Here are a few notable email comments.
From Bryan Cook of CXC Elite, who finished 5th overall, and was the highest placing American.
Hey Mark,It was really cold for most of the race, single digits for sure and the first half was rock-hard, fast and a little dirty,while the second half was soft with more new snow mixed in. This resulted in really different conditions, but I used my best universal pair that I had you put the S1 grind on. I thought that my skis were good in the first half and actually a little better than some of the others for the second half.It was a tactical race with the Norwegians really working well together towards the end of the race. I was pretty happy with my finish but asalways I was looking for the win!Thanks again for all your support!Best regards,Bryan
The second report is from Brian Gregg, also from CXC Elite, who finished 8th and was the second fastest American.
Just wanted to let you know I had some sweet skis in the Birkie. The lead pack was pretty big but even still I found myself gapping the field on several of the downhills early on in the race. I tested my entire fleet several times before the race and waxed up my xc02 and S1 pairs. Testing race morning they were pretty similar, but I liked the xc02 pair best. My xc02 pair is stiffer and does better on the rock solid corduroy. I finished 8th in a sprint to the line with the main pack and feel pretty good about that. I have two more 50k this season and am looking forward to them.
Take Care, Brian
Also a few comments from Laura McCabe, who was the 9th place woman, and had trouble with the cold weather -- a reminder that good skis will only get you so far if the cold weather keeps the engine from running.
Hey I just wanted to let you know that my skis were GREAT. My body was not, hard day for me, I did not dress properly for -9 to -3 and just got really wobbly. Oh well, some days are good some are not, but it was great to be there and I had a fantastic week.
Thank you so much Mark,
These reports often don't tell the whole story by themselves, but when several reports come in from a single race, I can get a good idea of what's working.
I'm also honored that so many skiers trust me to prepare their skis for important events like the Birkie.