July 31, 1999 - Park City, UT
After three races of the International Rollerski Series, we appear to have a force on our hands that is dominating the competition. It is not one of the racers, it is not a certain brand of rollerskis, and it is not the stench of unwashed workout clothes (though it soon may be). This force is much more dominant - having won ALL THREE races so far. It is Cory Smith's magic poles. His Exel Avanti Aero poles with Evolution Economy straps, vintage 1996 , have proven unbeatable for the third race in a row. After Smith won the inaugural race with them, he loaned the poles to Scott Loomis, who dominated the skate race by using them. Now in the third race, Smith had them back and once again came out victorious. The only rational explanation is that the poles have supernatural powers. These poles have more magic than an entire episode of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch." (Memo to Exel: I'll be expecting my check in the mail this week.) Others have tried to suggest that the results might have something to do with the fact that Cory has won the two classic races and Scott won the only skate race, which plays right to each of their strengths. But this is pure speculation and has no base in reality. Get real, people. . .
The Utah skiers insisted that we inspect the course before the race. They whined something about not knowing where the course went and where finish line was in the last race. Details, details. But this time we wanted to make sure that they had no lame excuses, so we showed them the short, but sweet, 3K course. It was almost all uphill, with the only downhill coming only two minutes into the race. The course started out gradual, but just got steeper and steeper until the last, barely skiable, pitch to the finish. If your head wasn't spinning when you got to the last hill, it soon would be (possibly because of the last hill, but more likely because of Sewage Treatment Plant down the hill). Erik Stange was in charge of timing and started first, well ahead of the other competitors to ensure that he would make it to the finish in time to clock the others. It turns out that the extra time wasn't really needed as Stange turned in one of his best race in years (on snow or pavement) with a time of 9:50. The first skier to come in after Stange was Frode Kollerud, who passed Jesse "I'm a retired athlete, so I have a right to be slow - What's your excuse?" Lassley and Addison "My full-suspension V2's ride like a cloud (and apparently steer like one too)" Whitworth to post a time of 9:54. Fast, but not quick enough to unseat Stange. Whitworth, pushing those V2 drag queens up the hill, finished with Lassley close on his tail. Addison's time of 10:41 was respectable, but it is widely believed that had he been on similar skis to everyone else he could have been pushing the 10 minute mark. Lassley, in fine Team Player form, had volunteered his equipment to Pat Casey, whose ski fell apart in warm-ups. Lassley then raced on said questionable skis and managed to get them all the way up the hill. The next and final three skiers came by in a flurry, within 15 seconds of each other. Pat Casey, who only needed about 4 strides to get his 7 foot frame up the hill, came in in 10:08. He was being chased down by Rune Kollerud, whose time of 9:45 was enough to take the lead. His lead only lasted 7 seconds though as Smith, who had started 30 seconds behind Rune and had been chasing him the whole way, came in with the winning time of 9:22. It should be noted that pre-race favorite Scott Loomis could not race since he is too busy denying rumors about his romantic life. As was announced earlier in the week, the new sponsor - Badass Chipwiches - came through with huge chipwiches for the podium finishers. Chocolate for first, Strawberry for second, and vanilla for third. Addison Whitworth, who came within mere centimeters of providing "Agony of Defeat" footage on a downhill corner during warm-down was awarded the prized Neapolitan chipwich. With the win, Smith overtakes Loomis for the series lead, which was calculated using a racers best two of three races. Smith was in his usual talkative mood after the race and had this to say: "I've been lacking motivation for the past couple of days. My training has consisted of nothing but watching N'Sync videos and all I've had to eat is pizza and doughnuts. Since it worked so well today, I think I am going to adopt this as my full-time training regimen. I'll be unstoppable." We have since learned that only the diet part of that statement is true - Smith is a Backstreet Boys fan. He also said,"It's nice to take back the the overall points lead, though I would much rather have done it when Scott was here so I could rub it in his face." Loomis, when informed that the Cory's poles were still undefeated, responded with, "Oh really? Who used them this week.?" Smith wishes to thank Loomis for his faith in Smith's abilities. Bastard. Stange, obviously happy with his race, revealed that he had been sandbagging until this point because there were no chipwiches on the line. "When the chipwiches are down, I'm ready to race," he said.
The events so far have been such a success, we will be extending the series into September. That will give more athletes a chance to compete in at least one race. Rumor has it we will even get U.S. Ski Team competitors in September. Stay tuned.
University of Utah
University of Utah