Hi! I'm in Calgary, Canada! I'm racing in the first World Cup of the season! You (maybe) didn't know that because I have been a terrible blogger!
But it's true (the racing and the blogging). The international racing season has officially begun. If you are unfamiliar with the structure of a speedskating World Cup, I am going to make a vague attempt to briefly fill you in. There are two groups at World Cups - A division and B division. For the 500m, there are twenty skaters in A division - the remaining athletes skate in B division. There is a lot of protocol behind how certain skaters and countries get x number of starting positions in A division, but what you need to know is that for the most part, all the top skaters are racing in the A division. It can be difficult to get out of B division and stay out. You essentially need to win (or be close to the top of) the B group to move into the A group. And once you're in the A group, you need to place high enough that you earn enough points to stay there. There are rules and a whole World Cup points system that determine which B division skaters get promoted to A division and which skaters get moved down from A to B.
It's very much not a straight-forward thing to explain.
Since I started racing on the World Cup circuit in 2012, I have been in the B division. But I have news. After the first 500m on Friday, I am quite excited to say, I have been promoted to the A division. Tomorrow, I will be coming at you live, in good ol' pair number 1. YES.
In other news, I also raced the 1000m today. It was a solid race, just two-tenths shy of my personal best time. I ended up 9th in the B division - which isn't exactly where I would like to be, but I'm happy with how I executed my race and am looking forward to racing it again next weekend at the World Cup in SALT LAKE CITY (Do you live in Utah? You should definitely come cheer Team USA on).
My goal now is to throw down a real nice 500m tomorrow (Sunday) and earn myself enough points stay in the A division. Because only the A division is broadcast live on icenetwork.com (with a paid subscription) and I would really like my family (and friends! and fans?) to be able to watch my World Cup races on the internet.