Despite being aware that my racing form is not where I hoped it to be at this point I proved to myself today that I can still sprint....in the skate technique. I qualified in 18th place today. It was a mixed field again of Canadians and Americans. The US guys are really flying right now so despite being 18th I was only 3.2 seconds off of the top Cdn qualifier Sean Crooks. So for not feeling great right now that result is encouraging. I made it through the rounds today on (what I was told later and found out for myself) a slow pair of skis. My starts were great. I took the lead easily in my quarter final, fell back to third at one point and then sprinted easily into second to advance. In the semi's I got into a tougher field and eased up so as to not take the lead. I was definitely working at times on the gliding sections to keep things tight and sprinted my way into third to advance to the A final. In the A final I again had a strong start but early on realized I didn't have the legs I was going to need and fell back to finish in 6th place. I was the third Canadian behind Phil Widmer and Sean Crooks of the National team and 2006 Olympians. If only the Vancouver Olympic sprints were in the skate technique!
I am frustrating by how I feel right now and by my skis but today's result is a big positive because despite it all I am still able to take a top spot in Canada. I am optimistic that more racing is what I need and that I will come around and have a strong season. I look forward to getting down from altitude a bit with a trip to Canmore tomorrow. It's only about 1000-1200 (250-300m) difference but I have been up high for long enough.