Post race consisted of smiles and hopes of a top 20 result. At the end of the day 7th was the number! It was hands down my best international result ever. I was especially stoked to learn that I had posted the fastest ski time of the day. That was a first. Even as a junior I was never ranked first on course time. I told Armin that I died on the last loop when in fact my last two loops were the first fastest. Could this day have been any better? The answer is yes. Had I races an extra 0.3 seconds better I would have been top six. A top six affords you two things. One is being called up for the flower ceremony. The other is 200 euro (200+$$). It's not a lot, but it makes a difference with my income standards. So close...
The week end wasn't over. There was still ten more km of racing to be had. The warm up to the sprint race on Sunday was a slow and careful process. My legs were back to that leaded feeling from last summer but everything else was on time and looking well. This trend was abruptly ended when I noticed that I was missing part of my binding... twice! The second time forcing me run away from the start with one ski and scramble to find my NIS key to make some last second (literally "last second") changes before just barely making it to the starting wand in time. First loop pace was a little too modest for an amazing race and after two penalties in prone I was going to need something better for even a solid result. The last two loops were much smoother and standing might have been my best ever. Clean with little wasted time was just what I needed.
I was "randomly" selected for a drug test immediately following the race. That shenanigan ate up my whole afternoon. I drank so much water I felt sick for hours after. Drowning was was starting to feel easier than producing a 90ml sample.
The result was 27th. Not as good as the previous day, but still an absolute good sign. The heavy feeling in my legs took it's toll the result list. It's takes a lot of experience to be consistent. After a nap and some dinner we played a game of charades. My team won.
p.s. I should have more pictures up as soon as I can find my camera.