Robert's Race Report...
No, this report isn’t about the upcoming cage match between Todd, Kevin, and Troy (though my money is on Troy; that guy just doesn’t go down!). Last weekend a LPTR group again headed up to the UP for the Noquemanon ski marathon. The Noque is a 50K point to point course from Ishpeming to Marquette, and our group included Ron Bero, Joel Lammers, Tony Cantrall, and Deb Vomhof. For me, this was Noque number 13, but for Deb this was to be her first time on a rugged and challenging course.
A light snow fell Friday night, and on race morning there was about an inch or two of fresh snow on top of the groomed course. This may not sound like a big deal, but remember those paper snowflakes you made as a kid? They had lots of points and sharp edges, just like real flakes, which are not conducive to great glide. This was going to add to the effort needed to reach the finish.
In addition to battling the fresh snow, all of us had to deal with the hundreds of other skiers on the course. Passing in running races is nothing compared to trying to pass in a ski race. Everyone has 2 long boards bound to their feet and long poles with sharp ends strapped to their hands; gets kind of hairy at times.
I ended up doing a hard face plant on a downhill after knocking skis with someone. At another point, Joel did a complete flip off of the trail, landing upright in the deeper snow in the woods. Nicely done, but he ended up with a broken pole (ski pole that is). When Ron came through the halfway point (where a shorter race starts), he was ambushed by a pack of classic skiers just starting out, and got spun around in the process. I don’t have a total count, but I think Tony and Deb ended up getting dusted too.
Despite the challenges, we all made it to the finish line intact, although 10-15 minutes slower than last year. Ron led the way with a 3:16, followed by me in 3:18, Joel in 3:25, Tony in 3:47, and Deb in 4:17. Complete results can be found at www.noquemanon.com