Sorry for the lack of updates about racing the last few days. We have had really long days (12 plus hours at the rink!!!!!!) that don`t leave a lot of time for blog updates. Yesterday we had the qualifying rounds. All of the guys skated really well and into the first round. For me, it was really an up and down day. After doing alot of media type activities outside of training this week, I felt really tired. This combined with a 6 am wake up made me feel quite tired on race day. This showed in my first race the 1500m heat. I raced a strong tactical race, leading right to the end, but didn`t have the legs to do the lap times I needed towards the end. I was passed twice in the last lap and had to go to the repechage. The 1000 went better, I was still a little shaky but managed to pull it together and get through to the quarters which will go tomorrow.
Today was another early morning to skate the repechage. I skated smoothly and won each of my three races to advance to the World Cup rounds. Skating the repechage isn`t the best thing for the legs, but its kind of fun to do since all of the guys are having fun it seems. The atmosphere is quite a bit more relaxed than when there are alot of people watching and the pressure is on. In my semi I was up against six guys that hadn`t had the luxury (not!) of skating three rounds in the morning. I had set a race plan that I normally wouldn`t do, but was the best for the situation. I followed it to a T and was very close to advancing to the final. Unfortunately, my last pass that would have put me in a qualifying position wasn`t clean and I was DQed. Now this is why I call it the best DQ I have ever had. It wasn`t that I was dqed that made me happy, it was that I was able to follow a race plan that put me outside my comfort level and do almost all the right things. This is really a positive step for me.
As a mens team today we had some tough luck today, but Charles Hamelin topped the day off with superb win in the 1000m. What an amazing race and great for the home crowd. Frank Hamelin also managed to slide in for third so it was a positive day all things said.
Tomorrow is the 500`s and 1000 (2). We will be hunting for A finals and medals all day! Both Canadian teams are also in the A final for the relay.
Rock n Roll