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Wild Rumpus Sports
 

New Zealand Myth Busters

I’ve been coming down to the Snow Farm for a lot of years and people are always asking me questions about this magical place down under. How long does it take to get here? whats the weather like? how about the food? The snow? The people? …. It really is a mysterious place that is so different than anywhere in North America it’s understandable why folks have so many questions. Thats why it’s fun to play the New Zealand Myth Busters game!
IMG_4121               (photo: a few from the Snow farm parking lot)

Myth 1: Their Winter is our Summer? 
TRUE: New Zealand is pretty far south in the Southern Hemisphere so although New Zealand is in very close proximity to tropical Polynesian island that make you think palm trees and beaches New Zealand actually has a pretty decent winter up in the mountains. The breathtaking mountains and medium to high altitude provide enough of a temperature drop that they can accumulate a decent amount of snow and there are several alpine ski areas in the Wanaka area. The Snow Farm where we stay is at about 5,000 feet and is the only place to cross-country ski in New Zealand…. they have about 40k of trails when everything is groomed.

Myth 2: It’s always sunny in New Zealand!
FALSE. Although we might tend to post pictures of just beautiful fresh corduroy the weather can actually get pretty bad on the mountain. This year since we are skiing down here in September we are hitting their spring so the snow has melted out a bit but so far conditions have been pretty awesome. A little windy some days… OK, really windy some days. And we even got poured on during one training session (we just aren’t out taking pictured then 🙂 ) The beautiful days make up for it though!

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Ben and I doing some skate speeds on day 2 in New Zealand

Myth 3: Veggiemite tastes like crap
Thats actually TRUE. But I like the taste of it, as do a lot of people. It’s a typical New Zealand breakfast to eat some Marmite or Veggiemite on some toast, throw some eggs on top and it’s pretty tasty. I’ve heard it best described as spreading super strong soy sauce on your toast…. and I guess thats pretty accurate. It’s a salty start to your day.

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The food is actually really goon in New Zealand and they feed us well up at the Snow Farm. We make the 45 minute drive into town every once and a while and enjoy a meal at one of the cool cafes in Wanaka. Lots of lamb and British style food like meat pies!

Myth 4: You must be jet lagged like a mo-fo
FALSE. Although it takes a long time to get down here (roughly a 30+ hour travel day) once you are here everyone adjusts to the time zone really quickly and you are able to train hard and feel normal within a day or two. Most people who come down find it much easier to sleep at night and adjust here in New Zealand with an 18 hour time change than a 6 hour time change to Europe. It’s also a nice break from the sweaty nights of the New England summer and with chilly temps to curl up in bed we often joke that the best sleep we get all summer is in New Zealand.

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Sophie and Ida skiing some intervals out on the rolling Snow Farm terrain.

Myth 5: The Blokes down there are sweet-as!
TRUE. New Zealanders and especially our friends here at the Snow Farm are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. We have many friends down here that work at the Snow Farm every winter and have become good buddies, we always look forward to sitting around the dinner table with everyone after a long day of skiing. Even when you head into town the general character of New Zealand locals are laid back and chill. lot’s of interesting slang to make you wonder what the hell people are taking about, and you kind of get the impression that everyone is joking around.

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The first few days down here we were staying in the staff housing because there were a lot of people in town for the annual Merino Muster ski race. Not a bad view from your living room.

Myth 6: There are unexplainable things like flightless birds, Smeguls, Rings, and tress that grow out of water??
All TRUE…. and so weird.

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waves, camps, and intervals: Stratton Update

Upon returning from Norway I didn’t waste any time enjoying a little break from serious training and relaxing with Erika. Since I left for Norway just after our recent engagement we planned on taking a few days away from Stratton to go up to the beach up in Maine. It’s a little bit of a drive to get up to the Portland area, but we enjoy the laid back scene of surfing small waves at Higgins Beach, and we were lucky enough to have some friends let us stay at their house up on Orr’s Island. I’ve never spent much time out on those small lobster town islands of Maine and it was a cool scene to paddle out among the islands and do some sight seeing. Surfing some big foamies is the best way to enjoy 2 foot waves! Erika checking out a mini island we decided to paddle…

Lillehammer Update

It has been many years since I’ve missed any US Ski Team training camps, but this July it was time for me to do something a little different. Last Wednesday when the rest of the US Ski Team flew out to Alaska, I took off in the other direction to Oslo Norway. I always look forward to our team training camps and the feeling of waking up every day for 2 weeks with the single goal of getting fitter and pushing one another. It was a shame to miss out on Alaska dry land training and Eagle glacier but if my personal goal is to become one of the best double-polers in the world, I needed to learn from the best. My Scandinavian training camp was almost over before it began. I was hoping to join the National Team for some training but through talking with a lot of my…

Bringing The Intensity

With a few weeks of longer distance training in the books last week was my first hit of some harder intensity training. This year I’m not training any more intensity necessarily, but a lot of the intervals I do will come in the form of intensity weeks. Call it an interval block, call it whatever you like but it’s basically just trying to fit in many different varieties of intervals and hard efforts into one week and keep it completely separate from all the longer distance training and volume. The goal is to feel good for all the sessions and allow your body to absorb the interval sessions well instead of jamming them in between lots of other distance workouts. It’s still the summertime however so it’s important to keep things fun. In an effort to push myself and try something completely different I jumped in my first triathlon at…

Back on the Blog

Yeah I know it’s been while but the beginning of the training year is a busy time. So here’s a quick catch up: Bend was awesome as usual! This year the snow base was deep enough for us to hold our training camp at the usual time and we spent a full 2 weeks getting in some quality early season ski training. I tried to keep the first two weeks of the training year super chill with low hours so that by the time I got to Bend I could really capitalize on some bigger hours. It’s really easy to settle into a great training routine there, waking up early to get on snow in the morning and going for long bike rides and runs in the afternoon. Racking up the big training hours is usually no problem at all. We even got a crust ski this year! As a…

Back to Scando

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…

Central Europe update!

Since the end of the Tour de Ski things haven’t slowed down a bit here on the road. Ok, maybe they slowed down for a few days… (post tour I took a few super easy days off from training), but then jumping back into hard workouts again in order to prepare for the next World cup races. I wrapped up the Tour de Ski in Toblach and spent those two days relaxing and hanging out at the Hotel Dolomiten. Taking easy days on the road in Europe can always be a little boring but those few days in Toblach were especially restless since I was awaiting the arrival of Erika! But she finally got here and it was worth the wait. It can be pretty difficult to coordinate travel schedules since we are both spending the winter racing, but it worked out for Erika to come over to a week…

Christmas Blog

When we are so wrapped up in the racing here in Europe I think it’s pretty easy for Christmas to sneak up on you. Some people think that’s strange but a lot of us have been traveling the World Cup for a long that time so spending Christmas with the team over in Europe is just a normal gig by now. Usually Christmas week involves a little bit of road tripping. This year we ended our last period 1 World Cup race in Toblach Italy and planned to drive back to Davos for the 10 days before the start of the Tour De Ski. Luckily it’s not too far… at least on a map… but often those small Italian and Swiss roads can be deceivingly slow. Leaving the Toblach World Cup venue back to Davos. Driving over some of the passes you would think there is a lot of snow……

Kuusamo to Lillehammer

It’s been a busy week so it wasn’t easy to get a blog update in but here is a quick recap of what the US crew has been up to here on the World Cup. EBJ getting in some training in Finland before the Ruka Tripple. Ruka was pretty epic this year. The past two seasons I really struggled in the sprint there for whatever reason. Could have been because we were coming into the season too flat, maybe it wasn’t enough of on snow time, but after a few years in a row of struggling to break the top 25 I nearly swore off Kuusamo last season hoping I would never have to come back again.  Of course that bitterness tends to fade and of course 12 months later I found myself at the start line of one of the toughest sprints of the season in Ruka. This year…

On Snow in Sweden

Well we’ve made the yearly voyage to the far North in oder to find early season snow and racing and have arrived here in Gallivare Sweden.   On Friday I said goodbye to the US for what will be about a 4 month trip on the World Cup, which is always extremely tough to do but exciting at the same time. Being on the road away from girlfriend, friends,  and family isn’t easy but this year I’m more fired up than ever to start racing and want to get back to showing everyone what I can do on the World Cup. Because of this long time on the road it can make the last few days at home a little stressful trying to say goodbye to everyone and also making sure you’re not forgetting anything important. I was lucky that this year Erika, my fam, and all my teammates made…