Today we went to Kitzbhuel to checkout the Hanhnenkamm. A few of the fences have already been set up for the race. I couldn’t imagine pushing out of the start gate to embark on a suicide mission down that track. Within the first 100m, racers are traveling over 100km/h. There have been grown men throwing up in the start before their first training run down the Hanhnenkamm. Enough said.
First training day…we hear that they injected the course even though the race organizers promised we would not see another injected course at St. Johann again. The course is a skating rink and I feel like Bambi on ice. The snow is literally tearing our skis apart. Before the next training run I have to get my skis sharpened otherwise I might slide right out of the course! Three runs down…I hope I do a little better tomorrow.
Ok, shake off the feelings from yesterday and lets attack this thing. The course has a little more grip tonight from the warm temperatures throughout the day. Rumors are saying it’s supposed to heat up to 9*C by tomorrow. If that happens, this injection might just work out. “Number 13, where is number 13?”
Oh that’s me, time to race. “Attention…” the gate drops and I skate out with determination to qualify. I’m not skiing the greatest but I still dig deep and try to push the line. Over the last jump and straight to the finish. I reach for the line and the announcer shouts out my qualifying time, first in German then in English. I end up in 11th behind teammate Danie in 10th. It’s good enough to get into the race.
We don’t have to be on the hill until 4:45 tonight. The day is going to be fairly relaxed and slow until then. Breakfast is followed by the last episodes in season five of Grey’s Anatomy. It’s something to take my mind off the race tonight. Next is an hour of yoga that is nothing pretty to watch. It’s hard to keep a straight face when the instructor on the disk is talking about “deliciously twisting” into some poses. His favorite saying is “don’t dwell, just jell”…Nothing better than a couple of surfer hippies. Lets magically skip ahead to race time. Its 6:30pm and the first group of men are on course. This is going to be a good race to watch. Already two guys have crashed and are working them selves out of the fences…Nice!! I finished in 5th place, which is nothing to brag about. However, on the men’s side teammate Nik Zoricic finishes in 2nd position with a photo finish at the line with fellow North American John Teller.