Tuesday, February 27, 2007

American Birkebeiner

This past weekend while most of southern Minnesota was battling winter storms, power outages, and more snowfall than we've had all year, I was up cheering on friends who were racing in the American Birkebeiner... well, more appropriately the Kortelopet, but whatever.

I was convinced to go up for the festivities by some friends who were racing in it. Truth be told, they tried to actually convince me to do the race, but cross country skiing isn't exactly my thing. I'll go run races or bike races or play most any sporting tournament, but when it comes to sports that involve strapping things to my feet in order to compete, I pretty much suck worse than you could possibly imagine.

The couple of times I've been downhill skiing were quite the tragic events for my ass cheeks and tailbone. I spent more time in contorted positions just trying to remain upright than I did actually looking like a skier. And when I did look like a skier, it was when I was on the ground because, frankly, all skiers that have biffed it look the same--grimacing and in pain.

I've since made a vow to never try that sport again, unless of course I want to purposely break myself. Not being one to completely give up on skiing, I did try cross country skiing, but sucked just as hard at it. I tried classical styled cross country skiing and ended up using my arms to push me along most of the time since I had no rhythm and couldn't manage to get my feet to work in those damn skis like they were supposed to.

Anyways, this is all besides the point. I went up to Cable, Wisconsin to cheer on some friends racing the Kortelopet. It was actually a great time even though another friend who was there to cheer and myself felt a little out of place surrounded by about 5,000 skiers and another couple thousand people that actually were into skiing or knew the first thing about it. I sure didn't.

They ended up having to cut the races short this year on account of there not being enough snow and there being ice patches in many stretches of the course, which was too bad because it seemed to put a damper on the (I'm told) usually extremely festive atmosphere. No doubt I'll have to go back next year, hopefully knowing a little more about cross country skiing, and pray that there's actually some more snow around to get people pumped.

And what really sucked about it all is that the day after the race they got about a foot of snow. How's that for irony?

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