Noquemanon 2018

While digging through some digital files I found the outline to what would have been a race report for the 2018 Noquemanon Ski Marathon.  Since I just signed up for the 2019 version in just over a week I thought I would throw this up.

The black text is what I wrote almost a year ago.  Red text is today’s commentary.

Prep
-Becoming an annual trip to Marquette
It looked like we weren't going to go back this year (2019). Then it turned out my kids were busy this weekend so we have decided to go ahead and return for another epic weekend in the UP.
-Finally back to skiing with power this week
Yeah, I took a HUGE digger at one of the Wednesday night races at Elm Creek.  I never confirmed with X-Ray, but I'm pretty sure I broke a couple of ribs.  That was a pretty sad couple of weeks of training.
-Nearly two weeks of limited activity
-Waxing for above freezing
--A pair at of skis at CyclovaXC
--Didn't have the exact wax combination
Huh?  Not really sure what I was trying to say here.  No idea what I waxed with.
-Warm-up - hard and icy, but not terrible
I do remember the forecast was for just below freezing over night in Ishpeming and well above in Marquette by the expected finish time.  It was boilerplate hard and almost sketchy at Al Qual in Ishpeming before the start.

Race
-Section 1 - To Deer Lake
	-Started second row right behind eventual winner Andy Liebner
	-Started clean despite reset track
	-Big downhill initially
	-BIG climb
	-Found myself with a big gap behind me and two guys and a short gap to Lindsey
	-Trying to relax
	-Had to let the group go
Sort of my usual go out hard, try not to blow up too bad.  I remember having a hard time relaxing on the hard pack and icy snow.
-Section 2 - To Dead River Basin
	-Ice lake crossing
	-WALL
	-Skiing alone
	-Flatish and FUN
	-Passed by Ken Wikgren and one other, hung for a bit, but had to let them go
The middle stuff is a bit of a blur.  I do remember the lake was like skiing on rutted up ice.  I cringed for my ski bases.  And the climb off the lake was STEEP.  After that was some stuff that wound through some swampy type areas that was just a lot of fun to ski.
-Section 3 - To 24k start/510
	-Ice lake crossing two
	-Chris Halverson caught up
	-Long climb up to Granite Peak (??)
	-Couldn't hold onto Chris as we started down to 510 despite V2 for all I was
	 worth
That sucked.  I was blown at the top and all I wanted to do was stick on Chris's draft and I just couldn't.
-Section 4 - To Forestville
	-Caught back up to Chris in Mead Hills with better downhills
	-Also caught back up to Ken and someone else
	-FUN skiing
	-Holding a line where I almost wanted to go faster, but not really
	-Twists and turns and net downhill
I'm not sure if this is where the snow really started changing and my skis got faster or I just recovered from the climb.  I got back onto a good group of guys and we just had a dang good time.  It started getting to the point where I thought I might be the strongest guy in the bunch so I was trying to decide when to make a move.

Here ends the year old notes.

The finish after that the pack just kept dwindling.  Eventually it was just me and Ken and we were ratcheting up the pace.  In the end Ken had a little more than I did.

Overall it was a fantastic race I thought.  After a brief worry that it was about to be a 25k death march to the finish I was able to pull it back together and have FUN RACING all through the Forestville area.

We ended the weekend with another epic lake effect snow storm fat bike adventure in South Marquette on Sunday.

Lake effect blizzard fat biking in Marquette.

I’m looking forward to being back in just a week and a half.