you know you’re in for a go(o)d day when you’re driving up to one of our country’s most historic nordic races – the Langlauf – in your home town and you pass by the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge chug-a-chuggin’ past a wonderful chorus of colorful balloonists…this sorry shot came from my cell phone as i was attempting to get to the race venue…

nordic nervous time

Nordic Nervous Time…a wax table stands in the foreground as racers and timers get ready to Toe The Start Line!  WARRIORS UP!  That’s Durango Mountain Resort – Purgatory – in the background.

Today, for the first time ever i think, i did the 15k instead of the traditional 30k.  i needed to learn how to time racers for my Snowshoe Race next weekend.  so, my thinking was to race the 15k then watch over the shoulders of the timers as the 30k dawgs came in, which is what i did…

ilg langlauf medal

As the Start Gun went off,  Durango’s Sepp Kuss (born in…ah, hem…1994!  i just profiled his pioneering outdoor athlete/coach Dolph Kuss in last months’ Teachings) and Gunther Ott took off like two colts in April…i guess the uphill start didn’t register in their young brain cells yet.  nor did any conformal changes in their ATP and CP molecular make up evidently change as i careened around the first lung-searing hilly 2 k’s on their ski tails;  they just like…well…kept pummeling the snow with their ski poles-turned-blasting caps.  before Deadman’s Drop (24%) into Boyce Lake the two young guns changed their fluoroscence  into yet another spectrum of mountain yogi Light with which this grizzled ol’ goat could not hang.

Downside;  i got dropped like a firecracker gone bad by 3.5 kilometers into a 15k.

Upside;  by attempting to stay with the young’uns, i had a good 30-second gap on two guys behind me.

Pratyahara Time; by kilometer 4 my heart rate was 190. i knew i had waxed my ski’s pretty fast (LF6 undercoat/LF7 top layer/CeraF Turbo ironed in and Mantra brushed forever), yet i was isolated in 3rd place overall. it was windy and snowing.  legs and lungs felt go(o)d.  holding onto a podium spot meant that it was time to ‘force quit’ any egoic chatterings and crawl into and merge within the Ilg Pain Cave. it was time to bathe within the yogic waters of nordic endurance sweat.  so, i began to revolve my mental waves like a lazy susan around the only things that mattered most if i wanted to climb onto my second Overall Podium in the young year of 2011…Overall Podiums at my age?  Rarer than the finest jewels, let me tell you.  Especially here in Durango, where even the next door neighbor is surely some past national champion and the collective bodyfat percentage of the entire town is less than that of an underfed whippet.  Here is what i revolved my sustained focus on…

daddy and deh

  • my Daughter;  Dewachen.   just invoking her precious image brings my mind into my HeartH(om)e and all suffering eases
  • reMember (with) the Strength of Letting Go (into the pain/intensity)
  • Ski Technique
  • Breath and Posture
  • Blessed Mantra

By the time the Finishing Hill came into view i knew i had done what it took to score my second Overall Podium placing of 2011…and to some of us elder Warriors,  that is such a Joy to our inner world…to still be out here, taking arms (and legs, and lungs) against a sea of grown-up responsibilities and still just…



and powerful…

and out of our mind

and into our Great Spirit

and feel united (yoga) with the most precious SnowDance of all…nordic ski racing!

Long Live Self-Propelled Winter Sports and the Warriors who recognize their immeasurable beauty!

May all your Winter Sweat be cold, sacred, and purifying…

head bowed,


ps:  coach remains a 100% Student Sponsored athlete/coach.  his racing budget for Winter 2011 is already spent.  if you enjoyed and are inspired by Coach’s efforts and tales, please consider a Temple Tithe to keep our Coach racing!

2 Responses to “Race Report: Ilg scores second Overall Podium of 2011 at Langlauf!”

  1. Brad Gantt says:


    Head bowed to your brave and noble effort! I also can’t help but notice a rather special looking Mala sharing neck space with your medal. Would you mind telling a bit about it?

    in sweat and silence,


  2. coach says:

    great Awareness!
    it’s true; my Teacher upgraded my Mala about 3 weeks ago…ommmmmmmmmmmm

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