Skiing (classic) 1:27:00  30.0 km (2:54 / km)
Wow, very memorable and amazing race.
First ever 30k, 4 x7.5k laps, mass start. Started way at the back cause I'm not liscenced. The first lap was tough since I had to try and pass a whole bunch of people, and this was exhausting. Got to the top of the course with only some rolling hills and a big downhill left. I was already pretty tired and thinking that I couldnt keep the current pace for 3 more laps. I had just dropped a small group and was skiing by myself.
Then I spotted an opportunity, Pierre Harvey, skiing legend, was about 50m ahead of me. I wanted to get in behind someone for the long downhill double poling section, but I wasn't sure if it would be stupid to try and keep up with Pierre. I know he's in his fifites and has really old/weird technique, but he is F$#@#^ fast!
Anyways, I decided to go for it and see how long I could hold on to him, worst case it would be an interesting story. Got on his tail and skied behind him for the rest of the lap. We caught a few more guys, including some U Laval skiers on the second lap, and skied as a pack until the end of the 3rd lap. I stayed behind Pierre basically the whole time except for a few sections. He would sometimes get away on the downwhills or flats, but I would catch back up on the hills.
Very tired by the 4th lap, but still had some energy to try and hold on. By this time we reduced to a group of 4 after dropping some guys. Managed to hold on until the last 3k where there was a lot of poling, where Pierre and one of the laval guys dropped me. Faught it out with the other laval guy to the end where I got ahead , but finished 20s behind Pierre.
Such a crazy race for me, not only was it my first 30, but I got to ski basically the whole thing in a really good pack of skiiers, including a Canadian Icon. People laughed that I wasn't able to beata 53 yr old, and looking back I think I could have if I was smarter and tried to stay in his draft in the end, but at the time I was just shocked that I was able to have held on to him for that long. The pace of the race was much higher than I had expected it to be, and I'm just happy that I didn't totally bonk.
Very fun race, looking forward to some shorter races now, and getting back up to my peak after some sickness. Made the top 8 guys on Carleton as 7th so: Ontario University Championchips in 2 weeks!