XC Sking 1:24:30  21.58 km (3:55 / km)
Moraloppet 20k, at the Vasaloppet Nordic Center in Mora, MN
Very low key 10k/20k event 90 min from home. Only 80 or so people in both races split roughly evenly.
Took a short 750m WU more for balance than anything else.
A little warmer at 10F today but snowing throughout. There was another 5cm of new snow on the track the second time around. Not super slow conditions but not at all quick... I don't think anyway -- I'm not a very good judge though.
After the first 600m loop and passing back by the center I settled behind two other guys. After a bit an older woman latched on behind me. After a bit more she went to the front and offered to pull but then proceeded to pull away. Once we hit the little punchy hills the guy up front dfropped off. #2 and #3 (me) were ready to take our turn but he just dropped off. #2 was better on the steep little hils so I always lost a little ground on the climbs. However, I was able to relatch on fairly quickly. Eventually, we caught another guy around 8k and so we were #2 and #3 again. Then another guy caught us so he became #4.
When we completed the first loop #1 pulled in for the 10k finish, while #2, #3 (me) and (#4) went around the center to the aid station. I drank a half cup of gatorade and took off leaving #2 and #4 behind. After that, I was on my own for the second loop. I could sometimes see the woman ahead of me but I wasn't catching her. I could see #4 behind me when we went back and forth in the switchbacks. For a while I thought he might catch me but by about 4k to go he seemed far enough back that I didn't worry about.
With 4k to go I started feeling tired. My footwork wasn't as crisp and couldn't manage V2 anymore. Nevertheless, I kept up my pace and put in a little kick at the end.
Garmin says 21.6k, 180m climb, 1:24:30ish for an average pace of 3:56. No complaints about that. To go faster my technique needs to improve a lot.
Pat skied classic and finished about 20min behind me. Pat's crewmate from college, Dave "Evil" Evenson finished about 10min back. We all went into Mora to the Crystal Cafe for lunch and had a lot of good laughs.
We had time for a short nap when we got home before heading over to the home of Pat's younger brother Sean and family = pizza, salad, a 9pm walk for cookies.