World Championship 50km

Yesterday’s final race of World Championships, the 50 kilometer mass start classic, was brutally hard. My pre-race plan was patience, but I did not do a good job of accomplishing that goal. On the first lap I made some good lane choices and ended up at the front of the field. Then some guys started making moves off the front, and I said to myself “everybody has to go this fast if they’re going to chase us down, so I might as well do it in a breakaway.” In retrospect, that’s not true. It’s harder to ski off the front. In my next mass start my goals will include a specific section of the pack that I want to ski in.

After one lap our “breakaway” was back in the group. I still felt relaxed and comfortable. I made it feeling good for four and a half laps (37km). Then I started to fade. My energy still felt good, but I was struggling to ski the pace of the leaders and got dropped off the pack. I didn’t lose a ton of time until the last lap when I started dealing with cramping. At one point my¬†abdominal muscles¬†locked up, and I had to stop skiing to stretch it out. By the end of the race I had dropped four minutes and twenty seconds to the leader and finished in 27th place.

I believe this race represents a step forward for me. I was able to stay with the lead group for longer than I have in any other 50k, and I finished a couple of places better than I have in any other 50k. However, I believe my energy and fitness were better than 27th place. I used too much energy early in the race. I am looking forward to another opportunity in two weeks in Oslo where I can apply the lessons I learned yesterday.

I didn’t get any pictures from the race yesterday, but I did take this one beforehand. Erik Bjornsen did surgery on his suit to prepare it for the hot weather (I just raced in a T-shirt).

Erik Bjornsen 50km Spandex

One thought on “World Championship 50km

  1. Way to go Noah. Just watched the race video. Very awesome to see you at the front of the race. Looked look at very tough course on a warm day. Kudos to you.

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