Monday, March 28, 2011

Dog days are over! The Dogtooth Dash

Fresh off the most prestigious skimo competition in the world one wouldn't expect to get much of a rise out of a Canadian race.............. Think again,

The Dogtooth dash is truly ahead of its time and sets a bar that is shared with only a very small minority of races across the world. Its during this race year after year where the progression of this sport in Canada becomes very evident.

Its also during this race year after year that I tell my self to take it easy running around the Eagles Eye as its a long technical race ahead. The swarm of racers, the start line on top of a mountain, the big crowd of spectators, the DJ blasting Barbra Streisand one thing is for sure your going anaerobic. Next up is fumbling into your Dynafit bindings and getting ready for a ride!

This year I was battling some gear issues on the first descent and was able to sit my self in a comfortable pack of racers on the first assent. As it turned out it was nice to start a bit slower and I was able to get an eye opening view of unnamed racer catching a tip and tomahawking down the first shoot!
Another short climb and descent brought us to the third and largest climb of the course. Wanting to get a bit of a cushion I knew this was the place to do it and started to pick up the pace. Approaching the top of the first peak it seemed there was enough of a gap to account for any minor mishaps.

Now it was simple just stay efficient and try to not make mistakes. Climbing a couple really aesthetic peaks I could hardly believe we were still in bounds and after two months of skiing in Europe I was watering at the mouth skiing Canadian Powder! The perfect storm of cow bells, the DJ and spectators screaming really helped motivate us up the last climb. Coming across the finish line I was very happy to finish off another Canadian championship and convert into a spectator watching an amazing race come to a finish!

After some time to cool down and refresh we all met back up on top of the mountain to have an amazing dinner and awards at the Eagles Eye restaurant.
It was great to see a very strong junior category this year displaying talent that could very well progress into top notch racers. There was also a number of notable performances with underdogs coming out of the wood work like Brad Schalles, Dave Sutherland and Peter Knight giving members of the national team a run for there money! Andrew Mcnab and Ian Gale both showed they have what it takes to stand on the podium. On the woman's side Melanie Bernier had an amazing performance staying very strong with good form right through to the end. Julie Matteau and Billie Valiesk came across the line in great form both taking a spot on the podium 2nd, 3rd. From light to heavy, from young to old there was accomplishments in every shape and form. This gathering of people who share an ability to brave the elements and push there limits is what makes this such a special event.

Photos Jana Skerlak
Podium Photo Ski Theory (Alex Wigley)

Video of the Race (Stano)

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