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Archive for February, 2010

Canmore 3

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

I don’t have much time at the moment, but here’s an overview of my day.

Warming up, I was feeling possibly the best that I have in quite some time. This time of year is weird, because you end up racing a lot and not doing much training volume. A lot of times this ends up making me feel pretty weak and flat, but not today. I could tell that I was going to have an opportunity to throw down a really good race, which would be nice as this was my World Cup debut.

I was remarkably calm and relaxed, considering I was jumping around the holding pen next to some of the fastest men on the planet. I knew that I could go out there and show that I could compete with a lot of them.

And that’s just what I did. I felt smooth and snappy up the first two major climbs, which were really nice striding pitches. Steep, but just glide-able. As I climbed the third and gnarliest hill, I started to feel some pretty intense pain, but was able to open it back up and get moving over the flat section on top. One massive skate push out of the track and into a tuck, and into craziest corner of the course.

And that’s when disaster struck. When skiing the course during warm up, there had been a large section of ice forming on the inside of the turn as the corduroy was pushed to the outside. I had made mental note, and went into the turn pretty wide, deciding that taking the longer route was better than crashing. I guess I didn’t go wide enough. The glacier had now been extended way out into the track, and I just lost both edges and washed out.

As I was going down, I was thinking “wow, I absolutely cannot believe this is happening. I haven’t crashed once all year, and here I am, crashing in my first World Cup race.”

Needless to say, I lost way too much time to have any hope of a respectable finish. I will spare you the emotional aftermath, but I was so bummed. Why now?

The only sliver of light in the situation was that I was skiing well before the crash. Based on how the guy right ahead of me finished, and that I was about 10 feet behind him right as I crashed, and that he started 15 seconds ahead of me, I was skiing between 40th and 50th place. This would have had me just behind the middle of the Americans.

I would have been extremely happy with this result, had that been what actually happened. But as it was, I ended up Dead Last, as someone who crashes in World Cup qualifiers should. So, not a disappointing day, because I was skiing well, but rather a crushing one, because I didn’t get to show it.

Accelerating out of a turn and over the top of the first climb.

Accelerating out of a turn and over the top of the first climb.

Gathering speed for the next big climb.

Gathering speed for the next big climb.

d3

My dad and uncle both suprisesd me by showing up in Canmore the day before my race, and it was so cool to have them here for my first WC experience.

My dad and uncle both suprisesd me by showing up in Canmore the day before my race, and it was so cool to have them here for my first WC experience.

Tad, Noah and I, with Simi and Mikey's moms, cheering on the heats.

Tad, Noah and I, with Simi and Mikey's moms, cheering on the heats.

Canmore 2

Friday, February 5th, 2010

So, I got to watch my first ever live World Cup today. The hills were bigger than anything I’ve seen, and watching the best skiers in the world (literally) fly up them five feet away from me made for quite a day. I did a light intensity session aiming at the sprint tomorrow, and skied behind Georgio Di Centa and Pietro Piller Cotrer while they were warming up. It was pretty crazy to be out on course watching later on, while they were racing, and watch those two battling for the win. Turns out, they ended up going 1-2.

Even on top of this, the highlight of the day was seeing my dad walk towards me as I came skidding to a stop between intervals. I had absolutely no idea that he was going to come, so it was pretty surreal to see him here, especially after I’ve been gone from home for so long. Since December 27th, I’ve been home a day and a half.

For the most complete result run down from today, check out the articles on the main page of Fasterskier. It was cool to watch Becca, the only other Fairbanks skier here, ski to a solid result in her first ever World Cup on a ridiculous course. She and I have grown up skiing together in town, so it is sweet to both be here racing our first World Cups together.

Tomorrow when I write a blog post, I will have had lined up in the start pen against the best sprinter in the world. I’m not expecting much, but gonna give it a whirl.

Another stunning day in Canmore.

Another stunning day in Canmore.

This massive boom truck is paarked at the end of the stadium, and the massive camera on the end is lifted way up, to look down on the finish, and send live feed to Europe for Eurosport primetime.

This massive boom truck is parked at the end of the stadium, and the huge camera on the end is lifted way up, to look down on the finish, and send live feed to Europe for Eurosport primetime.

Becca and Nicole lapping through as Kikkan is just starting.

Becca and Nicole lapping through as Kikkan is just starting.

 

Holly was one of the fastest gals out there for a majority of the race.

Holly was one of the fastest gals out there for a majority of the race.

Kikkan following the Sprint star Petra Majdic.

Kikkan following the Sprint star Petra Majdic.

I was chilling behind Di Centa, Cotrer, and Rickardsson during their warm up. Multiple Olympic and World Champs golds, World Cup globes, Tour de Ski and World Cup wins in this picture

I was chilling behind Di Centa, Cotrer, and Rickardsson during their warm up. Multiple Olympic and World Champs golds, World Cup globes, Tour de Ski and World Cup wins in this picture

Bird-man, top US male in 20th. These guys are rediculously fast.

Bird-man, top US male in 20th. These guys are rediculously fast.

Canmore 1

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Let’s see, how do I say this? Canmore is amazing. You drive in from Calgary, and the mountains just explode from the prairie, up into the cloudless sky.

Most of the US Nations Group is staying in the Hotel of the Rockies, along with the Italian team. By “most”, I mean APU plus Kuzzy, the Hoff, C Cook, and I. The Sun Valley contingent is somewhere else, the CXC crew is somewhere else again, and the A Team is somewhere separate from them and us. So basically, no one is living together, which seems kinda lame.

Other than that, it’s ideal. Busses between the hotels and venue constantly, 25 degrees (F) and great snow. The altitude is a little bit of a nuisance, and combined with extreme jet lag, could be potentially hazardous to one’s health. But I actually feel pretty good, so that encouraging. The 10/15k skate goes off tomorrow, so I think I’ll go up and watch that, and get ready for my classic sprint on Saturday. Should be unbelievably crazy.

Woke up to this out my hotel window this morning.

Woke up to this out my hotel window this morning.

Part of the stadium. That guy in the German suit leaning on his poles is an Olympic sprint Gold medalist, now coaching; Hetland.

Part of the stadium. That guy in the German suit leaning on his poles is an Olympic sprint Gold medalist, now coaching; Hetland.

Perfect skiing in beautiful weather in a beautiful place.

Perfect skiing in beautiful weather in a beautiful place.

They dont mess around with off-road transportation.

They dont mess around with off-road transportation.

Went for a run this afternoon and had to use our mad intimidation skills to get them out of the way.

Went for a run this afternoon and had to use our mad intimidation skills to get some elk out of the way.

 

Some of the AK crew.

Some of the AK crew.

Most of the AK crew, plus the team doc and his wife. Note the flag. Were planning on putting one up on the pole outside too.

Most of the AK crew, plus the team doc and his wife. Note the flag. Were planning on putting one up on the pole outside too.

Final Germany Pics

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

I made it into Canmore yesterday, and boy, does this place live up to all its hype. But enough of that. Heres one last picture collection from Germany. After this, it will be Canmore updates everyday baby!

They had the best athlete care Ive ever seen; unlimited free food, chocolate, and hot drinks in the Athlete tent. Needless to say, it was a pretty popular spot.

They had the best athlete care Ive ever seen; unlimited free food, chocolate, and hot drinks in the Athlete tent. Needless to say, it was a pretty popular spot.

Baller Table; the core support team for Big Red.

Baller Table; the core support team for Big Red.

Just a bunch of average Joes, plus family Northug there in the middle.

Just a bunch of average Joes, plus mom, dad, and littlest Northug there in the middle.

The even have their own family jackets. And yes, I did stock Papa Northug around for a while to take this picture.

The even have their own family jackets. And yes, I did stock Papa Northug around for a while to take this picture.

After fielding requests from nearly the entire team, the restaurant finally starting setting out the "American Sauce" on a regular basis.

After fielding requests from nearly the entire team, the restaurant finally starting setting out the "American Sauce" on a regular basis.

Germans love their beer. They even have candy that imitates it.

Germans love their beer. They even have candy that imitates it.

Until next year...

Until next year...

Germany Pics

Monday, February 1st, 2010

I am taking this opportunity to apologize on behalf of certain US team members (ahem…) for their responsibility in getting our hotels internet shut down. Turns out, all that Torrent/Napster/Limewire media sharing that is already slightly illegal in the States is one notch below the death penalty over there. The EU Big Brother must be keeping a close watch, because the internet provider was forced to cut connectivity so no more of this American nonsense could take place. Anyways, it cost me two weeks of college homework and it cost you entertaining blog posts.

Since Nat/Fasterskier did such a sweet job of covering the races, I will let you check out their articles for what went down on the track. I will post some less-racing related pictures from the trip, and hopefully more to come.

Here a little sequence as you drive up from the valley floor to the racing venue:

a1

a2

a3

a4

ultimate Europe ski van... I want it

ultimate Europe ski van... I want it

more snow and better trails than many had seen in central Europe

more snow and better trails than many had seen in central Europe

 

Providing that the internet doesnt get put on lockdown, I will put up a few more Germany posts and then as often as I can this week about the scene in Canmore. Its still a little surreal to be heading towards my first World Cup start, but it should be a trip!