Hope I am not "boring" the frequent participants here… this is a relatively new endeavor (re: addiction) to me, and I'm trying to learn as much as I can along the way since my first racing experience was last year at 47 years old.
Yesterday, I ran my second ASRA race, a fairly straight forward course, couple of rollers in the mid section on a blue trail (Switch). The ASRA course was an extension of the NASTAR Course, an addition 5-6 gates added at the top of SWITCH.
For starters, HOLY FROSTY THE SNOWMAN WAS IT COLD! Very dry packed-manmade snow. Skis felt slow, but "opened up" by the second run when air temps were around 12F.
It was "easy" to run the gates/course and make it to the bottom, not a very "difficult course" as compared to Elk Mountains (trail Slalom) the previous weekend. But it was very apparent that if you were to place high, you had to generate speed with your technique/turns. Most of the advanced skiers (i.e. not me) were running mid 30's on the course. To watch from the base of the course, and above (from the chairlift), i could see folks taking very similar lines on the course, but for the first time I finally was able to recognize the difference in how much speed some (as compared to others) generated in their turns.
Now if I can only figure out for myself how to do that!
One skier of note, as I observed from the top of the course, I could see him engage his edges, and "drive?" into the gates leading with a downward hip movement. Worked well for him as he placed first in his age group. The amount of power he generated around each gate was quite impressive.
For me, after a very tenative/slow first run, I knocked 5 seconds off my first run and felt "accomplished" by what I had learned during the day.
All in all (albeit COLD), it was a great day on the slopes (personally). - Patrick