Lucy came home from college for spring break thrilled with the new snow and jumped into Saturday’s big local Loppet ski race, postponed from earlier in the season. Her racing season is over and she is tired. Her coaches have instructed her to rest. Lucy knew if she entered the 25K she would be tempted to race it, but she thought it would be fun to ski the 50K marathon (31+ miles!) simply “for a workout.” (I know, I know.)
Luckily, one of her best friends and training buddies, Nina, was also home from college and wanted to do the same. No pressure to go fast or beat each other. They just wanted to ski.
Lucy packed for this race as if she were going on a long hike.
The race announcer has known both girls since they were children. He surely could see that they were skiing easily side by side. However his job was to drum up suspense. Referring to them by their last names, he would say into the microphone, “Now Lucy is fighting ahead and gaining the lead!” or, “Now Nina pulls away!”
The girls laughed to themselves. They were casually discussing when to stop for water.
In the photo above, Lucy and Nina are emerging from the single-track tunnel under the road.
As planned, the girls crossed the finish line together, holding hands, just as Lucy did years ago with another friend in the 25K. In the automatic timing, Lucy was half a second behind Nina, with 3:27:31.
These days, the girls are so fit, and so few choose to ski a race so long and grueling, that they came in second and third overall!