Race Report –  Chile Ski Classic from Little Creel Resort, Chama, New Mexico –


this one is for YOU!  a little thank you to all of you who helped and continue to help my Winter Racing Sponsorship


with amazing Race Director of the Chama Ski Classic, Mary Ann deBoer after the Race Results for Day One were posted at Chama’s coolest chill; the High Country Restaurant which is also a big sponsor of the race.

my racing is and all-ways has been 100% WF Sangha Supported…i finished Saturday’s grueling 15k Skate Race with a 3rd place AG, missing the Silver medal by a dang 2 seconds and placing 7th Overall…here’s how it went down…

the pre-dawn snow didn’t crunch as i made my kin-hin walk to the Recreation Hall.  lack of crunch meant that i had waxed my skis too warm.  one among many of the adjustments i’ve had to make as a racing daddy is that i must now wax my skis days before i leave on a trip.  this is not optimal, for i must make key performance decisions based on forecasted, not real, temperature, moisture, humidity.  i quickly forced my mind back to my zen-walk with Mother Earth…

…i am devoting my time to teach a pre-race yoga class to any ski racers this morning. no one had yet signed up, yet i had to show up because there was a chance that someone might.   in order to prepare myself to teach, i need to do a personal practice.  my personal practice began at 5:45am…for a 7:00 am possible class.

…i unlocked the cold metal shed door of the Hall; the site of my yoga class.  i take my Teaching seriously, in part because i have a broken back and also because as i feel the Ancient Enlightened Masters would expect anyone claiming themselves to be a Teacher of Yoga.  so i prepare thoroughly and sincerely.  like so many times before,  i set up my Buddha Bell, laid out my yoga mat, and waited. i recited the Blessed Mantra as i attempted to stay empty, yet ready to cheerfully greet any Warrior that might walk into this remote, temporary Practice Cave.  the floor was cold, hard concrete, not thermally-warmed bamboo.  there were folding chairs stacked in  the front of the Hall, not a fancy Buddha statue surrounded by water fountains.  the only incense was not of wafting Nag Champa, but of a gas-fed heaters eating into the empty air.  i wondered wryly; this is a far cry from my Ventura Boulevard HP Yoga Studio in LA.  yet, historically, this is truly my historical offering to Yoga…pioneering yoga classes and programs in the most unlikely Temples… Appropriate Action for me…in line with my karma-marga.


Might as be a Warriors Sutra…it’s what racers live for…as humble as it may be; Race Results, baby!

no Warrior showed.

i kin-hin’d back to Cabin #8,  holding astral hands with Grandfather Sun rising and thoughts of transforming from diss’d Yoga Teacher into Skate Ski Racer…

start line

Toeing another Start Line…to me?  Metaphysically, this is toeing the Bardo Entry…cuz ANYONE who has raced a 15k Freestyle on 600 vertical feet per lap loop at nearly 10,000′ altitude?  Trust me, dat’s a Bardo of a world-class degree! Long live Self-Propelled Warrior Athletes!

“RACER’s TAKE YOUR MARK!” called Race Director Mary Ann de Boer whose stalwart energy to produce this race weekend manifested over 30 Skate Ski Racers this morning…as my ski tips tickled the Gatorade-dribbled Start Line in the snow, several of us were taking conscious deep breaths…i suppose the 1st Lifestyle Principle of WF inevitably reveals it’s pricelessness to all Warriors willing to toe the Start Lines of their lives…

my tactic was simple; keep in contact with the top five.  with only one interval workout on skis this season due to my still-sprained knee and not wanting to demolish myself for tomorrow’s  Classic Ski/Snowshoe competition, this tactic was reasonable.  as the Gun went off,  i was surrounded by a sea of Southwest Nordic competitors.   this was ‘their’ event and their numbers were impressive.  at 500 meters, the course bottlenecked and began a murderous ascent up a 300 vertical-foot climb which immediately sent heart-rates onto Planet Red.  planned or not, i found myself blocked by the Southwest Nordic peleton…i chose the word ‘peleton’ because most of these racers were bicycle racers, many of them groomed in the way of skate skiing by National TT Champ and Course Designer, Clay Moseley.  they knew about blocking tactics in order to keep Clay off the front…which they did.  by the top of this first hill, which us 15k racers would have to climb 3x,  Clay and Durango endurance celeb Caleb Thompson and two others had an 8-second gap going into the roller-coaster like downhill before heading out onto the more remote sections of the course.


Clay Moseley; cycling and nordic champion extraordinaire…and a heaven of a great Daddy Warrior himself!

my own personal battle now became a fight toward the top five…my wax was indeed too warm.  i was able to hold of a chase group of 3 right behind me on the sunny parts of the course, yet, lost time and eventually places to them on the shady uphills.  i had two racers in my draft for the entire second lap and as we whizzed through the Start/Finish for the final half loop up the torture-fest climb.  i had better ski skills then my chasers, however the had the dual edges of faster wax and better fitness.

Here is an important Teaching; listen up – Without interval training,  it’s really hard to simply ‘pressure ski’ off  racers.  in nordic skiing, especially skate skiing, you need to huck intervals at your competitors like arrows.  throwing down 10-20 second zone 4 intervals is a great way to dismantle the confidence of your competitors, especially when you can hurl such pain-inducing arrows at key and frequent places along the Race Course which favor your strengths. my most fantastic moment in all my racing came at Frisco, Colorado during an exceptionally freezing cold classic ski race.  back then, i was uber-fit.  i had this guy on my tails for 8ks in a 15k…and man, i had the chi that sub-zero morning and ilg was a huckin’ 10-second bursts on this guy like a living Gatlin gun.  he then passed me at the crest of a long hill.  we were both breathing like racehorses down the final stretch…then, inexplicably, he pulled out of the course, into the powder, and hurled like a girl…happily i raced past him enjoying the elk-bugling sounds of his puking. Served him right, damnit.

today, however, i had to arrows to sling.  without Interval Training,  a racer is at a great disadvantage on Race Days…that is why God created Interval Training in the first place;  Intervals force Bardo’s upon others.  Most people are uncomfortable with Bardo confrontations.

on the final uphill, Tim Johnson, a well-known NM athlete, passed me on the final uphill.  i fought off a surging racer on my ski tails.  i could catch Tim on the high-speed, technical downhill right before the finishing straight away sprint of 200 meters…this was going to be a tight one…i had to reach waaaaay down deep…

at the top of  Torture Hill with my injured knee aching and my lungs heaving, i dropped into my best Bode Miller alpine tuck and soared toward a sketchy Tim Johnson…

i can do it,  i can do it...i kept telling myself…up and over a short roller, we went..we passed a lap racer…Tim was in the finishing straight, the people were cheering, nordic bells were ringing…this is why we race…i stabbed my ski poles in a vicious manner, pumping out my V2 cadence with as much Warrior verve as i could muster.

i finished 2 seconds behind him,  7th Overall…3rd in my Age Group.

tomorrow would be another day;  MY DAY TO DEFEND MY KING OF THE MOUNTAIN TITLE!   could i do it…especially after wasting myself on this brutally beautiful 15k?  hmmm….

my Race Report only for WF.com Members…cuz, i KNOW you guys ‘get it.’

Blessed be thy sweat…

your feeble teacher

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