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  • Writer's pictureGrete Eliassen

Saudan Couloir Race Extreme

Last year my friends Marie-Pier Prefontaine (MP) and Jumpsuit Jane posted a photo of themselves racing in the Saudan Coulior Race Extreme on Instagram. I didn't know exactly what it was but I knew I wanted to do it too. Therefore, when MP texted me the link to sign up for the 2024 race, there was no hesitation.

Saudan Couloir Race Extreme Course Whistler Blackcomb

Grete Eliassen & Marie-Pier Prefontaine model their race suits before racing in the Saudan Coulior Race Extreme on Whistler Blackcomb

Grete Eliassen & Marie-Pier Prefontaine model their race suits before racing in the Saudan Coulior Race Extreme on Whistler Blackcomb

This was my first time in a speed suit in over 10 years. I used to be a highly competitive ski racer when I was younger. I was on the Junior National Team for Norway and I won the Junior II Junior Worlds Super-G Title when I was 16 years old. Shortly after, I would quit and move onto my favorite type of free skiing. However, it was a lot of fun wearing the suit again. I felt really fast.

Marie-Pier Prefontaine, Claudia Lamontagne, Tatum Monod, Jumpsuit Jane and Grete Eliassen Race in the Saudan Couloir Race Extreme 2024

My start number was 5 and the reigning champion and my friend MP started right behind me with number 6 so I was not able to see how she skied the course. I raced on my Armada All-Mountain Reliance Skis that I love to ski moguls, ice and new snow with. Therefore, I thought they would be the perfect ski for the race. However, my friends MP and Tatum Monod were racing in race stock ski boots and they brought up an extra pair of GS World Cup race skis to the start. I didn't think much of it at the time because it had just snowed 6 inches overnight, so I was very confident standing in the start gate.

The race starter asked me, "Racer Ready?" and I was off. The top section of the Saudan Coulior is about 15 tight slalom style turns, then the run flattens out a tiny bit but I there was so much new snow in the course I could barely hold on. I was sure I was going to wipe out at least 5 times in the middle section of the course. As I got to the flat groomed portion of the course (where I thought I might slow down) I was hauling and I just kept yelling to myself, "stay in your tuck!" Before I knew it I was on my way down the final section, skiing down big Super-G turns into the finish line at Glacier Lodge. I could barely stop after I crossed the finish line, I moved out of the coral and laid on the snow. I literally, gave it everything I had. And I was sure I had just won the race.

Finishers of the Saudan Coulior Race Extreme

After 100 participants finished the race, we headed down to the Whistler Village to find out our times. Again, I was positive I had just won or come really close to winning. When the announcer started to announce the Women's Ski Pro Category Results, "Tatum Monod, 3rd Place, Marie-Pier Prefontaine, 2nd Place," and then... "Dana Toso, 1st Place!" My heart sunk, lol. Well, not really but I was a little confused. Later, I would learn I did win 4th place with a time of 3 min. 6 sec. just 12 seconds behind the leader.

Saudan Coulior Race Extreme Womens Ski Pro Podium Dana Tosos, Marie-Pier Prefontaine, Tatum Monod

I am still laughing about how much fun I had and congratulations to all the winners and podium finishers. I will be back next year and maybe I will have stiff race boots by then?

Race you next year!


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