This past season I fell prey to "It'll be fun."
At Crotched I run the nastar races on the weekend. Second season doing it. I started doing it because I love racing so much and the mountain needed someone to do it. I mistakenly thought that being involved with it would get me racing more. Kind of like the kid that takes a job at a theater so he can see more movies - ain't gonna happen. Keep in mind I haven't been skiing that long (since 2005) , let alone racing (since 2009). As one of the mountains nastar organizers, I wanted to go to the pacesetters trials for the info being presented since I'm still learning. One of the pacesetters that was going said, "Just register as a pacesetter. It'll be fun." And things like "You'll get to ski with some great racers. A.J. Kitt will be there. How many people get to say they raced with A.J. Kitt?"
I took it hook line and sinker.
It was retched cold with more ice than snow. Since this past season wasn't a banner year for snow, and it was still early in the season, we hadn't been able to set any gates because there wasn't enough snow on our nastar course. This was our first time in gates for the season (as was the case for almost everyone there). It was also my first time in the gates since my accident racing the previous season when I tore my acl, mcl and lcl. Unbeknownst to me, I had developed a slight fear of being in the gates and was subconsciously holding back. Didn't figure that out until almost the end of the season.
Granted, I wasn't expecting much as I'm typically just barely Gold, but I should be able to beat someone. There's usually someone having a bad day and if nothing else a snowboarder will show up, like in previous years. Not a snowboarder in sight . I did beat one guy though . He fell, stopped to fix the gate banner and then finished! His previous run was Platinum so it didn't matter.
It just so happened the two real pacesetters that rode up with me didn't ski much better which isn't typical for them at all. They both said it was their worst race day ever. My race "buddies" commented "Ride with Ken; ski like Ken." Fortunately the other two re-qualified a few weeks later and redeemed themselves with their typical platinum and gold.
As for my results; Pacesetter:HC(coat) : 37.46 HC(suit) : 41.15 How would you like to be known as a "pacesetter" with those results! I was going to call Nastar and ask them to delete it, but didn't want to draw anymore attention to it. The good news is it will be gone this December, never to return!
I barely made Silver that day and still haven't overcome my fear of the gates fully. It ends up I do value my marriage and career more than racing. Who knew?
My suit time wasn't really in a suit. You're supposed to at least take your jacket off. I said "Why? Then I'll be slow and cold." The second run (suit run) I knew where the scary parts would be, so I was able to brace myself for them. Yea! That'll make you faster
This coming season we're supposed to be hosting the regional pace setting trials so at least no one will have to get a ride from me . I think I'll just set the timing and watch .