My quick weekend break from the World Cup was a great opportunity to get in some unique races and build up some fitness before making the trip back to Oslo and joining up with the rest of the team. The Dolomitenlauf in Austria was an all around great experience with two non typical races, first a city sprint, and a 42k marathon race.
The DolomitenSprint is (apparently) one of the oldest recorded sprints, taking place on the eve of the marathon race in down town Lienz. Over the years it has evolved into a true show sprint with the spectators enjoyment in mind. The course consists of a super short 2 lap race in the downtown square complete with downhill starting gates, a super sketchy spiral downhill, and a jump.
To add to the atmosphere there are two guys wearing lederhosen who fire a cannon to start each heat! In true city sprint fashion there is no seeding, no qualification, just show up and rip some heats. It turned out to be a super fun night. Reese was there racing as well as Lenny from Canada, and a handful of speedy Italians, Germans, and Austrians. I made my way to the final without too much carnage but my luck ended in the Final with a great face plant out of the starting gate and two broken poles. It was too bad to miss out on a good pay day for the win but it was a great experience. The heats didn’t wrap up until 8:30 at night which made for a quick turnaround and a quick recovery for the next morning.
Although the sprint was fun my main focus for the weekend was the 42k marathon. I haven’t done too many races like this and I was looking forward to testing out my double pole in a long distance race. The course was a 4 lap loop with a lot of gradual climbs, a few steep ones in the stadium, but definitely a double- pole course. My big unknown was if my upper body would hold up for that long and I was happy with the way the race played out. I tried to stay near the front out of trouble since the course was narrow and windy in places. Maybe it was the excitement of the video crew snowmobile right at the front of the pack the whole time, but I did my fair share to leading and pushing the pace. I’m not sure why it just felt good.
In the end our main pack came down to three and it turned out to be a long hard push to the finish. Stanislav Rezac had a hard push with about a half K to go which strung us out. It was a great learning experience to do a race like this with some real double poolers and also perfect training to get ready for the rest of the season and all the DP heavy sprints coming up.
On Monday we met up with the team in Munich and flew to Oslo. This weekend was a week off from the World Cup which meant we had to find some place to get in a little bit of training before the Olso and Drammen World Cups. We had heard that the skiing in Sjusjøen was epic so we rented some cabins and have been training here for the past few days.
Aside from a little bit of fog and wind the conditions have been perfect for training. It’s actually hard not to train too much when you are up here since there are so many unbelievable trails.
For the past few days I have been getting in some re building intervals and some easy distance skiing. Drammen and Stockholm sprints are right around the corner which have always been some of my favorites and a highlight of the season. We will drive back down to Oslo on Monday to prepare for the epic city sprint in Drammen which will take place on Wednesday. I’m looking forward to putting my double pole to the test again in those two sprints.
Scott having the joy of a birthday on the road last night! It’s always great to have the girls around to bake an awesome cake!