Boulder Mountain Tour 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Amy Frykman   
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 16:34

With nearly a 1,000 racers and 32 kilometers of immaculately-groomed corduroy and a 42-year history, the Boulder Mountain Tour is one of the biggies in North American Nordic racing. Three GAS/Intrinsik racers made the trek to Sun Valley, Idaho, for the race: me (Amy Frykman), Brian Frykman and team sponsor Tom Owen, owner of Gallatin Alpine Sports.

On Friday, we pre-skied the upper sections of the course and discovered a couple of things. First, the snow was bitterly cold and sandpaper-slow, with temps hovering around zero and snow temperatures well below that. Second, the course looked really fun, with great snow, wide turns, roly-poly hills and plenty of sweeping downhills.

The sun had yet to peak over the mountains when we arrived at the Lodge, and it was cold – negative 11! We huddled in the Lodge, which got more and more crowded over the next few hours as bus after bus of racers arrived.

The BMT is comprised of several waves of racers, starting with the elite men, then the elite women, and then waves 3 through 8, which correspond roughly with your anticipated race speed. Brian had been accepted in the elite men’s field, and Tom was seeded in wave 3.

Here is a link to the start of the BMT....See if you can spot the GAS kits in Wave 1 and Wave 3.........

I lined up about five racers back for the start of Wave 6. After a quick double pole to the end of the track, I started passing people. There are benefits to being seeded in one of the slower waves: it makes you feel like a total rock star. Plus, Brian had done a fantastic job with my wax and I was flying. After about 3k, the course crossed the highway. At the first hill after the highway crossing, someone stepped on my poll and sent me sprawling. I quickly got back up and that was the only interruption for the next 80 or so minutes. By about 5K in, I started passing folks in the 600-700 number range; after 15K, I was into the 400s. I continued to pass people the entire race, which made the race incredibly exciting. I discovered that passing people on skate skis can be tricky. You think you are in the clear, and then there’s a ski pole headed straight for your head. You have to watch for the polls and skis of all of the people you are passing, and meanwhile they are moving all over the place.

It took all my concentration to weave between and through people, all the while trying my best to not send anyone else sprawling. It was so absorbing that I can honestly say I hardly felt the strain of the skiing effort…until I got to the 5K sign when I all of a sudden felt exhausted. I could feel the temptation to relax and ski a slower pace. Fortunately, there was a skier about 200 yards in front of me, and I set a goal to pass him before the finish, which prevented me from completely falling apart. I finished at 1:39:26, and ended up 56th in the women’s field and 5th in my age category.

Upon finishing, I scanned the crowd and saw Brian and Tom talking with Tom’s mom, who’d made the trip to Ketchum for the race. Brian had a great race, finishing 46th out of the men and THIRD (podium) in his age category (which was the largest age category, with 78 racers), with a time of 1:21:31. Tom, meanwhile, finished 145th out of the men, with a time of 1:33:50 and 17th in his age category.

We enjoyed some hot soup and cookies in the finish area before catching a bus back to town. All in all, we all had a great time and are already looking forward to next year’s Boulder Mountain Tour.

Amy Frykman

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