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Archive for April, 2012

Spring Stuff

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Since the last race at Spring Series, I have mostly been trying to chill out, catch up on school, and enjoy the spring and the epic amounts of snow here.

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I have gotten to explore a bunch of sweet new crust skiing spots, cruising up into the mountains, remote lakes, and around glaciers… its super fun to be able to rip along at groundspeeds that are above sprint pace for hours and hours!

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And the views aren’t bad:

photo - Erin Phillips

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And there are so many fun feature to ski on… like this iceberg that is frozen in the middle of a glacial mountain lake:

photo - Erin Phillips

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Last week, the Anchorage community put together a big parade to celebrate Kikkan’s awesome Crystal Globe accomplishment. It was a really fun event, and it was cool to see so many people turn out to celebrate and have fun.

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I threw together a short video of the parade and the jumping session that followed:

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The snow is so good for jumping right now… tons of it, deeper than you want, and your jump sets up in 5 minutes. We had a big crew out there, and it was sweet for the kids to feed off each other and push their limits, and have a blast doing it!

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I had some fun with flips:

photo - Rob Whitney

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And the Juniors and Devos were launching and cheering each other on:

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Working on my style:

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I ended up soaked, and pretty sore from crashing so much… but it was awesome!

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The alpine and backcountry skiing has been unreal… but tomorrow I fly out to rural bush Alaska to help out with the NANANordic program, which is doing some awesome stuff! I will be volunteering as a leader/mentor/ski-coach/fun-guy for a week, and it will certainly be an adventure. I look forward to sharing some of it with you.

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Thanks for reading!!

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Spring Series 2

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

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We have just finished up the Spring Series week in Craftsbury. Luckily, it cooled off a lot from the first few days we were here, which proved to be the saving grace of this whole race series. We had somewhere around a 70 degree swing from some afternoons to some mornings.

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After the crazy melt, they ended up with just enough snow on the race loop, and it actually stayed pretty firm for most of the races.

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The classic sprint was the second race of the tour, and turned out well. It was really good for my confidence to finally put together three good heats. Unlike most of my other sprints this year, the qualifier was actually the roughest part. I just did not feel that good after only running for a warm up, and my arms felt totally strange during the hard double-pole sections. This was a good learning experience though, because now I know in the future, when a running warm up is the only option, that I absolutely have to find a way to warm up my upper body.

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Qualifying:

photo - Fasterskier

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It was really fun to be skiing well, and to get to use it to the maximum potential, without any crashes or abnormalities. For the most part, I was able to ski at the front of all my heats, and pull away over the big climb. Here, Erik Bjornsen (yellow hat) and I lead the A final:

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I almost got away, but Eric Packer skied a really good race and ran me down in the final 200m. However, I was really, really excited to finish 2nd and get my first Nationals podium for the year:

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Overall, the whole week had such a nice feel to it. The specifics of the event led to some fun ski racing, and the whole ski racing community hanging out together and supporting each other. The lack of snow meant that we were all running around together on a little patch of grass for pre-race warm-ups, weaving around through the wax tables and tents. This led to lots of high-fives and chest bumps with skiers from totally different parts of the country. Another highlight was all of the men competitors, after racing their own hill climb, staked out on the steepest parts of the mountain yelling for the women’s race as they snaked their way up the pitches.

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All in all, it was a good week, with intense racing and good times.

photo - Holly Brooks

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I did my first real 50k yesterday, which was an experience. It went ok, and it was strange to get so tired even though we weren’t going that hard. But it was perfect way to end the week, and the season, and its crazy to think that’s its all over…

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…for now… Im looking at a couple weeks of low-key activity, like backcountry skiing, crust cruising, and maybe even some road biking.  Before I know it, it will be time for real-time training.

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