Marmotta Trophy: 1317 vm 4 ascents/ 3 descents / 2 portages / 10.5 km
Nestled in a mountainous region of Italy, in a beautiful town called Martello, is where the Marmotta Trophy World Cup Races took place.
I came to this race with a very interesting mindset. I wasn’t particularly satisfied with my results at the previous races in Verbier. But blended in with the negative emotions were also a elated memory of the teams race with my partner Kylee. Thus I arrived with a mixed bag of emotions alongside a tremendous amount of pressure (from myself) to perform well.
Friday my team-mates (Travis, Nick, Mel & Eric) and I set out on a little course recon. A little bit of homework on getting to know the course gave me a confidence boost. That afternoon my boot broke- specifically the bolt that engages the downhill mode fell out. This was a minor set-back. And thanks to Melanie’s connections and help I was able to get it fixed by the Scarpa rep. Phew!
Saturday morning I awoke early ready to race. I had overcome a small little obstacle the evening before and was up to the challenge of the Marmotta course- a new country and a fresh start.
My contact ripped.
For those of you who know me, you understand the magnitude of this phrase. I’m practically blind. I cannot see much detail more than 5 feet in front of me. To pack lightly into our tiny rental car, I didn’t bring a back up pair.
Rather than get worked up, I just quietly went about warming up and preparing for the race. Sure half of my vision was gone- a complete blur on the left side-but I wasn’t interested in sitting around all day.
In a quick nutshell- I lost a lot of athletes on the first downhill. It turns out that its quite hard to ski quickly without depth perception and sight. I lost a good chunk of the pack quite rapidly. If I had to sum up the race in one word it would be unique. By the time I came through transitions most of the volunteers didn’t cheer for me. They focused on staying warm. At times by –standers chasing their friends would yell out names of my fellow competitors. I couldn’t see very far, and it was often quiet. I simply focused on the few steps ahead of me, of doing my personal best. I redirected my negativity into building character.
It was a positive moment when I passed 2 competitors and then flew up the bootpack, dropping them like flies. The last descent was so hard to see- but I finished with my best effort.
As my wise friend Kylee stated, “You are building character Michelle and that is of much more eternal value than any placing in races.”