19/1/11 – Inferno ski race 2011: ‘You would need a large’

Emma Laws practising for the downhill, catsuitless, on the Inferno's second long gliding stretch

A dozen or so Kandahar members – chiefly the faster men, plus one or two brave girls – have invested in a club catsuit. I was surprised to see that these fetching garments appeared not only for the Kandahar club slalom and giant slalom races (separate from the Inferno, and just for Brits, on Tuesday and Wednesday) but also for a training day on Monday. Well, I guess it’s cool to get into the spirit. The catsuit is blue, white and black, with diagonal lines and go-faster stripes in strategic places.

“Those are quite nice,” I remarked to one regular K member yesterday as the suit was revealed in its glory when he removed his ski jacket. Without a second thought – and intending only to be matter-of-fact – he said: “Yes. You’d need a large.” Luckily I won’t have to invest, or to find out how large a suit I’d need: I have one already (black, with fluorescent padded elbows) – to be squeezed into for the downhill only, and removed as quickly as possible after crossing the finish line.

This presents a problem when there’s enough snow for the downhill to go all the way to Lauterbrunnen, or if it goes to Winteregg, which is a train ride away from Chalet Fontana. Thankfully this year the finish line is expected to be in Muerren village, so after my 10.30am run I’ll be racing back to change into something less, well, stretchy. A word of warning if you, too, can’t resist the lure of looking like a real downhill racer: try to find a dark coloured one that doesn’t look as though it has been thrown up on, invest in a pair of zippable overtrousers for use immediately before and after the race, and hold your tummy in as you glide past the official photographer.

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Filed under Gear, Racing, Switzerland

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