Julian Smith (photo: ndctbay.ca)
Reactions are coming in to us from Almaty, where classic sprint races opened the Jrs/U23 World Championships.
Canada had a good first day overall. You can read a complete report here from Cross Country Canada.
Julian Smith trains at the Thunder Bay National Development Center. He lived fully his first ever race in a World Championship. You can feel the passion as he shares his feelings.
«Well, today was awesome experience! It was my first step of my international career.
«In the morning, while at the hotel and once at the race course before warm-up started, I was feeling the nerves, in a good way, but nonetheless I was.
«Warm-up started and everything other than what I was doing at that very moment went out the window. I felt focused and my body was working well. Nearing the end of the warm-up I was feeling a little heavy but that was mostly in my head.
«The clock counted down from five, I snapped the wand open and off I went! One step after another as hard as I could push! My body felt really good, I was focused and pushed hard.
«My skis were running super well, however the major climb on the course was rather sunny, making it a tough job to get great grip! I dug deep up the final climb and surged for the finish line! I ended up 39th, which I was happy with based on the fact that I had met many of my process goals, even though I didn’t obtain my results based goals.
«All in all, the day was a success based on how I felt, the fact that I was racing and competing at World Juniors and what I learned! As I like to remember, if a goal was easy to achieve, it wasn’t worth having in the first place.»
That’s what we call being mature. Serious. Dedicated. We look forward to Julian’s next race.
Scott Hill was feeling good
In the U23 sprints, we got this reaction from Scott Hill.
«I felt good going into the sprint. It was a tricky wax day and there was only one big uphill on the course so it was a tough decision to go for more glide or grip.
«By the time I raced, the hill had gotten really icy and it was hard to get grip climbing the hill and that is where I lost a lot of time.
«Overall I was disappointed with my result but happy that I was feeling good going into the distance races which are more my strength,»