Mikuni restaurant employee and sponsored snowboarder Kenneth Carson recently took home the Bronze in the USASA (United States of America Snowboard Association) National Giant Slalom competition! Unfortunately Kenneth lost his digital camera, but you can stay updated by reading Kenneth’s blog.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Nationals Day 2…The bumps, the bruises, and the Bronze
So today was competition day 1 on the Giant Slalom course. I was supposed to wake up at about 6 to get to the mountain early enough to get a decent practice session in. My nerves got the best of me, and I was up not a minute after 4am with no hopes of falling asleep again. Instead of trying fight it and get back to bed, I made use of the time by getting my board nice and waxed for the conditions. The local weather stations predicted a 90% chance of snow showers, with a possible 4-6 inches by early afternoon. I set up my board accordingly and two hours worth of early morning food dehydrator / exercise equipment later…I was out the door.
The sun peeked out on the ridges off in the distance, so I snapped a couple shots with my phone…unfortunately it looks like nobody is planning on returning my digital camera . The lift chairs opened up almost an hour early for all the competitors, so we all scrambled off to our different venues for the day to get decent practice time on the courses. After our practice and riders meeting we were assigned our lanes and were sent off two by two. The snow was extremely firm and we all had a difficult time adjusting to the conditions that were changing by the minute. But after the first run I held the fastest time on one half of the course. I couldn’t believe it! These guys were FAST….EXTREMELY FAST. I had no idea that Iâ€™d be able to hang with them at all. The second run was my reality check…
After the second run, it appeared that I was within a half second or so of second / third place. By the time our second heat came around, conditions were icy, the course was rutted out, and I was just concerned with staying on my feet. Well it turned out my time was good enough for 3rd, the top 3 had beaten the next batch of riders by a long shot!
On my way back to the lodge, I found out that the awards were being placed on a LIVE web feed from a website called Go211.com. I immediately text messaged my family and friends and sure enough most of them caught me on the podium receiving my Medal! Thanks again guys for the support!
I would have to say that by far…the highlight of the day was me stepping off of that podium, in front of 1000 people, and getting a phone call from my Dad. it sounded like he had been crying…
Well tomorrow AND Tuesday are just practice days for me, Wednesday is the big BoarderCross event. Hopefully you’ll all get to see me on the podium again!
Until then, thank you all so much for your support!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
USASA Nationals Day 1!!!
Day 1: Arrival, Opening Ceremonies, Practice
So I arrived late in the early evening yesterday, and arrived at my hotel in Silverthorne at about 8pm. So many things are different here at over 9000ft! Everywhere I look, Iâ€™m surrounded by the largest mountains Iâ€™ve ever seen. You can definitely tell when youâ€™re dealing with higher elevation, just a simple walk up to the 3d floor of my lodge had me winded. But on to the fun…
Registration was purposely held until late Friday night for all of us late-comers. On the plane from Sacramento I ran into at least 10 different competitors all going for the same reason I was. My lodge was only 10 minutes from the mountain, so I registered late last night. I was welcomed by a handful of fellow South Tahoe riders at the village, it felt almost like i was back home. After that, back to the lodge and off to bed.
Today was open Practice day for all the venues. My two events are GS (Giant Slalom) and BoarderCross. Giant Slalom went well but was a little deceiving, as there is an inbound storm that will completely change the conditions for my competition day tomorrow. BoarderCross was a completely different story! The course was AMAZING, and extremely fast. There were several features that made it difficult for all ability levels to stay on their feet. Unfortunately a few riders were injured today, hopefully not to the point that they wonâ€™t be able to compete this week. We were all allowed to inspect the course at half speed, then given less than a 45minute window to run the course at full speed. In the meantime, I managed to lose my digital camera …
I left the report with lost and found, hopefully its returned this week…
Opening Ceremonies: What can I say…WOW! 1600 competitors, friends, families, and locals all lined the village walk to see the entrance parade. One by one, each of the USASA Regions were introduced to the crowd. The turnout was amazing, there was a fireworks show later on in the evening, and photographers were everywhere! FuelTV announced they will be out all week, www.VastAction.com will be taking photographs of ALL the competitors.
So on to tomorrow, I compete in Giant Slalom against the rest of my group winners from around the country. As with any event, a top 10 finish would mean alot to me, but placing top 3 is my ultimate goal! Thanks guys for all your support, hopefully I will come back with some good news tomorrow!