Monday, April 5, 2004
The Ski Season Ends With A Bang
Once again it was time for Bust 'n' Burn and I was at the mountain bright and early on Saturday to register and pick up my bib. Upon unravling my bib I found it to be #41, which is probably the most popular of the four numbered songs, by Dave Matthews Band, so it was a sign of good luck. I went down the course a few times to get warmed up. Overall the course turned out to be okay despite the bare spot and ice sheet on the red course. Once I was comfortable with it, I skied elsewhere with Mark to get my mind off of the pressure of racing. A little while later I returned for the painful standing around before you actually race. Basically you stand around for a good hour or so waiting for your turn to race, all the while your legs cramp up and make it that much more difficult. My number was finally called and it was time for my run. I got in the starting gate and prepared to go. My primary goal for this year was to get better air than last year and that was all I was really focusing on. The starter said, "Go" and I began my run. I chose the right side of the blue course because it had the most snow and I had practiced on it a few times. My first air was a twister spread, which I think looked pretty stable and good. Then it was back into the bumps on my way to the second air. I had told myself I was going to do a heli, it wasn't a sure thing, but I knew I had to take the chance. As I approached the jump I knew I could pull it off and once in the air began spinning. I am not exactly sure if I landed it and then fell or if I just crash landed. Either way before I knew it I was picking myself up off the ground and I definitely remember being angry with myself for falling. I finished the course and heard the announce say,"Well sometimes you bust and sometimes you burn." Ahhh every year that guy gets me. I turned in my bib and then met up with my cheering section. We discussed the run, and overall I was very happy with how I did especially since I tried the heli. We skied the rest of the day and finally ended up at the pond skimming.
I returned to the awards ceremony that evening to hopefully hear that I had placed 33rd so I wouldn't have to compete the next day. I sat through one announcement after another until I my name was announced as the 25th overall competitor in the Open category. I was in shock and went over to get my free pair of goggles. I couldn't believe I had to go back up and do the course again, except this time I would be going in a head to head race.
The next morning I arrived at the mountain at 7:30, which was made all the more difficult by the time change. I filled out my bio and got my new bib for today's competition. All the paperwork was filled out within five minutes and so I sat at the base waiting for the lifts to open. Once again I went down the course a bunch of times, mostly just taking it slowly and helping smooth out the course. Mark and Kate showed up so I took a run with them to get the race off of my mind. After a brief run down Obsession it was time to wait at the top again for day two. I was informed by the judge that my competitor hadn't showed up and I would be advancing to the next round to fact the 24th seeded competitor who also had advanced via a bye. Now I had to wait extra long before my race was set to begin. After about an hour I was finally called to start and moved into the starting gate. I was once again on the blue course and instead of focusing on air this time I decided to focus on beating my competitor to the bottom. It turns out this was not the best strategy. We started off and were neck and neck going into the first air. I don't remember what I did, but whatever it was I am sure it wasn't pretty. Over the next stretch of bumps I could see him in my peripheral vision as I began to go out of control and started to ride on the back of my skis. Coming into the next jump I had too much speed and shot into the air, I managed an uncontrolled twister and continued down. We were still very close and finished at the exact same time. The result was he beat me 4-1. I was happy not to be shut out, but looking back it seems if I had taken my time and focused on my skiing, I might have advanced to the next round where I would have faced the number one seed. I turned in my bib and met up with my new larger cheering section. I wasn't happy with the strategy I chose, but the fact that I made it to the second day was beyond any expectations I had set for myself.
Below are some links I threw together this morning.
Bust 'n' Burn Day 1 Results
Sharpshooter photographs from Bust 'n' Burn (To see more pics click the next link I am in 17-21 of 109)
Sharpshooter photographs from Bust 'n' Burn 2nd Air (To see more pics click the next link I am in 34-36 of 76)
I also want to thank everybody for their support this weekend. It definitely helped me relax a bit and have fun with it.