Since my last post I’ve had my first set of serious races for the season. I’d planned to write about them and then do a separate post about Christmas in Alaska but that hasn’t happened, so welcome to the Christmas race special blog!Besh Cup racing.
The state level here in Alaska are called Besh Cups and the first set of races were on the 18th and 19th of December. The first day was a classic sprint and the second a 15km skate.
The sprint for me was a bit of a worry. The previous weekend is tweaked my back in a citizen race and so I was concerned about aggravating it again, especially considering that the course was quite flat and all the men were just going to double pole it on skate skis instead of striding on classic skis.
In the end I decided to go for it and just double pole but for safety I wore a back brace a Physio had given me. It all went well and I qualified for the heats with a fairly successful time trial. In the first heat I made a call to stride. I figured I’d tested my back enough and would go a safer option. In my mind I’d just blast the three uphills and try and hold my own on the flats. Well that plan blew out the window as soon as the race started. Double poling was just so much faster I had no chance to make up any real gap on the hills and so disappointingly I was kicked out of the heats in the first round. In hindsight I should of just toughened up and went for it double poling but that’s the beauty of hindsight.
Sunday was a much more successful race. I didn’t knock it out of the park but it was really solid. It was 5 laps of a 3 Km loop. For the first 3 laps I skied well, on the forth I faded a little and then rallied hard for the final lap. I should of started my final push on the 4th lap and just gone for it.
In the end it was a solid weekend of racing that gives me a lot of confidence heading into US Nationals starting on the 3rd of January!
The week after the races I put in a really solid week of training and was really happy how it went. The plan was to work hard and then take it easy for a few days over Christmas which is exactly what I did!
Christmas here is quite special and a fairly different to anywhere else I’ve ever had it. Since I’ve stopped having Christmas in Australia with my family, it’s become a fairly minor affair. I’d just be with the one or two guys on the team and it’s pretty mellow.
But being in Alaska with Lauren makes it far more special and exciting. It all starts the night before with a massive dinner and goes through to the following evening. So basically 24 hours of eating far too much and having a great time with friends and family.
We throw in a hike half way just to help but it always if a very fun festive time.
I’ve now headed down for US nationals where I’m getting in the final preparations before racing.
My name is Paul Kovacs and I am a professional cross country skier from Australia. I currently live and train in Anchorage, Alaska and travel and race throughout the US and Europe. I am aiming to compete in the 2017 World Championships in Lahti, Finland and the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Tune in to read about my endeavours from around the world and what it takes as I attempt to achieve some measure of success on the world stage in cross country skiing.
View all posts by pkovacsxc