whenever
I can.

Mark Moore

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  #2  
Old March 1st 06, 05:36 PM
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Mark,

Sorry to hear about the misfortune. The big question is, does this
count as a Birkie completed? Seems like it should count as two.

Anyone else ski the Birkie? It seems quite around here.

Wonderful course, great grooming, perfect weather (well, compared to
thunder storms...). I'm hearing a lot of joking about the Elite Wave
clothing requirments.

I got off to a rocky start (got tangled up twice) and was searching for
a new pole for 4 km. I got a noodle replacement at the start of the
Powerlines, but kept asking for a better pole along the route. I
finally got one of my poles and a bottle at Mosquito Brook from the
Wenner Team technician. (She was right next to the Italian Team
technician.) Other than a sore left forearm, I felt good after the
race. No cramps, coherent speech, "I need a brat." I even led our
two-some most of the way across the lake since Jey was complaining of
being tired. (Fool me once...I got your number next time.)

Jay Wenner

Mark wrote:
I was driven to Gravel Pit, where I was loaded onto an ambulance and
transported to Hayward. The diagnosis was a broken left collarbone. It
will heal, in time. But my skiing is over for the winter.


  #3  
Old March 1st 06, 09:05 PM
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Tough break! ... sorry :^]

Hang in there and heal well.

Took me 6 months to be 99% after breaking my pelvis ... it may take
time, but you'll get there.

John Wilke
Milwaukee

  #4  
Old March 2nd 06, 12:41 PM
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Mark wrote:
My 12th Birkie experience will definitely go down in my personal
archives as one of the most memorable. It's not the results (a DNF),
but it's the extreme selflessness that two Birkie skiers showed
during the race to help a fellow skier.


Geez Mark That's a rough one for sure. Were you Bib #145 from the Elite
Wave by chance ? I saw that skier being snomobile rescued after 00.
That sounds really rough.

By the way, there were far too many foil wrappers littering the trail.
I don't recall seeing so much litter in years, since many skiers have
gotten away from foil in favor of the little fueling jugs. It bummed me
out to see the beautiful Birkie trail & Creation treated that way by
skiers, who as a lot, are all about nature. We need to re-think goo
foils. AT LEAST take your feeds before the aid stations & litter there
were it can be picked up. Next best: stuff it in your race suit for
later disposal. It's easy to not litter. Not only is it "litter" but
it's also clearly a safety hazard (witness Mark's tale above) and I
recall Nathan Schultz skiing over a goo pack @ the TC Vasa and getting
a klister effect for half the race, which wasn't fast. Either way, it's
avoidable & it needs to stop.

I had a far less rough race, but still not my most fun one. The story
is on fasterskier.com for whatever it's worth. I think Jay T got me, he
split the FrontRunner & myself. Seems like Jay Wenner had a real solid
race, into the Top 100 was it ? Good job Jay W & Jay T. Just get more
lycra, eh ?

  #5  
Old March 2nd 06, 04:30 PM
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delltodd wrote:

I had a far less rough race, but still not my most fun one. The story
is on fasterskier.com for whatever it's worth. I think Jay T got me, he
split the FrontRunner & myself. Seems like Jay Wenner had a real solid
race, into the Top 100 was it ? Good job Jay W & Jay T. Just get more
lycra, eh ?


Hey Dell,

I guess you control what you can control, and the rest makes a story
for the beer drinking. Sorry you hurled 4 times before the
highpoint...or felt like it. So what did you wax with?

I got spun around by Ken Statz stepping on my ski near the start and
went to my knees. Then just a few hundred feet further, another guy
slid his ski over mine and spun me around the other direction. I've
never had this problem in previous years. About 1/3 km later, I had a
broken pole, I guess because of the early rugby. I picked up a noodle
replacement pole at the start of the Powerlines and kept looking for a
better pole all the way to "OO." I finally got one of my poles from my
wife at 38 km. Today my hand is still giving me problems and after the
race, my forearm was sore. It really makes you realize how good the new
equipment is.

I chased until about 20 km, and then I rested in the Nelson group until
"OO". After "OO", I took up the chase again and actually just about
made it to a big group, but I wasn't able to hang with them as guys
started coming off the back. So as the comet was burning up front, I
kept skiing through the debris.

At Mosquito Brook, I stoppped and put on a new pole, grabbed a bottle
(and drank), and headed off for the beating on Bitch Hill. About that
time the women leaders came through, and actually, Bitch Hill is not
too bad when you're climbing it alone. I got caught by Jey Carlson and
he led over the 77 hill. Across the lake I did most of the work since
Jey said he was tired. In the sugar, the Nelson train caught me from
behind, and I could hardly keep my balance in that sugar snow. I should
have tried dp'ing. Anyway, three guys went by and I didn't have the
legs to get em back on the harder snow.

I used LF6 with FC1 and the skis were a little slow or ok on the
climbs, but they really lit up on the downhills. One guy even asked
what I had on. I think the call was LF4 or LF4 with the CF1. I actually
had a pair with that on it, but it felt about the same as the LF6 with
FC1.

Jay Wenner

  #6  
Old March 3rd 06, 12:25 AM
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"delltodd" wrote:

By the way, there were far too many foil wrappers littering the trail.
I don't recall seeing so much litter in years, since many skiers have
gotten away from foil in favor of the little fueling jugs. It bummed
me out to see the beautiful Birkie trail & Creation treated that way
by skiers, who as a lot, are all about nature. We need to re-think goo
foils. AT LEAST take your feeds before the aid stations & litter there
were it can be picked up. Next best: stuff it in your race suit for
later disposal. It's easy to not litter. Not only is it "litter" but
it's also clearly a safety hazard (witness Mark's tale above) and I
recall Nathan Schultz skiing over a goo pack @ the TC Vasa and getting
a klister effect for half the race, which wasn't fast. Either way,
it's avoidable & it needs to stop.


On a local Twin Cities group, Marsh recounted going down hard on a
wrapper. The next day I strided from Mosquito Brook north to 33k and
then south to Duffy Hill (45k) and noticed, especially on the northern
section in the two k before MB, that for every gel wrapper or similar in
the middle there were three or four in the tracks, both sides. Pretty
odd, but don't know what to attribute it to.

BTW, where exactly is Bitch Hill?

Gene
  #7  
Old March 3rd 06, 04:00 PM
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Bitch Hill is about 42k in, with women dressed in outlandish costumes,
cheering you on, or Bitching at you, either method is effective, is a
fun "high point" of the race.

JW,

Thanks for the "breakdown" of your race. That is strange getting spun
out that way. My wax, I must say, has been without question awesome -
the Dragon wax, a French product from Joe G. However, this time, I was
hearing the noise about LF from the other companies, and I tried the LF
Dragon, for the first time, in a race, the Birkie. Woopsie. The HF
Dragon has never let me down. This LF Dragon, is not to be considered a
stand alone race wax, IMO. Perhaps it's intended only as a trainer wax,
or an underlayer for HF or for fluoros. At any rate, this snow was not
that different from last year, only it didn't warm up as fast, and I
had great skis on HF Dragon then, and that was going thru my mind the
whole time. Usually you think of fluoros as having a liability, and
LF's only liability maybe is that they don't have the lasting
durability of an HF, but most of the speed. The Dragon "fluoro"
component is truly different chemically, and it performs differently. I
found out the hard way that the LF also is different, and I found it to
be a bit of a liability. If ever there was a time for any LF to shine,
that would be it. I was thinking this would be the conservative play,
sort of an LF4. Live and learn. The HF Dragon is the race wax, and I'm
going to be on it tomorrow in our 30k CL Michigan Cup race @ Black Mtn
(Cheboygan, MI).

  #8  
Old March 3rd 06, 05:08 PM
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Not that high up. I was in the third wave. I did get a mention in
SkiPost, for all the wrong reasons.

I agree that the amount of foil wrappers (gu, clif, etc) was a bit
high. Perhaps I didn't notice it as much in previous years because I
was in the skating lane. But it seems that the tracks collect these
wrappers. Maybe folks tossing the wrappers to the side don't go far
enough. In any event, I skied over A LOT of wrappers.

In any event, it is a bit of a problem...not a major one, but something
we all need to be aware of. I remember a couple years back moving up to
a classic skiier and watching him fall flat on his face after hitting a
wrapper in the tracks. Nothing broken then, but I'm sure it didn't help
his race.

I know everyone is different, and folks may "need" more energy, but I'm
amazed someone can't take a shot of gel prior to, or at, a feed spot.
Or tuck it in your jersey. Even though it's a race, it's still
littering. There's not a clean-up fairy on the Birkie trail. Those
wrappers will be there for YEARS.

And no, I'm not blaming the wrapper on my fall. I should have been able
to recover.

Mark

P.S. Able to type with two hands now! With the help of a lot of
pillows. And thanks to the folks who sent me emails of encouragement.
It's very much appreciated.

  #9  
Old March 3rd 06, 08:02 PM
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I learned from the Cerax days that you're pretty much going it alone
when you pick an unpopular wax. If you use a name brand wax, then you
can talk to others about the selection. So you have conversations like,
"Do you think it's an LF4 or LF5 day? cover it or leave it." That way
you keep bringing in others experience with the type of snow crystal
vs. the wax hardness and fluoro level.

Then it comes down to how much you trust the person you're talking
with. When Eli brown says "We've had a lot of good races in this type
of snow on LF6 covered with FC1," that means quite a bit. Or maybe you
get a direct tip on actual glide testing the day before the race or
others have done workouts on a particular wax. At least you know where
the snow is starting on the way to race day.

Doing testing yourself (I've done it) takes a lot of energy. Also, in
MPLS, we're hardly had any new cold snow this year, but the Pepsi,
Mora, and the Birkie were all cold snow races this year. (BTW, LF5 for
the first two, and that probably would have been a good call at the
Birkie too. I had a pair with that, but it was a fairly recent grind
and not gliding as well as other pairs.)

Jay W

 




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