Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We've Moved!

I know, I know I have been fairly inactive on the blog front of late. Actually, complete inactive for at least 3 months, but that has been the result of a new development.
After some lengthy contract negotiations with (I was holding out for a Lear jet, they offered me a Razor scooter, we settled on a ride in Nat Herz's station wagon) This Is Not A Test has moved to become a FasterSkierblog.
I real blog on a real website? No way!
I know, a big step, but you can visit my 1 post right here and I will be posting once a week or so, so bookmark it, and check out some FasterSkier articles as well.
See you on the other side!

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Fought the Law, And...Well, Take a Guess

How Kieran Wished His Interaction with the Law Went

Officer: Can I see your license and registration?
Kieran: Here you go.
Officer: I pulled you over for driving in the high occupancy/car pool lane, which you knew it was.
Kieran: Hmm, interesting point, Officer. It is true that I was driving in the high occupancy lane with only one person in the car.
Officer: Well, that’s a $110 ticket.
Kieran: Really? You pulled me over at 2.30 in the afternoon for driving in a high occupancy lane when there were 3 other cars on the bridge? And I wasn’t even speeding? And the fine is only $110??
Officer: … yes?
Kieran: How does that make you feel?
Officer: Excuse me?
Kieran: Did you really just make our country a safer and better place? You pulled over a 22 year old who is a cross country ski coach, has never had a traffic infraction in his life, and is driving the speed limit. I have no drugs, alcohol, guns or dead bodies in the vehicle. I was not impeding traffic, driving dangerously, or being a risk to another citizen.
Officer: Well no, but you didn’t obey some signage.
Kieran: True, but as a sometime tax payer, your wage comes from my pocket, and therefore I expect a certain level of professionalism and efficiency in your job. While you pulled me over for a completely useless traffic stop, you could have focused your time on a brutal vicious murder, some gangsters holding up a liquor store, hell, maybe some illicit drug deals or a petty theft or two, which would actually have helped better our society. I am really glad you chose to spend half an hour with me instead – have to keep those ski coaches from driving in the wrong lane, or else the fabric of our society would rip apart and we would be left with anarchy and lawlessness.
Officer: Well, you do make some good points! You have destroyed me emotionally and morally, I may need to rethink my entire life and actions up until this point. Here, have $110 from my pocket. Are you in a hurry?
Kieran: Well, funny you should ask, I am.
Officer: Allright, well, let me hop back in my car, I’ll turn on the lights and siren, and escort you to your destination at 130 km/hr through all the lights and traffic.
Kieran: Sounds great, you’re a stand-up officer.

How Kieran’s Interaction with the Law Really went

Officer: Can I see your license and registration?
Kieran: Here you go.
Officer: I pulled you over for driving in the high occupancy/car pool lane, which you knew it was.
Kieran: Yes sir.
Officer goes back to his car, spends 20 minutes writing out the ticket.
Officer: Here’s your ticket – you have 15 days to either pay it or take it to court.
Kieran: Thanks.
Officer: Drive safely!
Kieran: You too…

The officer I was hoping to pull me over.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Not to be overly dramatic or anything, but on the radio this afternoon I heard what is probably the most disturbing statement of the summer. “I would rather spend $50,000 on a wedding dress than a car” said some random chick who is clearly way too desperate to get married and has her priorities in all the wrong places. Now, I realize this begs the question as to what the hell I was listening to (CBC radio, obviously – what else do I listen to??), but it really should beg a different question – what is WRONG with these people??

Seriously? What the F*CK am I going to do with this?? That thing wouldn't last ten seconds at 120 km/hr - my van is worth 1% of the price and is 100x more useful.

A quick list of things you will probably do with a $50,000 wedding dress:

- Wear it once

- Look at it

- Stick it in your closet

- Tell your friends and family you bought a $50,000 wedding dress, and then be mercilessly torn to shreds because your wedding didn’t have an open bar

A quick list of $50,000 cars which are way better than the abovementioned dress:

- Ford Mustang, no, I’m just kidding, if you’re going to buy one of these, just get the dress instead

- BMW 135i

- Infiniti G37

- Lotus Elise

- Volkswagen Golf GTI

- Porsche Boxter

- and yes, even a Honda Fit

That is just a very quickly brainstormed list – I could find dozens. If you have more to add, please do so! Now, for those of you still thinking about buying the dress, call me, and I will dispose of your $50,000 more wisely.

That looks pretty wise to me...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Week Off

Sure, I didn't blog for a week, and now everyone expects awesome quality and content. But to tide you over, here's my favourite picture I have found on the internet this week.

Harrison Ford, rocking the awesome even back in the Star Wars days. Mark Hamill... not so much.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Check here for a read...

While some of you feel it may be the height of hypocrisy for someone with my background and tastes to post such an article, I have a firm belief that it has just reinforced my decision to retire from competitive year-round training. If you follow the LTAD, it basically means I'm making a beeline for the 'Active for Life' side of things.
Why? Because I will never give up days like this...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The No-Frills Ten-Miler

Date: July 21st, 2010

Location: Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario

Event: The No-Frills Ten Miler (For those using Canadian notation, that would be 16 k)

No Really, What’s the Event: The Showdown: ROUND 4

After a shellacking at the July Beaver Chase, which followed the close finish in the 10 k Canada Day Road Race, Brad was bruised, battered, and above all ready for some revenge. Enter the No-Frills Ten Miler, advertised at the Beaver Chase, and taken up after a few mini-pitchers of Rickards Red and some trash talk at the local watering hole.

The stage was set for an ultimate match up: not the dream ‘marathon’ that Brad was gunning for, and not the fun 10-15 k trail run which Kieran had envisioned. This meant only one thing – nobody was going to have a good time.

The Showdown was set for 6.30, Brad prepared by making sure Kieran had no idea where the heck it would start, and Kieran prepared by eating a couple of pita’s with peanut butter and honey while completely underestimating the time it takes to get to the Experimental Farm from Hunt Clun Rd. Can you see where this is headed?

(we will now convert to clock time)

-4:00 – Kieran screeches around the Experimental Farm desperately looking for something involving a run – cones, a big banner, people wearing running shoes, damn, why did this have to be a NO FRILLS (which means that the entry fee is low, as are the amenities and advertising) race!

-2:00 – Kieran finally spots a startline-esque spot, and then finds the correct parking lot. And then realizes that he can’t get into said lot.

-1:30 – Kieran pulls into another lot, rips off his shorts and sandals, jumps into his shoes and running shorts, grabs his keys and entry fee, and hits the ground running.

-1:00 – Why are there so many fences in the Experimental Farm?

0:00 – Kieran rounds a corner, sees the start line and Judi asking him what the heck is going on.

0:30 – Hands off keys and $20, joins the large pack as it heads out, and Kieran realizes that although his warm-up may have been non-traditional, he definitely started the race with an elevated heart rate. That’s what the coach always recommends, right?

1:30 – Brad and Aaron (Hey! He makes another appearance! The guy is practically a regular on this blog!) cruise up alongside uttering witty comments such as “nice to see you made it!” and “damn, I guess you figured out how to get here after all, now I don’t feel so bad about not giving you directions”. Kieran, still reeling from his warm-up, decides to let them forge on ahead alone.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Response

With The Showdown over, and all the naysayers proven wrong – that’s why I created the poll – one would suspect that things in the ‘running’ department would have cooled off between Brad and Kieran, aside from the continuous gloating on the ego-manic Kieran side.
This assumption would be dead wrong. In fact, Kieran and Brad have been at loggerheads since the victory in The Showdown (if Brad was writing this blog victory would be written as such - “victory” note the quotation marks). As many have observed, Brad (yes, Neil, it is in fact Brad – anonymous or misrepresenting commenting has not become all the rage on this blog yet – check FasterSkier for that kind of community) has thrown down the gauntlet, admitted defeat in the short distance, and plugged for a rematch on none other than the grand-daddy of road races – The Marathon.

In my opinion, this is not a fair fight. I draw you to the work comparison. I don’t expect to get paid the same amount per hour as a person in the same field who is 30 years my senior. That individual has accumulated a wealth of information that can only be gained by experience over time, and therefore the corresponding hourly rate should be much higher than some 22 year old kid who just walked in off the street.

Equate this to running a marathon – Brad has ran countless marathons (actually, 25 Ottawa Marathons alone – he has a bunch of others on his resume as well). He has a wealth of information regarding courses, pacing, feeds, and every other thing you need to know for running a marathon that I could not have hoped to accrue in my time on earth. Kieran running the marathon would be similar to a Juvenile Boy stepping on the start line of the 50 k at the Winter Olympics. The kid could ski, not as well as Northug, Kershaw and Hellner in the technical sense, but the motions would be similar. But he’s never raced 50 k in his life, and probably hasn’t even skied 50 km in one stretch. He hasn’t had the multiple years to build up the aerobic and muscular base to compete. It would be a slaughter.

However, because I don’t want to seem like a wimp on my own blog, I have a counter proposal.

I will not run The Marathon, and definitely not the Ottawa Marathon against Brad. The cards are simply too stacked in his favour, and I have an old football injury which is aggravated by running on pavement (wahhh, wahhh, I know). However, I will make the challenge that I will run any trail run of Brad’s choosing between the distances of 10 and 40 km. If it is in the woods, bear free, and involves mud, Kieran will be there. Count on it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Showdown: The Series

With The Showdown over, but receiving rave reviews all over the interweb, I have decided to expand it to a series. Each race which Kieran and Brad participate in this summer/ever will be recorded and tallied. The race reports will vary in quality, but the results will be announced, as will upcoming events. If you wish to organize a cameo appearence, please stay abreast of the happenings, and feel free to let me know when you're in town for a race.

Last Tuesday was the second Beaver Chase Road Race in Kanata attended by both Brad and Kieran. Brad had taken the W the first race by a mere handful of seconds, but was handicapped this time around by his duties as start line marshal, and Kieran’s new found confidence.
After yelling go and punching the start button on the clock, Brad got underway, which unfortunately for him meant Kieran had already staked a significant lead, and despite making a brutal error in assuming that legs which feel good after 1 km mean you are now Steve Prefontaine and can run with the leaders, Kieran was able to hold the lead and post a PB well ahead of Brad.
The Showdown: The Series – Kieran 2, Brad – 1.
Next up in The Showdown: The Series – The No Frills Ten-Miler, next Wednesday, where Brad tests his endurance against Kieran’s confusing new-found running ability. The line is Brad at 3:1 and Kieran at 5:1. The line for Kieran to write an entertaining (in his own opinion) blog piece - 1:1.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Notes For The Last Few Weeks

I have not been blogging furiously due to a few circumstances, most notably being locked in a cage during the G20 protests. Luckily I avoided a police beat down as well as getting lit on fire by some dudes in black clothes (I think they were Death Eaters). I also blame my boss, Nat Herz, for taking up all my time by reporting on Petter Northug and Marcus Hellner in Las Vegas, and then demanding high quality in my writing. Damn you, Nat, for making my work as good as it is!!

Regardless, I have a few notes from my life. Nothing crazy, just things you notice sometimes.

- Breaking and entering with a full suit (shirt, shoes, tie, jacket, etc.) is possible, but keeping the aforementioned suit clean is tricky

- Having a bouldering wall in your backyard, even if it’s
only rated for 13 years of age and 105 pounds maximum is AWESOME

- A toonie sized hole in the exhaust pipe of your car does not make it sound cooler. It only makes you look like a huge tool at stoplights. Especially when you drive a minivan.

- Buy your beer in Quebec – 3 12 packs of above-average quality beer (Keiths, Sleeman Silver Creek, Sol) cost me just $56, or about 2/3rd’s of what it would cost in Onterrible

- Putting your bread in a plastic bag desgined with holes to drain and store veggies during a heat wave is a good way to grow mold in a hurry

- When someone says they’re going to pick you up at a certain time, it’s generally a good idea to be out of bed before they arrive in your driveway

- When someone gives you a fistbump randomly in downtown Ottawa, you should probably just go with it

- Deep water free solo climbing after not climbing at all for 3 months is generally more difficult than you remembered it being

- CBC Radio 2 is far, far better than one would suspect

- After you beat your greatest nemesis in a road running race, it does not mean you can automatically run the next road race you enter with the leaders

- While answering the door wearing only your boxers at 2 PM would be frowned upon most times, such conventions should be waived during heat waves

- Watching a dog attempt to catch a squirrel in a tree 10 meters above the dogs head may be one of the most entertaining things in the world

- Root beer is making a comeback – you heard it here first

- If you’re playing Monopoly, even NHL Monopoly, when you start shooting for second place after 4 trips around the board, you know its going to be a tough night

- Nerf Guns are in fact just as awesome at 22 years old

- When wearing funky hats, make sure you forget you’re wearing them as soon as possible. It’s much more entertaining for the person you’re talking to

- Dudes wearing parachutes in road races are NOT appreciated by race organizers

Again, not comprehensive by any means, but simply some quick hits. Some may spawn full blog posts, some may confuse you, some you may find utterly idiotic. Unfortunately for you, this blog is not a democracy, so suck it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

And It's Official....

For those in tune to the world of skiing, Kieran now thinks he's pretty awesome.
For those who are not, Kieran is just writing on some lame-ass fringe sport followed by a few wierdo's who no one in their right mind would be associated with.
But in the words of the immortal Nat Herz: "look who's a huge baller now!"
If you're still confused, check out:,1223.html

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Olympic Photo You May Not Have Seen

I was tipped off to this photo while looking through my Olympic photo's with a friend. Good catch, Pav!

Justyna 'I have no style' Kowalczyk out-lunges Kristin 'I love coming 4th in big races' Stoermer Steira. Stoermer Steira disappoints Kieran's Fantasy Skiing Team, Justyna disappoints the entire skiing world by not being DSQ'ed.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Canada Road Race - The Race Report

6.57 AM – Kieran rolls out of bed to the sound of Brad banging down his door, and the Barters arriving to drive the Jones’ to the race.

7.03 – Kieran walks out the door fully kitted, including breakfast, shorts, and a bathroom break.

7.51 – Minimal warm-up takes place. Some light jogging, followed by some heavier jogging, and finally, some really heavy jogging.

8.00 – Start line time. Aaron and Kieran are about 50 people back from the front, Brad is about the same distance, but on the opposite side of the road. He’s not going to be a threat.

Kieran: “Allright, I’ll see you at the finish line”
Aaron: “Hold on, I thought we were warming up the first few kms together?”
Kieran: “Hurrghhghg”

(times will now switch to race time)

0:30 – Kieran and Aaron tackle the crowd, dusting old ladies, babies, and dudes who wear water bottle holders during a 10 km.

3:40 – Kieran and Aaron, still together, hit the 1 km mark only about 30 seconds behind the guy in the lead, who is running with a blue parachute attached to his back.

3:50 – Kieran decides that the pain in his legs is probably due to the lengthy Owl training camp, and the unsustainable pace over the first km, and decides to let Aaron go, in the interest of finishing.

12:04 – After being passed by a whole pile of people, Kieran hits the 3 km mark, takes a look back on a corner, and sees a black hat, a white singlet, and a really skinny dude. Brad!

16:14 – 4 km. With his km splits dropping about 5-10 seconds per km, panic has begun to set in. ‘Are we really only 4 km in?? My legs hurt! I think the wheels are coming off…’ Kieran thinks to himself. But also determination – new goal, get to 5 km before Brad shows up.

19:01 – Long strait stretch into a head wind, and Kieran is caught alone with no big guys to block the wind. A quick look back shows Brad (5’9 – 130 pounds soaking wet) tucked in behind a 6’2 monstrosity of a windbreak. Brad is clearly being sucked along in Shrek’s draft, and the two are closing quickly. Shrek blows by Kieran, and Brad’s shoes and breath are now clearly audible. In return, Kieran ups the pace, thinking he will break Brad with a couple of minutes of up-tempo running, as Brad clearly just spent the last 3 km playing catch up.

19:50 – It didn’t work. Brad is still closing.

20:04 – 5 km mark, and Kieran crosses it first! Brad is two steps behind, and he can smell the fear. Or the nasty stench of a quick dry shirt being sweated in.

20:15 – Brad runs up beside Kieran. The two exchange a few words – Brad: “How are you doing??” Kieran: “Not so good, think things are coming apart here…” At which point Brad thinks to himself ‘the race starts now, bucko’.

20:50 – First uphill. Okay, slight incline, as much of an uphill as exists in Kanata. Brad puts the hammer down, and Kieran tries to respond, but can’t handle the pace! 200 meters of slight uphill pavement, and Kieran has dropped 30 seconds! Despair trundles through Kieran’s head, followed by his close friends Humiliation, Pain, and finally Resolve. The four proceed to sit down, crack some beers, and have a round table discussion on how to continue the rest of the race.

26:30 – Kieran hits the 6.5 km mark in pain, but Brad is still in sight. Not close, not far, but the 150 meters separating the two seems like the Berlin Wall to Kieran. Resolve has taken control of the round table discussion, has beaten Despair and Pain into submission, and is using Humiliation as crowd control. Kieran is just trying to stay in contact.

28:33 – At 7 km, things have stabilized. Brad is no longer pulling away, but is still ahead. Kieran has stopped hemorrhaging time on each km marker. After some debate, Kieran opts to put it in cruise control, and charge up the guns for his usual Petter-Northug-esque finish, which, if he can close a few more meters, he feels it will be enough.

34:45 – At roughly 8.5 km Kieran hits the final water station – looking for Gatorade, but finds only water. No extra boost for the final 1.5 km. The distance to Brad has not closed, and Doubt has now joined Resolve and Humiliation at the party in Kieran’s brain, and he’s brought Gin and Tonics. Pain has also rallied, causing problems for Resolve, and Humiliation has passed out, offering no help.

35:05 – Kieran rounds the 3rd last corner onto a long straight section, and sees just how much distance separates him from Brad. At the same time, two dudes make a push past Kieran at a good clip – it’s now or never for the younger Jones, and he hops on the back to take a chunk out of Brad’s lead. Slowly, the gap closes as Kieran and his two new best friends creep up on Brad, who is running alone.

36:50 – At 9 km, the gap has been closed a little, but the hustle has taken its toll on Kieran. His two friends have leaped out ahead, leaving Kieran stumbling along. After some quick mental math, he realizes that to break 40 minutes (his backup goal) Kieran will have to run a 3 minute last km. Which seems unrealistic.

37:50 - Aaron finishes, far, far ahead of Kieran and Brad. He claims he spent the last 2.5 km running scared while listening for Jones' heavy breathing and characteristic finishing speed. He really didn't have to worry.

38:23 – After wallowing in self pity, a spark is suddenly injected in Kieran’s step. Brad seems to be slowing! The gap is closing at an unbelievable rate! ‘Can it be possible??’ thinks Kieran ‘Has Brad hit the wall with less than 1 km to go? Or does he know I’m here and he’s saving his speed, waiting for me to try the patented charge from the back in the last 100 meters??’ Hope has now gatecrashed the party in Kieran’s brain, and he’s brought a keg.

39:04 – Kieran rounds the second last turn, and has Brad in his sights, Top Gun style - ‘Too close, Switching to Guns’.

39:40 – In a group of 4 or 5, Brad rounds the last corner, and unbeknownst to him Kieran is only 5 meters back. At the sight of the finish line banner, Kieran rounds the corner, picks the inside of the group to keep himself hidden from Brad as long as possible, explodes through the tight pack, destroying his two friends from earlier, and leaving Brad with his ears ringing and ego shattered. Kieran’s unbelievable sprint finish kick doesn’t fail him – the last 100 meters remain his domain.

40:23 – Kieran crosses the line in 46th place, and resists the temptation to fist pump.

40:27 – Brad crosses the line in 50th place, good enough for 5th in his age category, but second in the category that mattered – The Showdown.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Stay tuned...

It seems odd to post advertising an upcoming post, but that is in fact what I am doing. There is a story involving today's epic battle, and believe me, it's a good one. There will be pictures, words, times, kilometer markers, and fiesty prose. It will be the most entertaining race report you have read in at least last week.
Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Here it Comes...

Sorry for the blog hiatus - i was not kidding about the 4 day training camp. I have returned to the land of internet and blogging, and am now ready to rock. And by that, I mean do some serious sleeping that doesn't involve a thermarest and a tent.
Brad tells me he went for a run today at lunch, but just a short one. That's his taper.
Unfortunately for him, I also tapered today, opting out of the Triathlon to instead drive my van around the course blasting music while my copilot took pictures. I then consumed several eats for lunch. As of press time, photo's were not available.
In the afternoon, I again saved the legs by mostly involving myself in the chin-up section of the post-lunch strength workout. If you're in Kanata watching the 10-km, I'll be the super-jacked guy crushing Brad around the 9.9 km mark. Watch for it.
In an interesting twist, my good friend and eternal Canada Road Race nemesis, Aaron I-can-run-fast-but-haven't-been-training-much-wink Barter has been found on the start list for tomorrow's grudge match. Will he shake up the Jones' boys party? Does he have the extra Brad-beating gear? Or will his supposed lower base and lack of Nakkertok training camp doom him to toiling away in obscurity after a hot first 5 km?
The answer to all those questions and many more you probably never wanted to ask, never thought to ask, and could not imagine in your wildest dreams will be provided in roughly 12 hours.
Make like a tree...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Countdown to Showdown...

In 6 days, Kieran Jones will be going head-to-head with Brad Jones in the Canada Day 10km road race. That is 10 kilometers of gut wrenching, sweat inducing, Brad-short-shorts viewing, potential embarrassment or humiliation for Kieran. Or a mild, comfortable distance, well-paced, entertaining jog, only-to-be-annihilated-in-the-last-100-meters-by-Kieran for Brad.
I will be cataloguing Kieran's efforts to get in shape in 6 days in preparation for this epic throwdown, and the results will be available immediately.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


In the current vein of posts related to me graduating, or lack thereof, today I took one step closer.
I wrote what will (hopefully) be my last written assignment ever for the University of Waterloo, or any other educational institution. Sorry Brad and Judi, if you're reading this, I do not want to attend grad school.
Anyways, I don't think it's time to drag out the kegs, fireworks, and cakes yet - I still have a 3rd of a term left where I can monopolize on my tendency to procrastinate, terribly mismanage my time, and fail to understand the French language.
But I'm getting closer...

Monday, June 21, 2010

5 Ways to Fail Your Last University Course Distance Education-Style

As many of you know, I have only %97 of a History degree from the lovely University of Waterloo. Because they are such grinchy-bastards (read: Kieran failed a course and then only took 4 one term) I now have to take one more course before they hand me a goofy little piece of paper. Now, rather than hang around on campus sandbagging, lollygagging, taking up room in the barn and spending money on awesome if completely useless things, I opted to go the Distance Ed route, and take it at home, while at the same time trying to continue my life. The result is what follows.

1. Take a language course for which you have little aptitude. Mandarin, Russian, Croatian or Uruguayan are all good options. Personally, I went with French.

2. Take on as many other commitments during the summer as well as your course. Multiple jobs, volunteering with the homeless, find a roommate, catch up on a season or two of your favourite TV show. Cut the neighbours lawn, cut your own lawn, hang out with your neighbourhood Jewish kid. Want to get in shape? Lift some weights, go for runs. Lift weights while going for runs. Multiple times a day. Do everything you wanted to get done this summer, and then some.

3. Make sure it coincides with the World Cup. The event only happens once every four years, so you have to be careful with this one. With three games a day, and every game meaning a lot and taking up about 2 hours, there is a large amount of time you will not be able to dedicate to your studies.

4. Drink. Beer, gin and tonics, beer mixed with gin and tonics, they make things go better. After a few drinks, you will be in no mood to study, and in fact will be more interested in sitting in a hammock in the sun, napping, and finally throwing up repeatedly.

5. Browsing the internet. There are literally dozens of web pages on the internet. And you probably haven’t even seen them all yet. Interested in knots? There’s a website for that. Think 16th century woodworking is fascinating? There’s a website for that. Want to get caught up on your underwater basketweaving stats and statistics? There’s a website for that. In fact, there are so many websites that I promise you that you will never be able to visit them all. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying.

Coincidentally, I recently did some basic math and discovered that if I actually work all the hours a week that I am contracted to do, I end up with over a 60 hour workweek. And then this course, and this blog. For some of you who have known me for a while, you may find the thought of me even supposed to be doing that amount of work unbelievable. Believe it, sucka's!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Falun Handicap Start

1 minute to womens start
It's snowing pretty flippin hard. Snowing sideways would be a good description actually.
Going to make things soft and interesting.

Bjoergen starts almost a minute up on Kowal, so this is her race to lose. Kowal gets a big lead on everyone else, so the battle will be for third.

Bjoergen is off

Kowalczyk is off
wow, its snowing so hard when the camera zooms out, you can barely see Bjoergen.
It's actually going to be impossible to see the Swedes in their white suits. I hope the don't get lost.
Saarinen chugs out of the gate, with Kalla right behind her.

OKay people are starting all over the place.
Hahahaha shot of the course and a bunch of techs/coaches were skiing backwards on the racecourse.
Until they saw Bjoergen coming up the hill at them. I would have put the brakes on and got the hell out of there too.
Looks really soft and miserable, but Bjoergen looks strong. And for the second day, Kowal doesn't. Not even a km in, and she looks tuckered.

Chase pack of Olsson, Kalla and Steira is tight, and hunting down Kowalczyk.
I think that gap is about a minute, so they have their work cut out for them.
Steira seems to be taking a pull at the front and pushing the pace, while Kalla and Olsson are content to wait.

Kowalczyk has made up 4 seconds on Bjoergen, and is now 46 back.
The chase group is 1.52 back of Bjoergen.

Bjoergen is slopping up the Morderbakken. Yes, slopping is now an verb.
When the snow is up to your knees, you know it sucks.
The top is 2.8km, which Marit has just gone by.

Oh boy, Kowalczyk is already in sight. 43 seconds back. slowly making up time.
Steira and Kalla going past the time check at 1.39 down, and they're making up time quick.
Olsson is 10 seconds down on them, and fading.
Follis is 40 seconds back of Olsson, with Johaug, Saarinen and Stehle hard on her heels.
Johaug especially looks like she has an axe to grind. She pretty much hop-skate over the top of the hill.

Bjoergen goes through the 5 km mark almost running over the forerunners. It's also the stadium.
And what I'm assuming is almost the last starter just about gets run over as well.
Kowalczyk has dropped a bit, to 52 sec back. I think the fun part will be to see whether Steira and Kalla, taking turns pushing the pace, can catch her.
They're still 45 seconds back, which is a lot to close over 5 km on someone like Kowalczyk.

Olsson is way off those two, and Follis is charging hard, less than 30 seconds back.
An even bigger chase group, led by Johaug, is another 18 sec back. Very doubtful they'll achieve anything other than a mass sprint finish.

I have never seen so many coaches/techs sking around on the race course!
They myst be allowed to just because the forerunners cant keep the snow down on their own. There are forerunners in between the leaders its so bad.

With less than 4 km to, and Kowal 45 back, and Steira and kalla 40 back of that, it's incredibly unlikely anything will change.

At the top of Morderbakken checkpoint, Bjoergen was looking strong still.
Kowalczyks offset was falling to bits all over the place, but she's holding strong at 43 seconds back.
Steira has broken away from Kalla, and really wants to make up ground.
1.21 back of Bjoergen, so 36 behind Kowalczyk, but they're running out of trail, as well as uphills.

The wheels have officially fallen off Kowal's train. She looks zoned out, and her already goofy technique has turned to complete garbage.
But Steira and Kalla, together again, are still 30 seconds back.

Bjoergen gets the win, wins the final!
But what the hell??
It's Steira and Kalla! Tracking down Kowalczyk up the last hill into the finish, but not enough time!
Kalla just blew Steira away, who can't sprint to save her life.
Bjoergen, Kowalczyk, Kalla go 1-2-3

Roponen and Smigun coming into the home stretch just ahead of Johaug and Olsson, who has dropped to 8th.
Saarinen 9th, Philippot 10th, Savialova 11th, Follis 12, Sachenbacher-Stehle 13th.
Kikkan Randall just behind Longa in 17th, not a bad showing. Kuitenin back in 28th on the other hand - brutal.

Commercial break shows indoor cycling World Champs is going on, and it looks sick. I think I'll tune in.

WOOWOO, Dasha outsprints Lisa Larsson to the line for 39th I believe. Good for Dasha to get some TV time.
And behind them, a forerunner crosses the line and looks like he's just about as toast as any of the girls.
Now back to bed for an hour or so until the men, which hopefully will be more exciting.

And I'm back!
Apparantly there is a biathlon race on in Oslo, cause I'm watching the tail end of it.
Men's Pursuit
Hellner - +40s
Larsson - +46s
Angerer and a bunch of other dudes - +1.22s

Alex is at +2.25, while Ivan is at +2.50.Kershaw is at about +3.30.

How This Shit is Going to Go Down:
Northug will win. Obviously. Hellner will hold the fort for 2nd, while Larsson finally realizes he's not on his A-game.
Larsson drops hard, and someone in the chase group picks off third. Not Sodo, because he will have done all the work.
The smart money is on Cologna or Bauer. I'll take Cologna, because he won the 15km skate athe Olympics.
And again, Ivan will make the biggest moves of the day.

Northug is gone.

Angerer is gone, along with his chase group buddies Bauer, Cologna, Sodo, Roenning, etc

Harvey out, and now the camera switches to the course.
Timecheck shows Larsson has lost 5 seconds on Hellner already, while Hellner remains even with Northug.

Hellner is always easy to pick out, cause he has the sickest neon orange poles.
I like him, he makes my life easy.
Behind Larsson, the chase pack is already lurking.
Seems like Larsson has given up on trying to stay with Hellner, and has opted to take his chances with the pack.

Petter hits the 2.8km mark, his offset still going strong.
Hellner is approaching, and looks smooth, but not that quick. ANd he stays at 39 down on Northug
Further back, larsson has officially been swallowed by the chase pack, who is being led by Vittoz.
Manificat, who started almost 30 seconds behind Angerer has now made contact, and the chase pack is looking strong.

Northug blows by the 5km mark in the stadium.
Hellner goes through 48s down, losing 10 seconds in 2.2km
The 7 man chase pack isn't far behind at 1.33s back of Northug.
Manificat now leading! He's on a mission today!
Larsson sitting at the back, either hanging on for dear life, or hoping to dummy everyone in the sprint finish.

Smaller group goes through the 5km mark 30s back including Perl, Piller Cottrer and Pettersen.
They probably won't be able to get much done at this point.

Chase pack is getting smaller as Manificat is still pushing the pace.
Vittoz, Vlegzhanin, Cologna and Sodo are hanging tough, but Angerer is done, as is Bauer, which is a surprise and a half.
Larsson is also toast, but that's no surprise.
Manificat's pack is still 35 seconds down on Hellner and a 1.25ish on Northug, but Hellner has to be getting bored by himself.
A quick time check has Hellner 50s back of Northug.

Manificat has now utterly shattered the chase pack, and everyone else is just holding on.
Vylgzhanin, Vittoz, Cologna, all strung out.

Northug almost kills a small child. just about skewered him on his ski. Shishkabob.
Someone get that kid off the trail.
But back to the action, Sodo has now dragged himself to the front of those chasing Manificat.
7.8k time check has Hellner at 48s back.
7.8k Manificat is now 1.11s back of Northug, and has a realistic shot at Hellner at this rate.
Vittoz is 1.23, and looking tired, as Sodo goes by him, as does Vylegzhanin.
Cologna, Angerer and Bauer are at 1.52, and Cologna looks downright terrible.

10km timecheck in the stadium.
Coming into the stadium Hellner still has his lead, but Manificat is visible behind him.
Hellner is 54s down.
Manificat is still at 1.11s
Vittoz found a second wind and is leading the chase group of Sodo and Vylegzhanin at 1.35.
Angerer, bauer and Cologna are at 2.01s. Still losing time, apparantly.
Replay shows Vylegzhanin tripped over Sodo's pole and just about ate shit. What a Commie.

The announcers just mentioned Larsson's name, and I can't imagine it was in a favourable light.
Manificat is 1.07 down now, while Hellner is still at 54s.
But the video shows something else, because Manificat is only 20 meters back of Hellner, and is closing fast.
Hellner better get his act together in a hurry here if he wants to hold onto that medal.
Manificat is looking a little tired though, especially on his offset compared to Hellner's. And on this course, you kind of need that.

Vylegzhanin now leading the Sodo-Vittoz chase pack.
I guess they get to decide who gets 4th, because that's really the only thing they have going for them.
Manificat is now 1.01s behind Northug, while Hellner is 49s. He's in real trouble, no doubt about that.
Manificat seems to be closing HUGE on the uphills! It's too bad he started so far back, he would have given Northug a ruin for his money today.
The last time check is going to interesting.

12.8km timecheck
Manificat has now caught Hellner! And goes on the attack right away!
No stopping, no chatting, just going for it, and Hellner is not stoked.
Hellner is now checking out Manificat's ass.
Manificat is only 45s behind Northug! I know, Northug probably isn't trying.
Vittoz is now in charge of the 3 man chase group, who are still too far back to make a difference.
Next stop, the finish line.

Manificat has now gone to hop skating the uphills, and Hellner has been completely broken.
Sure, Manificat doesn't exactly look great either, but it's over for Marcus. He's dropped 10 seconds in the last 100m

Northug has stopped to high five the entire stadium crowd. Not even kidding.
Now he has a flag, and checks back for Manificat, just in case.
The announcers are loving it! And Northug is still highfiving!
And Northug is standing on the finish line waiting for Manificat. What a goon!
The end split is hilariously deceiving. This is what you pay me for.
Vylegzhanin comes across ahead of Vittoz and Sodo, winning the race for 4th.
30s later Angerer beats out Cologna and Bauer, and Di Centa strolls across the line.
Piller Cottrer finishes right behind him, making quite the comeback.
Perl is next, in 12th, while Roenning shows up in 13th.
Ivan finishing in 17th! Beats out Pettersen to the line, and Larsson finally shows up in 19th.
Hero move by Ivan, the guy is a tank.Kershaw crosses in 31st, about 5 minutes back of the lead.
Which means squad when the leader mugs for the crowd for a minute or two.
But that's all.
For more info, go check the results on the FIS site, just don't look at the times.

Oslo Sprint

So the sprints were supposed to start 2 minutes ago, and I'm still watching ski jumping...
But to the important things.
Gatorade - check.
Pit in the bottom of my stomach telling me I had a few beer last night - check.
I wish I spoke Norwegian or something wierd so I could tell how many jumpers are left.
A quick scheduling check tells me that the event was supposed to end at 9.30 my time.
This is unacceptable.
Although Adam Malyzsh is now jumping, he won a pile of Olympic medals I believe.
He also has a super-greasy stache.

As some may know, playoffs began this week, so currently the majority of the people getting this are in fact out.
For the rest of you still paying attention/thinking about winning, I'll go over some qualification stats.
On the womens side, Kowalczyk won, just in case thats a surprise. On the not qual surprise side, Saarinen jumps out, as does Therese Johaug.
Again, like the last sprint, I will NOT be cheering for her.
On the men's side, Anders Gloeersen who is not owned by anyone in our league and has done nothing all year destroyed Joensson by 2 seconds.
Pretty flippin tight sprint field - Stef was 12 seconds back of Gloeersen, and was 84th.
Norwegians only qualified 9 men today, relatively light.

Showing results from 1st round of Ski Jumping, hope this means we get to see some skiing next.
Andreas Wank is currently last. And I'm not making that up.

Hilarious commercial for the Renault Megane - its english.

What the hell! They just switched to duel slalom or some garbage.
OKay good, just highlights.
Biathlon highlights, some dude unstrapped his poles and threw them into the crowd at the finish when he won.
Aren't there insurance policy rules against that sort of thing??
Nordic Combined highlights - that new ski jump looks sexy, but I bet it's even nicer up close. World Champs 2011, sign up for the Jones family plan.

Quick check of the FIS Livetimer still has no results, so it may not have started. And I got out of bed this early for nothing...

Approximately 1 minute until something happens, according to the annoucers.
ANOTHER guy is getting on the ski jump. Good god.

Women's heats up on the livetimer, but still no TV coverage.
I could really go for some chili right now.

2 Ski jumpers to go, then hopefully Eurosport will switch to catch the last women's 1/4 final.
Annnnd for everyone's Ski jumping pool, you'll be happy to know Simon Ammon won.

Mens Heat 1
Hellner - Derek!

Pellegrino goes out front and goes HARD, gapping the others.
Gloeersen stuck in the back.
Oooh, and one of the Russians goes down! Kruikov I think.
Gloeersen has worked his way back, and he and Hellner go by the Italian, who is out of gas.
Hellner leading Gloeersen and Moriloov, Pellegrino is toast.
Sick jump on the way into the stadium.
Hellner and Gloeersen, Morilov tight third.
Shitty finishing straight right after a downhill means the sprint finish blows.
Hellner qualifies 30th, but gets through, pretty impressive work.

Heat 2 Men
Tamborino - no one
Paakonen - no one, but his nickname is the Hammer
Jesper Modin - Derek
Clausen - no one
Pasini - jess, cause she owns both

Paakonen and Clausen go hammertime from the gate.
Might not be such a great strategy, judging from last heat.
Modin works his way up the outside next to Paakonen.
Tamborino gets tangled up in the same place as Kruikov last lap and goes down!
I don't get it, its a flat 90 degree turn, its not rocket science.
Paakonen makes a move... 4 guys cross the line together.
Modin and Pasini get through, Paakenen makes an inspired lunge, but loses.
Maybe he should have used his Hammer a little earlier.

Heat 3
Peterson - Kieran
Hammer - seriously, thats actually his name
Gloeersen - a different one this time

And Gloersen is off the back instantly, i have no idea how he made the heats.
Makes it easier for the other 5 guys though.
Peterson controlling the pace, looking good.
Hammer is wearing some sick purple tights.
Petukhov takes off, Peterson is having none of it.
Jylhae stumbles in third.
Final stretch, going to be tight, Peterson crashes with Jhylhae after the lunge, which Jylhae won.
Replay shows Gloeerson breaking a pole at the start, that explains it.

Heat 4
Hattestad - Kieran
Joensson - Jess
Bransdal - has been hot of late
Lykka - rando Norway
Pettersen - Mox

Joenssen is in the middle of a Norwegian sandwich.
Man there is a lot of red in this heat.
Pettersen leading, with Joenssen on his tails.
And Pettersen goes down! And he's TICKED!
Hattestad vs. Joenssen, but Bransdal has a gap.
Bransdal takes it easily, with Joensson right behind him.
Replay shows Joensson just pushing Pettersen's feet out from under him.

Pasini - Jess
Tscharnke - Beans
Kjoelstad - Burgess
Andy Newell! - Nellie
Kreczmer - Polish dude who usually sucks

And he's off the back, confirming my theory, while Bryntesson gets the hole shot.
Pasini steps on Bryntessons poloe, the Swede responts by cutting him off viciously.
Tscharnke moves up beside Bryntesson, who I hope gets this heat because his name takes too long to spell.
Newell not looking so hot caught in the back.
Bryntesson and Pasini don't realll like each other.
Bryntesson steps on Pasini's pole this time as Kjoelstad goes to the front.
Newell makes a heroic charge from 4th!
Bryntesson eats shit on his face 3 meters before the finish line.
Kjoelstad, Newell and Pasini photo finish, with Kjoelstad winning the award for worst lunge ever.
I actually think he lunged backwards. He tried to avoid the finish line.
Result: Pasini - Newell - Kjoelstad the idiot.

Womens Semis

shitty time for a commercial break Eurosport.
Kowal picked the outer lane to start in, which blows. What an idiot.
Brun Lie stumbles , but unlike everyone else on that corner, stays up.
Kowal is making a move on the outside.
Crash! Brun-Lie and Olsson get tangled up and go down.
Leaving Kowalczyk in command, good god karma is a bitch.
Bjoergen, Kowal, Bucher
Hahahaha, replay shows Kowalczyk almost fell over backward before she even got to the finish line.
Should be an auto-DQ for looking that terrible.
Oooh, crash replay shows Brun Lie may have gotten hooked on a course marshall. Get your autographs AFTER the race you bonehead.

Randall - Nellie Dow!
Falk - Derek, thats you
Fabjan - Kieran, and shes back in the sick yellow suit
Didn't catch the last chick, but she won't be a factor.

Paper Planes by MIA is playing, for those interested.
Falk dummies everyone in the opening straight.
Korosteleva is off the back, shes fresh out of EPO i think.
Interesting sidenote, I believe Vesna Fabjan is dating Hattesttad.
Into the trouble section before the short uphill.
No crash this time, but Fabjan ends up in the leads cause everyone else went to the sides.
Falk looking a little tired, but Randall on her right looks hungry. Someone get her a burger.
Kikkan hammer down in the final straight for the win!
But wait, our favourite EPO abuser came out of nowhere!
Korosteleva, Randall, Falk, Fabjan

Mens Semi 1
Gloeersen - who actually has done okay this year, i just checked

Gloeersen is killing it like his bib number says he should
Modin goes to the front and drops the pace.
Pasini rips by and ups it again.
Gloersen retakes the lead around the tight corner, and the pack almost eats shit en masse.
Crash flat before the hill, but everyone stays up again.
Wow that hill looks soft and nasty.
Gloeersen looking around, with Morilov on his tail.
Gloersen and Morilov easily, Hellner was about a ski length back.
That means he's out Derek. Don't cry.

Men's Semi 2
Andy Flipping Newell - Nellie Dow
Pasini - Jess
Petukohov - Derek
Joenssen - Jess
Paakonen - yes, his nickname is STILL the Hammer

Joenssen goes to the front easily
The Hammer is right on his tail, and goes to the front.
Not sure how Andy is planning on getting out of this one, he's sitting at the back of the pack.
Petukov comes to front, puts the screws on Paakonen.
Ohhh, Pasini goes down on the mushy uphill, and holds up Andy.
There will be no Newell in the final this time.
Bransdal hot in the finishing stretch again, cruises to the win over Petukhov.
Think Joensson ended up third, but the other heat was faster.

Women's Final
Bjoergen - Mox
Kowal - wearing the yellow bib. That's not a slur Beans, I know you think I'm biased. But she still has the biggest shnoze on the startline.
Bucher - not sure how she got to the Final
Kikkanimal - Nellie Dow, your Americans are good
Falk - Derek

And Kowal picked the shitty lane agaaain. What is wrong with her?? Other than the obvious.
Kowal off the back immediatly. Should have listened to me Justyna.
Kowal powers her way to front using guile and tactics. And by that I mean brute force and eating small Norwegians.
Bjoergen responds, and trips!
But stays up, AND at the front. Wow.
Kikkan is sitting right behind Kowalczyk, looking dangerous yet again.
Flat, small uphill, Kowal pushes EPO girl into the bushes while Bjoergen and Kikkan go to pound town.
Kowal looking rattled in 3rd with EPO girl right beside her.
Kikkan! I think! FF with the druglord who ate shit all over the finish line.They still haven't found an EPO to make you better at balancing apparantly.
Kowal 4th, Falk 5th, Bucher 6th.

Kowal gives the worst handshake ever to Bjoergen at the finish line.
Finish line interview with Bjoergen in English. She had good skis. She is happy. She didn't think about the win today.

Men's Final
Hellner - no flippin way. Qualified 30th, gets his butt to the Final.
Modin - Derek
Morilov - Beans

Gloersen out front again.
Russians killing on the outside up the first hill.
Brandsdal at the back, looking cooked and out of it.
Hellner takes the lead, stretches things out on the flat.
Heading into crash central and the soft uphill Gloersen retakes the lead.
Modin seems to have given up, not sure what happened there.
OOOOOOh, Gloersen takes the W but it was close.
Petukhov second, Hellner third at the moment.
Kikkan is still hanging out around the finish line.
Dirty lunge by Gloersen got it done, but Petukov was actually that close.

Morilov, Bransdal and Modin round out the top 6.

Well, thanks again for reading something which wasted 2+ hours of my life.
If you just skipped ahead to the end, good for you, you avoided a lot of useless rambling.