I signed up in early Fall for the Birkie, before it filled up, but was concerned about skiing at all much less racing with my shoulder/clavical healing. I'd spent a lot of time on the fat bike this winter, 4 ultras in 6 weeks (1-2-25 to 2-14-15) 485 miles....did well I think, placing 3rd, 4th, 15th and 18th place.
Plus finished 5th at the Badger State Games 21 mile race so that was 506 miles in 6 weeks not counting any training miles. None of these races have age divisions.
That said I believe only one guy within 10-12 years of my age beat me and he was within 9 years. He did that at the Arrowhead135. He was 50 and finished 4th.So, didn't roller ski or snow ski once this fall/winter and decided not to do the birkie but then Doug, my buddy from Appleton, WI contacted me about flying up again so I said yeah, pick me up. Figured it would be a fun flight up and I'd just ski around the lake some until the race was over.....well, the more I thought about it the more I figured they won't want me on the trail so was thinking where to ski late friday night as I drifted off to sleep.
My alarm was set for 5AM to get the Stevens Point airport and I woke up at 4AM thinking, what the heck, go registor and pickup your race bag/bib and just start the race. If the shoulder bothers, pull out, so that's what I did.
I didn't have my best skis and didn't bother doing a great wax job but just stepped off the plane basically, got dressed and took off...kind of slow and easy for the first few miles feeling things out as Doug and I stuck together, then just started skiing like normal.
Coming in for the landing, Telemark Lodge. Which is just about ready to be razed.
Loading up after the race.
Lifting up over the now vacant start line. 10,000 skiers started from here.