Bogus Basin, Idaho
I was a first year J3. This was the first year in my ski racing career that the races counted for an overall score. It was also the first year that we were able to race a real super G. Super G is the fastest and most dangerous type of course that J3’s are allowed to run. I started out not being worried about the race until everyone started telling me about it. In the end I had to conquer my fear for it.
Before the race, the older kids who raced it the year before told us that the jumps there were huge! That kind of freaked us out, but it also pumped us up. The coaches told us that it was no big deal as long as you were there for training. I hadn’t been there for training because I had just gotten mono earlier that year.
Only $13.90 / page
I tried to put that fact out of my head.
We got to the hotel at about 5pm in the afternoon that Friday. We had a team meeting where the coaches told us to stick to the older kids who had been here before. They said that there were some difficulties getting to the race course and to maintain elevation at all costs. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I listened to them anyway.
We were staying in Boise, which was about an hour’s drive from the hill. We got settled into our rooms and got ready for tomorrow. All went as planned, until we got in the car. The veteran kids started sprinting toward it like it was life and death. I soon found out why… on the ride up to the mountain, we counted 110 huge switchbacks. By the end of it, I felt as if I was about to throw up.
The next difficulty was actually skiing to the race area. We had to traverse over at least half a mile of cat tracks, then up onto another lift. After what seemed like ages, we finally got there. The entire time, I thought we were lost, thus increasing the freak out level.
Before our run, we were going to take an inspection. It started out with a steep pitch and moved into the flats. That’s where the first jump was. It didn’t look that big, but I knew that with speed we would go flying off of it. We kept going down the course and saw three more jumps that were just as big or bigger.
I was starting last, so I had time to watch the other racers go down first. Whooosh! The first racer flew off of the jump. They all followed with huge airs off the jumps and high speeds through the course.
I went back up the chair and got ready for my run. While I was at the top, one of the coaches said a racer went off of the second jump in the back seat. That meant that he landed flat on his back. Having all this on my mind, I didn’t feeI very ready for it. I got into the starting gate feeling very nervous. 10 SECONDS! 5,4,3,2,1, Go! I got out of the gate charging. All the suspense left me as my run continued. The steep section of the course handled well, and I got onto the flats with good speed. Here came the first jump. I launched over it and felt like I flew a mile. It was the most fun thing I have ever done in my life.
After the race, people told me that the top racers had a max speed of 67 miles per hour, and off the biggest jump they went 150 feet. I will never forget my first super G race where I conquered my fear.