Skied the American Birkbeiner (Birkie) for my 9th time. I think it was my best Birkie to date. Maybe not for time, but based on conditions it was my best effort.
Pre-race: Try to ignore the gal in the background!!!
3-5" of fresh snow caused a lot of issues for most skiers, but due to my heavy ski activity, the Tuscobia 150 and Arrowhead 135 plus a few fat-bike rides (Actif Epica, for one) tossed in helped to make my conditioning the best it's been for awhile...at least since 4-5 years ago. Results.
Had a good time skiing and the "villain" didn't start messing with me till the 30km mark (it's a 50 km race). Up to that point we were having a great time of it.....then he got a bit pissy but by then it was waaay too late. For more info on the race.
31 miles may not seem long to some, but it's basically a sprint....and the amount of hills are legendary, over 4,000 feet of total climbing and it's pretty much continuous. Recovery time is at a minimum....and your downhill skills better be up to par, as well.
You don't fake the birkie. If it wasn't challenging, I doubt there would be the global appeal.