Tag archive for skeleton

Video Of My Last Skeleton Run Of The Season

I finally got around to uploading the video of my very last skeleton run of the season. They had the CCTV going during the BC champs and I got one of the Alberta guys to record me. I cringe when I watch it, because it definitely wasn’t my best trip down the track, but oh well, it’s still kinda cool. (click through to my blog if the video doesn’t appear in your feed reader)

You can see the funny “flop” starts we were doing during that race. There are no grooves at corner 3 so it wasn’t safe to do much more than a step or two before laying down. We were doing a consistency race so while my start wasn’t very nice looking, or quick, at least it was the same every time.

And some final statistics and achievements of my 2013-2014 season: 71 runs (60 in Whistler and 11 in Calgary). 58 minutes and 29 seconds on my sled. Top speed: 127.9 km/hr. Competed in three fun races, didn’t do that well, but I never had many female competitors so I could say things like “Came in 1st in my category”, lol. Got to travel with the provincial team to train on a new track. Achieved my goal for the year of doing a running start (in Calgary). Moved up to corner 3 in Whistler. Made a lot of great new friends, aww.

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Friends & Family Day

Last weekend BCBSA was nice enough to let us bring two noobies to try skeleton for free. I brought Rosemarie and Scott. I was pretty excited for them to finally try it after so many months listening to me blabber on and on about skeleton.

All the sleds. The friends and family got VIP treatment, us athletes and track workers had to haul the sleds around for them!!

Everyone waiting for their turn from Maple Leaf (corner 11). There were about 30 sliders all together.

Scott’s first run. His feet are nicely glued together, but straighten those legs!!!

Rosemarie wearing my speedsuit and shoes. She did very well. She wrote a funny blog post about the day as well (while still on an adrenaline high, I reckon). (Picture from Matt.)

Both of them had a fun day. They got to do two runs, and then we went out for pizza afterwards. Rosemarie loved skeleton and wants to do it again, but I think Scott plans on sticking to golf.

A few pictures from the BC race the weekend before:

Me coming around Thunderbird (corner 16). Wish my feet were touching.

Awesome picture Scott took of me walking up the outrun ramp! I love this picture.

Bonus pic of Scott at his first hockey lesson. :D

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BCBSA BC Champs

This past weekend I competed in the BCBSA BC Championship Race up in Whistler. It was a big race for all the different levels of skeleton and bobsled to wrap up the sliding season. Provincials! We had official training on Friday night, then heats 1 & 2 on Saturday, and heats 3 & 4 on Sunday.

There were 7 of us sliding from corner 3. Our coach said we would do a consistency race since we are all different sliding levels. The person with the smallest time difference between their slowest and fastest run would win. Maybe not the best way to calculate consistency in a four heat race, since the track had quite different conditions each day, but that’s what they decided on.

Training went fine, and my first and second runs were okay. They weren’t my best runs ever by any means, but they were very consistent. I was sitting in 2nd place with a time difference of 0.12 seconds after heats 1 & 2. Unfortunately my third run was very very slow. The ice was very soft and there was snow on the track. My gap widened to ~2.5 seconds!!!! For my fourth run I just tried to slide something in that (very large) window between my first couple runs and my third run, which I did. But that 2.5 second difference put me out of the running for medals. Bummer.

Ah well, it was still fun hanging out with all the other sliders. No one crashed and everyone had a good day. All in all it was a very enjoyable race experience. I will have to wait till next year to try and get my first skele medal!!

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Skeleton, What Else?

You may have already seen it on Facebook, but my first night skeletoning back at Whistler after Calgary was quite eventful. I was super nervous about sliding fast again after slow and bumpy Calgary. But my first run was fine. It felt so smooth and lovely. My second run was even better. It became really obvious to me how much I learned the week before. Everything was making sense!

And then on the third run I tapped after corner 6, entered corner 7 super late, dropped a toe to correct…. and then ended up spinning around backwards!! It was freaky. I didn’t know I was supposed to bail if that happened, so I just stayed on the sled. It was surprisingly smooth, and I was pretty calm (since I didn’t actually know how dangerous it was). My coach was SO MAD. I got quite a lecture for not ditching my sled. Apparently I am the first person ever to go around Thunderbird backwards ahahha. I went 112 km/hr BACKWARDS??!! I feel so lucky that nothing bad actually happened.

I took a few days off after that, haha.

Rosemarie and I had a girly weekend up at Whistler last weekend. She watched me slide on Friday night, and she skied and I slid on Saturday, and then we skied together on Sunday. SO FUN! We stayed at the athletes accommodation which was nice and comfortable. I love sister time.

This coming weekend is the last bit of skeleton for the season (except for the BBQ). It’s the provincial championships and there are going to be a lot of people competing this time! It sounds like there will be about 12 people going from the top, around 8 from corner 3 (including me), and another 8 from corner 7. Us corner 3 people are apparently doing a consistency race. The person with the four most consistent runs will win. I think this is pretty boring, but it’s because we’re all at different levels so can’t really compare. I have a feeling we’ll all still be looking at the times in the end though, haha.

My fancy new helmet arrived last week and I’m feeling good about my sliding. I fixed a major problem last week that I had been struggling with for a few weeks (that darn tap after corner 6!!), so I’m very excited to race this weekend. Here’s hoping I have four consistent fast runs.

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Skeleton at COP in Calgary

Last last week I was lucky enough to be able to take part of Can-Am week at the COP in Calgary. It was a week intended to give extra coaching and training to new sliders. That being said, Matt and I were definitely the most new out of everyone. Most of the other people had been sliding for a couple years and already had experience on a bunch of different tracks, or at least had a lot of experience on the Calgary track. There were a few guys from USA, a few from Ontario, a whole bunch of people from Alberta, and the four of us from BC.

The Calgary track is not near as fast as Whistler. But it does have its own challenges. The main one for us was that it is REALLY REALLY BUMPY. Also really really dirty. Because it is so close to the city a lot of dirt blows in. Also the track workers just aren’t as awesome as at Whistler. We are so spoiled at Whistler. There was bird poo frozen onto the track, and also sawdust? Yuck.

ANYWAY because it wasn’t so fast we were able to start from the top on our second run! This meant doing my first ever running start!! (My skeleton/life goal for this season!) The first few runs I did two-handed “running” starts (really I was pretty much walking). Fun! Later we had a couple sessions in the icehouse (an indoor push track practice thingy) where Ivo helped us work on our real one-handed running starts. It did help a lot but I will admit I still pushed somewhat tentatively on the real track because I was terrified of popping the groove and also crashing. PS you can see a video of me doing a running start on my Facebook wall.

The best part of the week was that there were always at least 3 coaches watching our runs. One coach even took videos. Then after each run they would come give us feedback on how we did and how we can improve. Very cool and very helpful. A lot of the pictures in this post are stills from the videos.

Here is a video of me sliding out of corner 7 and into corner 8: http://www.ubersense.com/video/view/HSASsJKB?e=115353

And here is a video of me disappearing into a puff of snow on the straightaway: http://www.ubersense.com/video/view/raMv6Rnw?e=125545

Like I said, the track is not super hard. There are only two parts that I had to worry about. 1) corner 8, which has the potential to flip you over if you go into it too late. I came close to flipping but managed to stay right-side-up the entire week. And 2) the kreisel (a 270 degree corner 3 pressure corner), which I also survived fine. Maybe just because I did “safety steers” though, which helped me but also slowed me down a lot. The fastest speed I got was only 107.9 km/hr!! (The good dudes were getting around 114 km/hr). One time I was NINE SECONDS slower than Mitch. NINE SECONDS!! Was I even on the same track?? I swear there was a short-cut I didn’t know about, haha.

On the last day of the week we had a fun race. I expected I was going to come in last place, and I did, but they were some of my best runs of the whole week so I still felt pretty good. They were my quickest and cleanest runs with my best push times. That’s success for me. Also it was really awesome that Lesley was able to come watch, it made me feel supported.

COLD KATRINA.

All in all it was a successful week. I learned SO MUCH. LIKE, SO MUCH. Everything makes a lot more sense now. It was tiring and challenging at times, but also super fun. While it was extremely embarrassing being so bad/new sometimes, the coaches and other sliders were always really encouraging and friendly. I loved meeting other sliders and making new friends. I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to take part in the training week.

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