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Archive for April, 2011

Come On Out!

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

As I have already alluded to many times, spring is a much more frantic time than it seems like it should be. There are a bazillion things going on, one of which includes ski-related end-of-the-year functions.

The APU Ski Team is putting on a big night of fun on May 10th, and we want everyone that can make it to come out and celebrate the season with us! There will be some really sweet items, trips, and packages to bid on, which will help us raise some money to cover our travel and racing expenses. There will also be a super sweet slideshow and video, which I may or may not be making…

If you are one of those East-Coasters who are always whining about Alaska, and you won’t be able to make it to our evening bash in Anchorage, there is still hope! You can still help out some of our countries best young athletes by supporting NENSA. I think the deadline is Saturday night, so get on it!

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Anyhow, if you are reading this, you are officially invited to the APU Spring Bash on Tuesday, May 10th at the APU Atwood Center. We would love to have you there, and it should be a great night!

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Challenge Life Spring Ski

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Wow. So as we all know, spring is actually just a crazy busy time of year for skiers. Even though I haven’t had any races or structured training, the last month or so has just been nuts, mostly because I’m trying to cram in all the stuff that I don’t have time to do for the other 11 months.

One of the best things I’ve gotten to do was help coach a kids ski clinic in Fairbanks for the Alaskan non-profit group Challenge Life Alaska. Although we ended up putting the camp together really short-notice, it was super sweet. Most of the young kids in town had already packed up their skis and moved on to summer sports, but we still got a solid group of die-hards out there.

Everyone had a blast. We did some drills, a little technique work, some rowdy games, hit some jumps, and even got a little stretching session in there, which for me was painful an humiliating.

It was a great day of skiing and fun, and we are all looking forward to the big plans that Challenge Life has for future on-snow ski camps.

Big thanks and shout-outs to my fellow volunteer coaches, including David Norris, Tyler Kornfield, Crystal Pitney, and US National Team speed-skater Liam Ortega.

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We learned some technique stuff:

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and practiced high-speed corners:

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and hit some jumps:

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and  just had a grand ol’ time! What a great bunch of kids!

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Spring Series Wrap

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

This week of Spring Series has been one of the best ski racing experiences I have ever been a part of. The SuperTour Finals were awesome in nearly every way. The courses were impressively difficult. The fields were deep and competitive. The organization was outstanding. The whole atmosphere was just a ton of fun. And the weather was incredible. Actually, “incredible” implies that it was out of the ordinary, which I don’t think it was. So let’s just say the weather was nice.

The warm temps and sunshine made it reasonable for the guys to stand out and watch the girls race after us, and vice versa. So I actually got to watch more racing this week than usual.

The womens lead pack in their 10k classic

The APU guys stayed in a funky house just outside of Ketchum, and it was a fun atmosphere.

Our humble abode

We tended to get serious and professional when it came to game time, and then laid back and fun for the rest of it. We gave Bart endless crap when he decided to clean out his room and brought down a ridiculous hoard of coffee mugs:

Thursday was the only off day we had in the middle of the SuperTour final tour, so we filled it with some low key skiing…

Checking out the first kilometer of the hill climb course

…and ASTROBALL bouncing! They claim it can bounce “Up to 70 feet”, so Mark took it out on the road and put it to the test:

Iverson getting after it

Yesterday’s final stage, the climb up Dollar Mountain, was such a sweet race. It’s one of those orchestrated events that people always talk about doing, but never really get around to. The SVSEF did an awesome job of utilizing the alpine ski area and its lifts to set a gnarly course and to get spectators to the top to line the trail. The guys raced first, so we got to ski partway down and run alongside the women as they  tackled the steeps.

The ladies slogging up one of the big pitches

And that’s that! Before you even know it, the racing season is over. Lasts night big bash was a great way to send out this racing year, and everyone had a great time.

Thanks Sun Valley for a great Spring Series, and I can’t wait to come back! See everyone next fall!