It is that time of year again, the first Mighty Mite race!! Mission Ridge is holding their 24th annual Apple Cup. For some families in the SPAC community this could be the first time at a race. This race will be fun, nerve-racking, and crazy all at the same time. From a former racer that has been to Apple Cup many times, no matter what it will be exhilarating and fun.
Here is some key information you need to know. The race is a Giant Slalom for ages U8, U10, U12, and U14. Athletes should plan to race both Saturday and Sunday even if they only normally train one day.
- 7:00-7:30am – Meet your coaches in Hampton Lodge and pick up bibs
- 8:00am – Meet with your Coaches for a pep talk and instructions.
- 8:15am – Athlete and Coaches only may load chair 4 early.
- Team Ski – After the last SPAC racer crosses the line, SPAC always schedules a team free ski run to unify the team and blow off steam. The more the merrier. This is a great time for the parents to come along for the ride to celebrate the end of the day.
- 3:30 to 4:00 – Awards (It’s typical to have awards scheduled to happen 30 minutes after the last racer crosses the line, but invariably there are delays for whatever reason, so please be prepared for this)
- Dinner – “Godfather’s Pizza” – The “game room area” is reserved from 6-8 p.m. for our club. We will be eating from the all-you-care-to-eat buffet. As you enter, pay for your family and then join us to the right of the host station/cash register. If you wish, bring quarters as they do have all sorts of video games. Godfather’s offers a salad bar, pizza bar, and dessert area. This isn’t required so if family time is needed, we respect that 100%!
Expectations and Other Important Information.
- Waiver. Very important!! All athletes must complete the MRSSA Competition Waiver. This is available at http://mrst.us/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/liability-release-form.pdf. Return the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Drive time 35 minutes from downtown. Make time for a really good breakfast.
- Mornings. Races are always a little bit chaotic in the morning before we hit the snow so be prepared to have a rushed morning once you get to the mountain. Be organized as best you can.
- Weather. Mission Ridge can be very windy and very cold so please be sure your athlete is prepared for it.
- Things change at a moment’s notice. Second run times and inspection times are sometimes changed, so don’t get too comfortable at lunch time.
- Viewing the Race. The race takes place on Skookum – which is not visible from the lower lodge or on foot. All spectators will need to plan to ride a chairlift up and ski or board down to the race course. Make sure you only ride Chair 4 to get to the venue.
- Coaching Before the Race. Coaches will direct your athlete to do some prerace warm ups. With the exception of U8s, your athletes will be cycling the chair lifts with their team mates. The U8 group will have their own cycle coach. Kids are instructed to check in with their coaches at the top of the course every time they cycle. Please remind your athlete to check in with there coaches so that they are on time for their runs. Parents may cycle with athletes, but are asked not to try to help get athletes ready at the start. Parents are encouraged to carry coats down from the top of the course to the finish.
- Second Run Start Time. After the first run (9:30 Start), before you leave the finish area you must check in with your coaches for when 2nd run inspection is. Second run is very dependent on the number of athletes entered in the race, so be ready for not knowing exact times until the last minute sometimes.
- Lunch. Parents are responsible for getting their athletes lunch after their first run. Please plan to scoop your athlete after they have they finish their first run, and get them fed so that they can be ready for second run course inspection. Please keep in mind that depending on the schedule time for lunch could be quite varied. At Mission Ridge they have a mid-mountain burger shack that gets packed with long wait times for food. The base area lodge is much better at handling large groups of people, but it is a longer ski down and ride back up, where you can also have your brown bag lunches there ready to go for your athletes so minimal time is wasted trying to get food.
- RACE DAY PHILOSOPHY AND ATTITUDE. This is especially important – Please don’t let your athlete check the timing board after the first run. The best outcomes in ski racing are when the athletes’ focus is based around personal performance rather than results. Our finish coaches are at the finish to manage the athlete’s mental and physical state and are instructing the kids to not look at the score board until after the second run, so please honor this request as it will instill a much better mindset for the second run.
Attitude and Effort are the only two things that the kids can control. It doesn’t matter how any of the other competitors are doing in relation to your athlete so encourage them to focus on fun and personal performance.
Get Pumped Up!!
Get your kids excited and watch these videos with your kids. World Cup inspiration from Ted Ligety (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu9tAlDan9o) and Mikaela Shiffrin
This will be a fun and exciting weekend for you and your kids. We know that it can be a stressful nervous time too. Here at SPAC we always like to remind of our race day philosophy:
Thoughts to Race By
- Stay in the present. The only run you think about is the one at hand
- During a race there is no evaluating. There is no judging.
- There is no anticipating the result. There is only trust and acceptance.
- Anything that detracts from a narrow focus on the run at hand diminishes your chances of skiing your best.
- It’s natural to stay in the present if you have complete peace of mind.
- When you finish your second run and only when your race is over, you can walk over to the scoreboard and see how you’ve done.
Parents may also find it helpful to review this helpful post and article: FIVE KEYS TO PROMOTING SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE ON RACE DAY
To cross the finish line knowing you put all you had on the race course is the greatest feeling. As for a parent, seeing your child crossing that very same finish line with a big smile on their face, also an incredible feeling. No matter what happens out there this weekend remember as Dave and Nils always say the only thing you can control on race day is your attitude and your effort!
So go out there this weekend and enjoy the Apple Cup, and never forget to have fun, take risks, ski fast!!