Ian Murray to compete in Alberta World Cup ski event
peting at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, he’ll be facing the same calibre of athletes.
“It’s basically going to be all the Olympic competitors there,” said the North Highlands Nordic Ski Club member, who now lives and trains in Canmore. “So it’s basically going to be the Olympics, but in Canmore.”
Today’s sprint event on the 1.7 km track will be the fourth World Cup event for Murray. He competed in Vernon, B.C. in 2005, where he finished in 57th spot and a pair of races in Canmore in 2008, with finishes of 49th and 61st respectively.
His main goal in today’s race is to at least crack the top 30, improve upon his best result or put in a strong time.
“It’s a long course because the sprints can be anywhere between 1 km at the shortest on the World Cup or they can be up to 1.8 km,” he said, of the host course in Canmore. “This one is 1.75 km or something like that, so it’s right up there, so it’s a very long course and a very hilly course.
“Given the length of it, it’s not a sprint because at about the three minute mark, you hit a huge hill and even though it’s only be about a four-minute race, you can’t burn all your gas in the first 50 metres. You have to pace it well.”
Murray, a member of the Nova Scotia provincial ski team, is looking to rebound from his 2009 season, when he battled problems with chronic fatigue that whitewashed most of his racing.
Murray begins racing in the morning with the qualifying round with about 80 competitors. From there, the top 30 racers advance to the knockout heats later in the day until the sprint finals. The final races will be shown Saturday at 6 p.m. on CBC.
His parents, Ken and Linda Murray, are in Canmore to cheer on their son. Friday, Murray gave an oath on behalf of all the athletes competing during the opening ceremonies.