By L. Gaz
Race days might be the most fun day for a skier who has been training every day for months, but most definitely the hardest. Unless I am staying where the race is happening, which is highly unlikely, my day starts at 4 AM. Plenty of energy is required for this long day, so a big breakfast is key. I would usually have scrambled eggs, juice, waffles and then the mayhem starts. I pack my skis, which were tuned the day before, so the edges are sharp enough to allow me to perform at my highest level. Then I must check the weather which is crucial. The weather dictates what goggle lenses I should wear - clear or dark, race shorts or race pants, and how many jackets I pack. Then comes the car ride which usually takes about an hour and a half depending on where the race takes place.
When we arrive at the race, before I go up the mountain I must talk to my coaches about the conditions, get a ski pass, and my race bib. After I go up the mountain, the whole team stretches together, and I drop off my ski bag at a designated area near the start of the race. Each team has a determined space for their gear, this is also where they wait until for their turn. At a regular youth ski race there are around eight teams participating and sixty people per age group, ranging from ten to eighteen years old. After dropping off my bag, I usually do two or three runs to warm up. Keep in mind these runs are performed on a track near the racecourse, since it can only be used during the actual race to keep snow conditions optimal. After I do a Recognition run (RECO); the teams go down in groups to familiarize themselves with the course. Then comes the most annoying part of it all.
The RECO is done at nine AM, but my turn only comes at around noon and to top it all off I can’t just ski until my race time, or I will get tired. I must be at the top of the course somewhere near 35 minutes before the race starts because I must, switch to my race skis, take of my jackets and my pants (racers wear skintight race suits), make sure all my gear is working perfectly, put on all my protective wear on, warm up, and check in with my coaches one last time. Then comes the fun part - the race. A traditional Giant Slalom course consists of around thirty to fifty gates which alternate red and blue. The goal is to ski in between the gates and arrive at the bottom with the fastest time possible, which can be very hard because gates can have up to 8 meters of offset, but my day is not over once I finish, I must do that twice, a competition consists of two legs! Finally, I get back home take a nice hot shower, and get some rest.