2. There is a very small midpack and essentially no back of the pack in these ski races. It's bad for the ego but maybe that is good because it is fewer people to have to pick my way through.
3. That said, the Pineland winter-tri brought out many back of the packers! The only point of comparison is Matt Lunt who had the 3rd best ski time at the winter tri but was 56/86 at the Rangeley Loppet.
4. Most everyone uses a water bottle belt in the ski marathons, not camelbaks. The problem is one bottle isn't enough so you have to have someone hand you a new bottle at the lap, or I guess tuck one along the course somewhere. My camelbak worked pretty well and I wanted it especially to carry a set of dry gloves in case my first pair got too soaked and my frostbitten fingers chilled. That didn't happen. But maybe I'll start practicing eating gels while moving (not so easy with glove and poles strapped to the hands).
5. The timing crew/race director made several mistakes in timing and awards. Some were fixed during the awards, some that I know of were not. This included Dave Roberts (runs the Pineland 25K and Craig Cup) 2nd place in 10 year age group but no acknowledgement during the awards. And this guy actually finished 10 minutes slower than the official results (he's got a nice race report, by the way). How did that happen and why didn't it happen to me?
6. The report is that all of the new england ski races have been down in numbers this winter,by 20% or more, despite the good snow and weather. It will be interesting to see how the trail race numbers shake out.
7. Cross-training - I cannot recommend hanging up the running shoes and skiing all winter highly enough. It's a great way to rest weary joints but maintain super fitness. Plus the downhills are just wicked fun.
8. Today has been the first day that I've thought about running (not actually going out and running but thinking "what a nice day to run").