2013 Race Report is up

Want to read 4500 words about my race? It’s right here! Links and pictures will be added in coming days.

New this year: race reports from other people. If you want to send me a race report, I’ll post it. Just send it to ari.ofsevit at gmail and I’ll post it in the Race Report area of the site. A couple of guidelines:

  • Write something unique. If you write a couple paragraphs with the gist of “I went to Cable, the snow was soft, I skied to Hayward, I had a beer” it’s not telling us anything new.
  • Tell a story. 10,000 people skied the Birkie. There were 20 wave starts, two techniques, 88k of trails and about 15 bars at the finish. What happened to you?
  • Write at least a few paragraphs. It’s a 50k race and took you at least 2:09 to finish. Tell us about hills, feeds, race tactics, scenery, volunteers, mishaps, adversity overcome. Tell us something funny. Make it long enough that we want to read it.
  • Write it in paragraphs. Meaning—don’t just send a blurb of sentences run together.
I’m looking forward to reading about everyone’s experience!

Race report coming

Two hours on an airplane from MSP to BOS and I have about 4000 words of a verbose race report written. I have to finish it up when I’m home from work (yes, I went straight from the airplane to work) but it’s coming soon! If for some ungodly reason you’re interested.

And then there’s more to come after that. Elevation data. Data data. Data data data!

I am a huge nerd. But I am sitting, right now, in 169th. And despite a valiant effort by Ms. Alex Jospe, I won Massachusetts. (Because we know that Ali is from Poughkeepsie, NY, not MA!)


After a formal protest, the Latvian speedster has been properly seeded (and did not come in 14th) and another skier has dropped out of the ranks (someone without a start time, it seems) and your’s truly has moved in to 199th place. The cookie is crumbling in the right direction.

(Statistics charts are mostly done; they’re coming online soon.)

The back of the elite wave was stacked this year

I’m parsing results. I’ll have a lot more information shortly, and I’ll have a race report coming, and stats and all. But here’s the deal. This year I felt pretty good, and finished 20.96% back from the finisher. Last year, I finished 22.67% back. This year, I squeaked in to the Elite Wave by less than two seconds, in 200th place exactly! Last year, I was in 192nd. And if I’d finished last year in the same percent back as this year, I would have been in 172nd.

The Elite Wave was competitive this year, especially the slower half of it. Last year, there were 57 Elite qualifiers from other waves. 54 from Wave 1 and three from Wave 2. This year, there were just 29: 27 from Wave 1, and one each from Waves 2 and 5. Yes, 5. And last year, there were 180 Elite Wave starters. This year, by my count, there were 211. I didn’t get passed by any Wave 1 skiers (which I did last year), I finished in front of more women, and I placed lower.

Here’s a chart! top 300 2012 Birkie finishers, percent backWhat does this show us? It shows, for the top 300 places, the percent back in 2011 and 2012. For the first 100 finishers or so, there wasn’t much different between the years. However, from 100 to 200, any given place in 2012 was significantly faster than in 2011. Take, for instance, 137th place. In 2012, this finisher was 16.6% back from the winner. In 2011, the finisher was 18.75% back. In 2011, 16.6% back would have been good 111th place—26 places better.

Let’s look at 200th place—the last Elite Wave qualifier (that’s me!). This year, I finished 20.96% back. Last year, in 192nd place, I was 22.67% back and the 200th finisher was 22.95% back. And if I’d finished 20.96% back in 2011, I would have been in 172nd place, 28 spots better.

So I got lucky but I guess I kind of had a decent race. And I better train better this summer. I’m tired of being right on the cusp.