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Wild Rumpus Sports

Ruka to Lillehammer

Sometimes it feels like the ‘steeps’ of Ruka can either make or break your weekend in Kuusamo. There really are very few ski courses in the world that have steeper hills and it’s something that we definitely don’t see on the roller skis throughout the summer so it can be a very rude awakening to the world cup scene. For me it was a tough adjustment and the races didn’t go nearly as well as I had hoped.

The race weekend started with the classic sprint on Saturday and as usual everyone including myself was pretty fired up to draw race the final Ruka climb into the stadium and fight it out on what has become an iconic opening sprint race.  They day wasn’t made any easier by some tricky waxing conditions.


looking up the big climb.

I think it’s safe to say that often times conditions are a lot more tricky than they appear on TV. I struggled with slightly slick skis in qualification and then switched skis to more of a Klister binder and ended up icing up a bit in the the heats. small adjustments can be so important on the world cup.  For most of the team the day was a bit of a disappointment other than seeing Ida make her personal best in classic sprinting on the WC! No matte what the outcome it’s great to get that first World Cup race out of the way.


Ruka by night… looks very christmasy


Ruka by day.

The sun never actually hits the ski trails but when it comes up you can usually see if from a distance. It had been about two weeks since we’ve seen much sun it any time it comes out in Finland we’re pretty stoked.

It’s easy to get bummed out when the first weekend of racing doesn’t go as planned but having a strong team behind you is so helpful when traveling on the road far away from home. Sunday was a tough day for our team when we learned that Noah had broken a bone in his ankle and would have to immediately fly home for a few weeks. Even with a few bad races under our belts it’s easy to get down but in instances like this you can see how quickly things can change and how it’s really important to enjoy and take advantage of your time here on the World Cup.  We’re going to miss Hoff for the next few weeks but looking forward to getting him back in Europe before World Championships.

On Monday we loaded up some busses and flew out of the Kuusamo airport to Helsinki and then on to Oslo. It’s kind of funny looking at a map Kuusamp to Lillehammer isn’t very far away but it takes an entire day of buses and planes to get there.  I have to say that the team was excited to get back to the Radisson hotel here in Lillehammer and dig into some amazing food after a day of travel.


In case you ever need 7 different fish options for dinner Norway is the spot to be.

For the past two days we have settled in here and took an easy day to ski up a sjusjon yesterday morning while they prepared the world cup track. There’s not a ton of snow here but just enough to ski at the higher elevations. We hit up the local gym last night, and by local gym I mean the Olympic complex which is huge. the gym was bumpin with the most nordies I’ve ever seen lifting in one place along with a bunch or Nordic combined guys and ski jumpers. One of the biggest ski development programs called NTG has a base here so there are a ton of junior skiers around and a great ski culture here.


This morning was our first day skiing on the world cup courses which had a think layer of man made snow on them. The courses are at the newly remodeled Birkenbeiner Olympic stadium. The courses here are very challenging but also a lot more fun that your average ‘engineered’ courses. They have a ton of flow with lots of transitions, corners, tough climbs, but also very skiable terrain which is great for classic racing. 20141203_153358

This afternoon we passed the time by walking around town. although mostly everything is way too expensive to buy here it’s cool to check out the scene and enjoy the christmas feel on the walking streets.

With just one more day before the competitions start we will spend tomorrow doing our pre race workouts and testing some skis for the first skate sprint on Friday. Lillehammer is a mini tour this year so all three races will count together finishing with a 15k classic pursuit start on Sunday. should be kick ass!




Far North Update

We have been in Muonio Finland for the past 4 days and going through the usual adjusting to the Euro time zone and the dark coldness of the far North. As usual it look the typical 27 hours + to travel all the way from Vermont to Northern Finland but with everyone here in one piece and all of our baggage intact you can’t really ask for much more. Muonio is about a 3 hour drive North of Roveneimi (the official airport of Santa Clause!)   Getting ready for the 7+ hour flight across the pond. In order to get to Muonio we had to fly to Amsterdam- Helsinki – Roveneimi This shot of the map in the airport gives you an idea of how far North we really are…. about a 3 hour drive above the arctic circle. For the past 4 days we have been getting some great…

Last week Home

yes it is. Actually it’s the last week in the US for a while so here’s a little recap of whats been going on. After returning from Canmore Erika, Simi, Sophie, Ben and I hit up the big city for two days. Now most people know I’m not much of a city guy but NYC has been growning on me the last few times I’ve been there. It’s just so different, I feel like it’s kind of it’s own country. Very overwhelming, but a pretty cool place to see in small doses. We spent a day checking out some different parts of town including the MET and central park before we had our NYC Gold Medal Gala US Ski team fundraiser that evening. It was a great turn out and a as always it was a cool opportunity to catch up with USSA supporters, trustees, and ski fans from NY….

Canmore update

Frozen Thunder in Canmore never seems to disappoint.  We’ve been training here for the past week getting used to the feel of skiing on real snow and extending our mega camp into it’s third week.  The thought of skiing on a 2 k loop for a week can make some skiers cringe but something about being here in Canmore on the ‘Thunder” isn’t bad at all. I’ve been in plenty of ski tunnels over the years and although the skiing is just as crowded and often times just as sugary here on the “Thunder” the fact that we’re outside surrounded by beautiful mountains makes it that much better. We have been spending the past week adjusting to the roller ski – snow transition which means working on a lot of technique. Here Liz, Jessie, and Matt work on some skating without poles.  Our first few days in town we worked…

VT to PC and Speed Camp

The past week was a crazy one while putting in some good training in Vermont and also getting organized for our month long training camp to Park City and Canmore. Fall is one of my favorite times of year to be training in Vermont and the past week was awesome with cool night, warm days, and lots of color. We had some of our usual workouts scheduled including bounding intervals up the mountain and a long OD ski run combo with the SMS club. School is in full session now so it’s great to have a big group of young skiers along for a weekend distance workout and the gym is always crazy. On Saturday the whole group was out for a ski run around Little Rock Pond and a big BBQ at sverres house to celebrate the start of the year and the super fun Peru fair weekend. Fall…

Last weeks of summer

We are in that strange shoulder season right now when it’s not quite Fall but the lazy summer feeling isn’t there either. As a skier it feels like the Lake Placid Training camp is a big turning point when we start hitting more intensity and all of a sudden the season is right around the corner. We finished off our LP camp strong with the epic Climb to the Castle race which is always one of he hardest workouts we do all year long. It’f funny because distance skate skiing… especially uphill skate skiing, would have to be my worse event but each year I go into the climb thinking I’ll tear it up. I do think my skate technique has improved a ton over the summer and I’m a lot fitter when it comes to skating but damn a 40 minute uphill race is still tough. I ended up…

Speed Camp Video

easy week surf adventure

Since this past week was a lighter one with training we spent some time doing some easy workouts around Stratton and getting organized for Lake Placid camp. After doing some L3 intervals on Saturday we had a good change to take a few days away from serious training so Erika and I headed out to the coast. Our first stop was North Beach near Hampton. Once you get north of the craziness of Hampton beach I really like the NH coast both because it’s beautiful when the weather is great and also because it’s pretty laid back. Not too uppity… whatever that means. I’ve been taking little surf trips to Cinnamon Rainbows since I was in junior high and I have a love-hate relationship with the ‘wall,’ the local surf spot. You can’t see the waves from the road because of the concrete wall so there’s always a lot of…

Canadian SMS camp week

It’s been the week of camps! technicially the week of 3 camps since the Canadians are still in town training and the SMS BKL and junior camps have been going on at the Stratton campus. I wasn’t even able to get a post in last week because things were so busy so there is a lot to catch up on. For me the last two weeks have been planned as a big volume block… one of the last big volume blocks of the summer before adding in a bunch of intensity as we get closer to the fall. Last week was a 24 hour week and this week was even bigger so it was awesome to have the Canadians and their coach Tor Arne Hetland here at Stratton to add a new level of intensity. I spent the beginning of last week showing the crew around the southern Vermont area…

VT Vacation Week

hot damn… it’s already August! since returning from Alaska camp I’ve been here in Vermont for the past week enjoying a little VT summer vacation. The past two weeks of training camp in AK had a lot of high quality training so this was a great change to kick back and take an easy week.  A lot of my teammates on the SMS-t2 team headed home but Erika and I hung out here at Stratton and had a kick ass stay-cation (i think thats what you call it) and got to enjoy some great VT summer activity. Evening Swimming at North Beach in Burlington  One of the things I was have been really looking forward to the last month was seeing Old Crow Medicine Show at their concert in Shelburne VT. They have a new album out that we’ve been listening to a lot and it’s not too often we…