Sunday, March 3, 2013

3rd in MARA with double poling

I never planned to do MARA with only double poling because it is a hard race with many uphills and it is 42km (you can see the race profile here). But this year I actually did not have a choice! Why? Well, here is the story...

I recovered well after Gommerlauf last weekend, did several classic skiing sessions this week and was ready to rock the world!  On Thursday we went with friends to Disco on Ice. Normally, I am very comfortable on ice skates and even do simple jumps, but this time I was unlucky and badly twisted my ankle :( The doctor said, I should not do any sports for 10 days.

I couldn't skip la MARA because of the Swiss Loppet Cup classification. So the plan was to do it anyways.  On Saturday, I prepared two pairs of skis: one with klister and another pair with only glide wax (for double poling).  I was still hoping that by Sunday my leg will be fine and I will be able to do the normal classic race with klister.

On Sunday before the race, I managed to put my painful leg into the ski shoes and tried the skis. I realized that I was not able to go with normal classic technic and use my legs in the race. So I finally decided to go with double poling: only pushing with arms and not using my legs.  I knew it's gonna be hard, but well...

The race went actually super good. I was pushing hard in the beginning when the track was not yet too demanding. We managed to run away from the others and were four in the group. I was suffering on uphills because double poling is not too efficient on steep climbs: I was loosing contact and then was coming back. Later, Remo Fischer, who came back from the World Championship on Saturday, left the group and went forward alone.  With the last year winner Guillaume Lalevee we ran away from the fourth person.  The last 6-7 kms of La MARA have 5 hard uphills, where I was suffering a lot. However, I managed to finish third (on the podium!!!) and got +20 points over my main competitor for the SwissLoppet Cup - Bruno Joller.

In the end, I am extremely happy with this race, but I do not advice anyone to do la MARA with only double poling :)

Race stats

Photos and videos are from