Jake Adicoff finishes sixth in 20 kilometer country race

By Nick Kiger | March 10, 2014, 6:45 a.m. (ET)
Jake Adicoff
Jake Adicoff and guide Reid Pletcher finished sixth in their first race of the Paralympic Winter Games.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Visually impaired skier Jake Adicoff (Sun Valley, Idaho) and his guide Reid Pletcher (Ketchum, Idaho) battled warm temperatures throughout the 20-kilometer cross-country race today to finish sixth with a time of 58:37.4. Today’s race, the longest on the cross-country skiing schedule, was one that Adicoff knew would be one of the most challenging on his schedule.

"I came into this week thinking this would be my least favorite race and I know it’s my most difficult race," Adicoff said. "To finish sixth does a lot for me confidence wise heading into the rest of the week."

With temperatures reaching 58 degrees at the start of the race, Adicoff skied in short sleeves and had to make certain he was taking in enough fluids.

“It was hot but we had good feeds every lap so we kept hydrated and were able to feel good throughout the whole race,” said Adicoff. 

Teammate Kevin Burton (Boulder, Colo.), a Navy veteran, also participated in the race today, finishing 10th overall with a time of 1:07:18.6. Burton changed skis during the race but after that was able to settle in and maintain a steady pace for the second half of the race.

“It got slippery half way through so we did a ski exchange and the new skis felt great, so it was a good switch,” mentioned Burton. 

In the first event of the day, the men’s 20km cross-country classic, John Oman (Barron, Wis.) made his debut in the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. Oman finished in 18th overall with a time of 1:17:04.1. 

For Oman, it was great to compete in his first race of the Games.

“Just getting the race under my belt was the biggest thing. It was my first Paralympic race and there is a lot to learn from this race, but I am smiling,” Oman said. 

Oman will now turn his focus to the sprint cross-country race which he will take part in on March 12.

After two days of cross-country races, the U.S. will return to biathlon action on March 11.