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Shiga Kogen Gs & SL Races
April 5th 2013
After a lovely couple of days in Tokyo, we drove to Shiga Kogen (the long way,  thanks to our Japanese-speaking Sat Nav sending us through Tokyo city, rather than on the ring road system, in rush-hour traffic!).  On arrival in Shiga Kogen, we were unable to park at the hotel; we had to drag our bags and skis etc in sledges, up the snow.

From a hotel full of dogs in Honokidaira, we arrived at a hotel often surrounded by snow monkeys, and even invaded by them at one stage when some Japanese athletes neglected to close their bedroom window!

I was reasonably pleased with my first GS race which resulted in a score of 74.18 which has brought my GS points down to 66.  The second GS race was not so good.  After torrential rain all night, that continued all morning and turned to snow for a while, I was really surprised that the race even went ahead.  Obviously everyone was exposed to the rain but I was certainly absolutely drenched and frozen to the bone and did not ski my best.

The sun returned for the slalom races which were held on the same, incredibly steep hill, as the GS.  I was bib 1 for the first race and was around a second off the leader at the end of the first run.  In slalom, it's always a fine line between racing it and coming out of the course.  Being so close to the leader, I decided to go as fast as I could to maximise on my first run time and contest for a podium position.  It didn't come off well for me, however, as I came out of the course 7 gates from the end!!  In the second slalom race, I was bib 5 and, after what happened in the second run the previous day, I was simply way too cautious and slipped back a number of places as a result.  I got myself back together for the second run and recovered a few of those positions to finish with 92 points which was not what I was hoping for but which was much better than it could have been after the first run.

Apart from the snow monkeys, the thing I shall miss most will be our nightly international Table Tennis contests which were so fiercely fought that they were more of a work-out than our normal fitness training!