The New England Rando Race Series kicked off the 2013 season on Sunday at Berkshire East ski area in Western, Massachusetts. There were many familiar faces among the 26 participants as well as some newcomers. Amongst the newcomers, David M. raced in the Wasatch Citizens Series before moving to the East coast and plenty of others joining the light-is-right bandwagon with race or light touring gear.
The course was very similar to last year with a few minor tweaks. The start was moved down near the magic carpet, each lap descended to just above the start (avoiding a traverse and adding a touch more vertical), and the very top section was altered slightly. A dusting of snow and cold temperatures made for a very fast skin track. The ascent is almost all low angle so I tried to focus on keeping a good tempo and getting as much glide as possible.
I didn’t have to battle on the last 1.5 laps like last year and was very happy with my performance. I felt strong, didn’t have any low points, and was almost 12 minutes faster than last year. The field for the race (and New England in general) has assuredly gotten both stronger and deeper. Across the board individual times dropped significantly for returning competitors. It is great to see the racing scene grow!
This weekend is the largest SkiMo race in New England hosted by Mad River Glen and Sugarbush. The weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating as over an inch of rain is forecast through Thursday. Best case scenario is some snow on the back end of the storm provides enough coverage to use the full course. It is unclear what the full course will be exactly as the course description (from 2011 course) doesn’t match the provided map (original course run from 2005-2010). I just hope they don’t have to cut out the majority of the first climb like last year.
Thanks to Berkshire East for hosting the race and to Jonathan S. and Pete C. for all the work they did to get the skin track in top shape!