Qualifying for the winter world cups - Athlete Journal by James Monson

The following as an Athlete Journal by James Monson, National team athlete.


I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year. For those of you who get holidays and time off work I know it's quite a nice time of year. This year we had our national championships right after Christmas, so we did not get any time off of training and since it's not good to travel right before racing most of us on the team did not go home for Christmas. It would have been nice to go home and see my family in Winnipeg, but that's the way things go.

The last couple of weeks the Canada Post all round championships and Canada Post sprint speed skating championships were held in Calgary. The all round competition was on the 20-22 and the sprint competition was on the 27-29 of December. The two competitions decide the world cup and world championships teams for the rest of the season. The all round or long distance skaters compete in the 500m, 1500m, 3000m (ladies), 5000m, and 10000m (men). The sprinters compete in 500m and 1000m. As most people know I am a sprinter and was racing in the sprint competition. This year the format was slightly different. On day 1 we skated two 500m's. On day 2 we skated one 1000m and day 3 one 1000m. The total of all four races decided the sprint champion.

Now I don't know exactly what it was. Maybe my last email, getting things off my chest or maybe it was the small changes to my equipment that I made, but I skated a lot better at this last competition then I have all year. I won the two 500m's on day one. My first race was 35.63 and my second 35.65, which qualifies me for the world cup team. I finished 5th and 8th in the 1000m's. I did not make the world cup team for that distance. My overall for the four races placed me in first and my first Canadian sprint title and that qualifies me for the world sprint championships in Salt Lake City. In general it was a good few days of racing and I feel like I was much closer to what I'm capable of doing. Just a small side note, Jeremy was already pre-qualified for the world cups and world championships and did not have to race. I still have a little way to go if I want to beat him. But that's not out of the question. Still it is nice to qualify next in line. If anyone wants to see more detailed results of the sprint or all round championships they can go to http://speedskating.ca

The next major competition will be a sprint world cup here in Calgary. It will be from January 14-15. It's nice to be at home for the next competition as I seem to skate fairly well in Calgary. I think being on your home track has some definite advantages. For more info on that you can go to http://www.kin.ucalgary.ca/oooc/.

The more people that come out the better! That's about it for now. I will send out my next update after the world championships, hopefully with some good news to report.

James Monson