Vasaloppet 2020 Race Report
What a great day for a ski race in Mora MN! The streets were busy, and there were more racers in the starting pen than I’ve seen in many years. Blue skies, a well-prepared 25k race loop, and lots of friendly volunteers made for a fun race.
Although the temperature was only about 10F before the race, the sun was warm and I didn’t even get cold waiting for the start. Before long, the race started and "Happy Trails" could be heard on the loudspeakers as we took off down Mora's Main Street. A few minutes later, making my way carefully around the corner and onto the lake, I could see hundreds of skiers stretched out in front of me. When I glanced back, I could see there were hundreds more following behind. It was really great to see so many skiers taking place in this year's race!
Crossing the lake, my skies felt great and I was looking forward to a fast race. I started little further back than I should have, so I spent the first half lap working my way up through the field from one group to the next. By the time, we crossed County Road 70 to the new section of trail, I finally found myself skiing with a group of skiers about my pace and could settle in. From there, it was just a matter of keeping the pace up and enjoying the beautiful day.
It was especially fun to see my family waiting to cheer me on at the hairpin turn by the elementary school, just before the half way point.
Making the turn for lap two, I saw the clock was at 1hr 14min. I had been aiming for about 2hr 30mins (3:00/km) for the 50k race, so I was happy to see I was on track. On the second lap I passed 3 or 4 skiers and was passed by about the same number. By the time I got back to Lake Mora for a second time, I could tell I was starting to slow down a bit. But then I could hear the bells ringing, and I knew the downtown finish was only minutes away. Before I knew it, I was across the finish line and drinking my celebration blueberry soup!
Thanks to all the Vasaloppet USA volunteers for a great day!