By: Meredith Edwards
It’s that time of year again. The spandex one pieces come out and the skins get waxed. It’s skimo season. This year I decided to start my season early and go down to Crested Butte and race Irwin. For those of you who don’t know, Crested Butte is about an 11 hour drive and when you need to be back at work on Sunday at 9 am it really makes for one hell of a trip. On my way down I had Wild Bill from Jackson accompany me and in Carbondale, Co I picked up two more racers and off we went.
The race started at 10 am after a nice hour long cat drive in. It’s great to run into all your friends and catch up before the race starts. Going into the race I was bit nervous about my fitness and health. I’ve been having some issues but needed to test the water and see where I was at. The course was great. 95% of it was on single track which I favor and the ski descents were fun and filled with powder. On the second descent I opted for the big untouched powder field and ripped some turns in it. One thing that was super difficult was on the last climb to the top you forget that you start at around 10,000 ft. and at the top of the climbs you’re at around 12,000 ft. It was a definite lung burner and made me feel sluggish.
After spending a race season in Europe and coming back to the U.S. it was great to see the ISMF rules implemented and everyone on top it. One thing I’m really excited about is all the ladies who showed up to race. The women are really stepping up and getting fast. You can see the improvement and it is defiantly something to watch as the year goes on.
Overall I was very pleased with my 4th place. Irwin is a U.S. qualifier and important if you want to race individual at the World Championships at Verbier Switzerland in February. In the weeks to come I just need to work at building a bit more speed and rest up for the Wyoming Randonee Roundup. I thank Bryan Wickenhauser and crew for a wonderful race and for all their hard work to put it on. Hope you all are having fun and happy training. See you out there. I’ll be the one in spandex!