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Drone Rollerski Video

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

A friend of mine made this sweet little video of me rollerskiing, using a small drone. I think it turned out pretty sweet considering that he only filmed for for a pretty short time, and that I insisted that he not waste too much of his time editing it.

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US Mens Glacier Camp

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Last week was my second and final glacier training camp of the summer. It was also the second week of the US Ski Team Mens camp in Alaska. After the first week in town, which was quite challenging, I went up onto Eagle Glacier expecting a tough 6 days of training.

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I think camp starts now, as soon as those heli skids touch down on snow:

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Its always surreal how quickly you get transported from one world to another. It’s like being teleported in a video game… except the sensations are just so much more intense. One second you’re down by the ocean, in the rainforest… and the next you’re staring at this:

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And I was right. When you throw a group like that up into a training center where there isn’t a whole lot to do except ski, that’s what happens. We ski. A lot. Here is a short & sweet video that Andy Newell made from the week:

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All that skiing is quite exhausting… which is why it was so nice to find this treat from the girls, who had left just before us… Whoever made us these biscottis… Jess? I can assure you that I didn’t let the bag make it through the first afternoon :) Incredibly good:

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What made this glacier camp stand out from the rest was that we had some high-caliber guests in town. There are little clues here and there that there must be somebody besides just Alaskans:

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We had some real warm, wet, soft conditions up there, which meant that the yellow based Carbonlites were blazing… Goofing around between waxing:

photo - Eric Packer

photo – Eric Packer

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Besides skiing a ton, a huge benefit of the glacier camp is the opportunity for some really concentrated coaching. There is nowhere to have to go after training; no meetings to go to, no groceries to have to get, to errands to run. So if you want to stop and talk technique, or training, or philosophy… Erik Flora will happily oblige. He will stand out there, and turn in his passion into productive discussion, LONG after everyone else has gone inside:

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If you look closely enough, you can find a whole microcosm of life up there. In the rocks, the moss, the glacier itself… sometimes you don’t even have to look that hard:

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No matter how much you eat, youre muscles still ache and struggle to refill themselves with glycogen fast enough. The trick is to keep eating… I made some gooey, sugary caramel apple crisp:

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Unfortunately, I did have to leave the camp a few days early due to a minor concussion I sustained in a crash during a sprint workout. I was doing some skate speeds with the three fastest dudes in the US, and was feeling good, until I caught a tip and just whiplashed down:

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In the end, it wasn’t a big deal and I was able to get back to training pretty quickly.

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To read a great full-on article about the whole mens US Ski Team Camp, with pics and videos, click HERE.

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So long for 2014, Eagle Glacier! Its been real!

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This week has been a recovery week for me after a long block of big volume. I still have done some pretty decent workouts though, including a long double pole with Noah Hoffman before he left town. He took this picture on a nice early morning:

photo - Noah Hoffman

photo – Noah Hoffman

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Another thing I am really excited about is to continue using Swix poles for the upcoming racing season. Poles are one of those things that, although maybe not as flashy as new boots or skis, can easily make or break a ski race. Having a super-light pole that breaks easily is just not going to cut it. Having a super-stiff pole that is heavy is a no-go as well. When you train all year for races where there are all kinds of crazy people running into you, stepping on your baskets, and where you’ll be swinging your poles (sometimes hundreds of) thousands of times, there’s really no choice except to use what is accepted as hands-down the best all-around pole out there. Dang light. Dang stiff. Dang durable. I’ve tried a lot of other top-end poles, and trust me, nothing comes close to a Triac 2.0:

Reese Hanneman Swix Sport Triac 2.0 Fasterskier.com

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On Monday, we will start back into another big, solid chunk of training.

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As always, thanks for reading! I post pics more frequently on my Instagram feed, so find me there!

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Big Mid-Summer Photo Update

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

My first glacier camp of this summer, which I posted about HERE, was really successful. The skiing was ridiculously good, and I felt like the week really contributed to me racing faster next winter. A big part of that is due to the tireless efforts (ok, not tireless… he gets tired, he just keeps going) of my incredible coach Erik Flora. It is hard to be involved even the tiniest bit with US cross country skiing and not have heard of this guy. His passion for the sport and his athletes is indescribable; and he works himself to the bone for us. I will never ever be able to do anyting that will come close to paying him back for all he has done for me.

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That’s why I was so glad to hear that he has been named the Coach of The Year by the US Olympic Committee, above all other coaches from every other Olympic sport. I am glad that his insane dedication and work ethic is being recognized by others, outside of the ski world. He deserves it. I am so proud of him. Check out this great article about his award HERE, and also, you have to check out the list of past recipients… LOOK AT SOME OF THOSE FAMOUS COACHES!! They’ve had books written about them! Im so stoked to see Erik on that list.

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The glacier camp that I mentioned was the last week in a big block of training, which meant that the week of the 4th was a recovery week. I really, really like when the few real recovery weeks of my training year line up with the big social holidays. Its always a bummer when all your friends and family are planning some fun trips and activities, and you have to be like “well, can we stop here on the way so I can do rollerski intervals and then I will have to miss dinner for my second workout too”. No one likes that guy who kills the vibes with his workouts. So I was psyched to have this week to just lay low and do a few easy alternative activities.

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I went down to an a beautiful cabin right on the ocean in Katchemak Bay for the week of the 4th. My friend Don and his family have a wonderful place in Halibut Cove.

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Leaving the Homer boat harbor:

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We proved that the cove’s name was more than just that… captian Don with a line down:

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And the days catch, pulled right out of the icy water:

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And straight onto the grill. You absolutely cannot beat perfectly grilled halibut caught just an hour earlier, flaking off in juicy sweetness:

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It was so nice to celebrate all of the freedoms that this great country allows by getting out there a bit. We are so lucky to live in the good ol’ U-S of A, where we are free to choose our own paths.

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Patriotic flair I made with beach shrapnel:

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Good times with great friends. Sometimes they’re coming, sometimes they’re leaving, but they will always be friends:

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After that one low key week, it was back to the grind. We’ve been getting after it here. That means lots of running and rollerskiing, which can really beat up your body and make you feel like a big pile of knots and aches. When trying to push the volume, I like to try and throw a little swimming in every now and then to keep the shoulder mobility happenin. Sadie and I doing yards:

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I love going to the Alaska Club to swim after a long day of training out in the elements. The cool water rushing over your skin is soothing, and it just feels better the faster you go. For me it also brings back memories, since Ive been swimming and training at the Alaska Club since I was born. I am so proud to have them as significant supporters of my ski racing endeavors.

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With the pretty decent weather weve been having, its been really cool to get some good mountain runs in. There’s something about being up there, on a very tiny trail or no trail at all, just absorbing all of the rawness and the wilderness around you. It makes the time go by so quickly.

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Tucker McCrerey is a Colorado boy, and a guest of ours for the training summer. He has been killing it up here with the training, and it’s been fun to do some exploring with him:

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I have a hard time passing up a good glissade… here I am hacking my way across before dropping in. This one ended up being quite a bit icier (faster) than I expected:

photo - Tucker McCrerey

photo – Tucker McCrerey

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And then after so many hours, sometimes you just need a treat…

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This past week has been a highlight for me this summer. We have had the US Ski Team men join us for a week of dryland training here, and it has been SICK!! It is really, really motivating to have Andy and Simi and Noah here in Anchorage, doing the same workouts with us that we always do. These guys are the best in the world in their specific strengths, and I want to learn as much from them as I can while they are here. Every workout has been productive. We have done lots of rollerskiing, bounding intervals, strength, and running.

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Here is a video from a double-pole speed workout we did on Thursday. In this video am wearing the green shorts, with the black-and-green helmet, and no shirt:

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With all this rollerskiing, I’ve been putting millions of kilometers and bazillions of pole plants through the new Toko rollerski gloves, not to mention putting them through their own countless thrashings in the washing machine. They have been performing flawlessly and holding up great! I saw that AMH has them in stock, so if youre in Anchorage, go and pick up a pair!

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On Friday, we did a long set of threshold skate intervals. In this video I am wearing black spandex shorts, the same black/green helmet, and of course the yellow/black Fischer boots. It was quite the impressive train that we had going on there:

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Tomorrow the glacier portion of the US Ski Team mens camp starts. We will fly up to the Thomas Training Center on Eagle Glacier sometime mid day hopefully. It should be a really good camp, and I am sure I will be very ready for some recovery when its over!

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Thanks for reading!!

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Glacier Camp #1 – June

Monday, June 30th, 2014

I just returned to civilization from our first training camp of this summer on Eagle Glacier. Like I mentioned in my last post, this spring has been an exciting one. Training with our new group of guys has been awesome, and we wanted to take that momentum from the pavement and singletrack to the finely groomed track at the Thomas Training Center.

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The stoke-o-meter is always high for the first on-snow camp of the season. We’ve been in town, doing dryland in the sun and the rain, and now its a chance to go do our actual sport.

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It doesn’t hurt that the camp always starts with a helicopter ride. Deb and Keith at Alpine Air are absolutely incredible, and they are instrumental in making all of our big hours of summer ski training possible. They are literally the ones who get us there. If you are ever in the Anchorage area and you want  the most epic, mind-blowing way to see the real cool parts of Alaska in a quick and (honestly) cost effective manner, go with these guys. I would recommend it to myself. So thanks a million to Alpine Air!

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Deb and I hamming it as Keith runs another load in the big bird:

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Once you get up there, and you take those first skates and make those first strides… bliss. You can’t help but think that you have an incredibly difficult week of training ahead, but its hard not to get excited about being on snow. As if we needed another one… Eric and Erik:

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On a clear(ish) day, I would venture that its one of the best views in the world. 360 degrees of mountains, everywhere. Me, getting my skate on:

photo - Logan Hanneman

photo – Logan Hanneman

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If you’re a skier, or just an outdoor enthusiast of any kind, you know that organizing and transporting your gear from place to place while keeping it safe and dry is one of the biggest challenges. Thats why I’ve been really loving this new Jansport pack that I got recently; its made of this super tough, lightweight material so the overall weight is low, and has just enough external straps for backcountry skis or rollerskis, without going overboard:

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K’s require k’s… kilometers require kilocalories:

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When you’re exhausted and full, your day is almost over. All thats left is to watch the sun set:

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But its not just magic. There is a ton of work behind the scenes to keep this facility running at capacity. Erik Flora and his crew put in endless, tireless hours to make it all happen. Don Hearing heading out on one of thousands of chores:

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Every day, you just do it again. More laps, more kilometers…

photo - Logan Hanneman

photo – Logan Hanneman

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Erik Bjornsen and our four legged camp companion. This little furry guy put in more hours than all of us:

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After yet another day of labor, it helps to pause and give one last look before heading inside, just to give it all a little perspective:

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You know the Canadians are around… Knute and Colin from the Yukon Elite Squad treating us to their hand made, snow-cooled Maple toffee:

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So tired. Body aching. Legs flooding laying still. Sleep it away, sleep it away…

photo - Logan Hanneman

photo – Logan Hanneman

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Boss man Flora giving us the lowdown on our workout:

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It was really, really fun to have my brother up there training with us. He was doing awesome, and I was impressed with his skiing. He and I have spent a ton of time together, training and just all sorts of adventures, so it was cool to share the glacier with him:

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Back down, into the lush colors and smells of a more diverse ecosystem. And life, as it might be more normally defined. And rest.

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I now have a couple weeks of training in town, before joining in with the US Ski Team Mens training camp that will include both a week of dryland and a week on the glacier.

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Check back soon for more updates and pics! Thanks for reading!

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The New APU Mens Elite Team

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

This might be the most exciting spring of training I have had in my lifetime. After a pretty sweet competition season, where I made some good steps forward and got to take my racing up a couple of levels, there were bound to be some hard questions when it came time to start training again for next year. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle increasing my training load enough to make another big jump up next season. How much harder could I go? Was I ready to go that big? If I was ready, would I have the motivation and the drive to do it? Who would do it with me?

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Those hard questions have been answered by the team I am fortunate enough to be a part of. The APU Mens Elite Team has turned into an incredible group of boys (men? maybe a little presumptuous)  who are of similar age and similar drive. We are a group made up almost entirely of Alaskans who have trained with and raced against each other for many years. I believe that if it is possible for me to be a better skier, this is the crew that will get me there.

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The seven of us are lucky enough to be shepherded by an absolutely incredible coach. Erik Flora lives and breathes by hard work, and his passion for helping people. None of us would be here without him. To learn more about the incredible program he has built, check out our team’s website.

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I have been fielding so many questions about this new mens team… who is on it? What is it about? So to answer thos questions, I wanted to make a super informal introduction to our new crew, just so that you all can at least have some premise for what is happening this summer.

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So in alphabetical order, the APU Mens Elite Team, in my own words:

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photo - Chris Hodel

photo – Chris Hodel

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Erik Bjornsen

Reese Hanneman-1266 copy

Hometown: Winthrop, WA

Current Age: 22

Skis/Boots/Poles: Rossignol/Rossignol/Swix

Best Events: Anything. Especially basketball

2014 Highlights: Olympian. Crushed the team sprint there. End of story

Claim(s) To Fame: Craigslist wheeling and dealing; flipping Ford Rangers and talking people down insane amounts are his real specialties.

What He Brings to the Training Group: Incredible all-arounder, strong in basically every training discipline.

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Reese Hanneman

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Hometown: Fairbanks, AK

Current Age: 24

Skis/Boots/Poles: Fischer/Fischer/Swix

Best Event: Anything in the traditional style (aka Classic)

2014 Highlights: US National Sprint Champion, SuperTour Overall Champion

Claim(s) To Fame: I think people sometimes forget that I ski race, they think I just blog or something. Once at Nationals, when Peter Graves was going down the line and announcing the past results of each of the top seeded sprinters, he gets to me and just says “And this guy has a blog!!”. Great.

What He Brings to the Training Group: Wisdom. Wait what!!?? Im the oldest guy on the team now!!?? Can I say “catching air”?. And also striding or double pole intensity.

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Tyler Kornfield

Reese Hanneman-1261 copy

Hometown: Anchorage, AK

Current Age: 22

Skis/Boots: Rossignol/Rossignol

Best Event: Sprints

2014 Highlights: 19th U23 World Championships Sprint, 4th OPA Cup Sprint Qual

Claim(s) To Fame: Can put away chocolate bars unlike anyone I’ve ever seen. Has never, and will never, lose a lunge at the line. Should have been a swimmer with those shoulders.

What He Brings to the Training Group: Power; leads the train in real fast double pole and skate sprint workouts.

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David Norris

Reese Hanneman-1279 copy

Hometown: Fairbanks, AK

Current Age: 23

Skis/Boots/Poles: Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

Best Event: Roll the dice. Distance

2014 Highlights: Fewest races in a year of any elite skier…? 4th 15k SuperTour Finals

Claim(s) To Fame: Oh, where to even begin… Have you seen our music video?

What He Brings to the Training Group: Distance intensity monster. Rythmic squat thrusts

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Eric Packer

APU Mens Team Eric Packer 2

Hometown: Anchorage, AK

Current Age: 23

Skis/Boots/Poles: Rossignol/Rossignol/Swix

Best Event: Sprints-that-end-with-a-free-skate-finish

2014 Highlights: 1st Besh Cup Sprint, 9th American 50k National Championships

Claim(s) To Fame: Has some mad video skillz. Can seamlessly fit into both the East Coast and the Alaskan scenes and styles, depending on where he is (that’s harder to do than you think).

What He Brings to the Training Group: Lazer fast in speed workouts. If its slightly downhill and all-out, just try to draft him.

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Scott Patterson

Reese Hanneman-1282 copy

Hometown: Anchorage, AK

Current Age: 21

Skis/Boots/Poles: Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

Best Event: Something skating that goes uphill a lot

2014 Highlights: 2nd 15k SuperTour Finals, dominating the Eastern Carnival circuit

Claim(s) To Fame: Can probably currently calculate, in his head, what the FIS and USSA penalties will be for the races in West Yellowstone next fall, based on the three most statistically likely finish orders (given current data of course). I usually just ask him what my points were, it avoids having to deal with that new USSA website.

What He Brings to the Training Group: Thrives in the big hours, big hills, and long OD’s. One of the best mountain runners in Alaska.

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Lex Treinen

Reese Hanneman-1260 copy

Hometown: Anchorage, AK

Current Age: 24

Skis/Boots/Poles: Rossignol/Rossignol/Start

Best Event: The longer and weirder the better

2014 Highlights: American Birkie 2nd American

Claim(s) To Fame: Would ski barefoot if it were possible. Can definitely bake better bread than you.

What He Brings to the Training Group: Can make you hurt in anything longer than a couple minutes. Especially bounding and skiing.

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I will be blogging much more frequently here over the summer, with pictures and updates from our training and whatever adventures we may be up to. In between blog posts, I post pics to my Instagram almost daily of all kinds of stuff… find me there with the username “reesehanneman“.

Instagram-logo1 reesehanneman

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Thanks for reading! I am already looking forward to sharing my pics with you over the summer!

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Please check out my website REESEHANNEMAN.COM for more info about me or my sponsors.

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Scandic World Cup – Photo EPIC

Friday, April 18th, 2014

I can’t believe this. I can’t believe it has taken me so long to get this blog up. I have been fighting with some computer problems that have kept me from being able to edit my photos, and I can’t bring myself to make a post until I have gotten my photos somewhat together. So, this is probably one of the most belated blogs I have ever done… sorry about that. But I really wanted to put it up, because this was a really important trip for me.

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Basically, the short summary is that I got to go race all of the World Cup races after the Olympics. I was given this opportunity because I was the Overall SuperTour leader at that point in the season, and FIS mandates that the skier in this position must be able to start the World Cups. This had been one of my huge goals for the season, to lead the SuperTour and get that World Cup spot.

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So I headed off on an adventure to Scandanavia, for the biggest races of my life!

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Flying all over different continents from race to race involves all kinds of crazy connections. The more connections, the more your bags get handled. The more they get handled, the higher the risk for damage. I was bummed to arrive and find that these two pair of my race skis were demolished:

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I have raced in Europe every season for the past 5 years (at least), and have learned just how hard it is to really be competitive on that kind of monumental time change. Your body is just way too wacked out. So I felt very, very fortunate to be able to head to Norway and week early and stay with my friend Kjell-Christian Markset and his family. They were incredibly welcoming and amazing, amazing hosts. I got to experience some authentic Norwegian living, something different than just hotel life. I have eaten lots of wild moose heart in my day, but never store-bought packaged reindeer heart:

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I was pretty thankful to have my new Suunto Quest watch, because besides from being a slick heart rate monitor, it has a sweet dual-time display that kept me in touch with what time it was back home in Alaska, so I wouldn’t wake up my family and friends at bizarre hours:

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KC and I were in Sjusjoen for a week, training and watching the Olympics. Sjusjoen is basically xc heaven. Trails groomed daily as far as the eye can see, and then much much further. Checking out the map of the region:

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After that week of adapting to the new time zone and body cycles, I met the rest of the U.S. Ski Team in Lahti, Finland. They were coming straight from the Olympics, and it was really nice to see them all after the big show.

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In addition to the Olympic team, my good bud Sylvan Ellefson was also arriving. He got to race two weekends of World Cups because he was the SuperTour Distance leader, and he and I were roommates in Lahti. We were both pretty stoked to be there racing the best guys in the world.

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Sylvan is one of the greatest guys I know. He is very nice, very genuine, and he likes to work hard and have fun. He inspires me my own life, and knows how to keep it fun:

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For some reason, I didn’t take a lot of pics in Lahti. I think it was because it was my first weekend there, and I wanted to make sure I was focusing on the important stuff, which was the prep for my racing.

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Great to see my Aussie homies again:

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Double skate weekend in Lahti made it a little more challenging way to start out for me, but for those races, I held my own. The conditions were tough, with a couple inches of ground up sugar on top of solid glare ice. I just tried to really go about my race routine like I always do, and not try to get all crazy with it just because it was a World Cup.

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I just love being there and learning from our top US skiers. As a dude who is trying to break into the World Cup sprint scene, I have a ton of respect for Andy Newell and his incredible consistency in qualifying over many, many seasons. So also kind of tried to shadow him a little bit and see if there was anything I could pick up from him. Andy getting in the zone before the heats, a mix of chill and amped:

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It was incredible to be there that weekend when Kikkan and Sophie went 1-3 in the sprint, and to see history being made there right before my own eyes. Very inspiring.

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Next up after Lahti was off to Norway for the craziest two venues I have been to; Drammen and Holmenkollen. These are both legendary in the ski-crazed nation of Norge, and I have heard so many epic tales from these races.

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You know youre in Norway when the gas station’s Red Bull display features… cross country skiing:

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Stoked on the morning of Drammen!

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Drammen is one of the most famous city sprints in the world, with crazy crowd turnout for the heats and a beautiful backdrop. The course winds a loop through a shopping district before finishing up the steps of an old cathedral:

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It was a crazy mix of spectators, snow, pavement, and all of the athlete, media, and wax crews. It’s also the only World Cup I have ever seen where the spectators can walk right up next to the start area:

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Riding the provided transportation system to and from the venue:

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Refueling with endless slices of the wonderful, sweet brown cheese:

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After sprinting in Drammen mid-week, next up was the biggest one of all, Holmenkollen. This is like the SuperBowl of skiing, with more fans camping and screaming alongside the course than I could have ever imagined. The stadium is impressive:

photo - Jennie Bender

photo – Jennie Bender

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The Holmenkollen has always been a 50k, and this year it was classic which made me happy. I knew that it would probably be the single hardest race I have ever done; the course is insane, with the longest climbs I have ever seen. And 50,000 meters of it.

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Leaders headed out hot:

photo - Jennie Bender

photo – Jennie Bender

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To be honest, my only plan was to ski in such a way that I could finish. I knew that severe cramping would undoubtedly be an issue on a course of this difficulty and length, and that the pace would be more than I could handle right from the gun. So I just pushed it as fast as I thought I could possibly hold, and just went for it:

photo - Jennie Bender

photo – Jennie Bender

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Erik and Andy skiing together:

photo - Jennie Bender

photo – Jennie Bender

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I ended up having a pretty good race, considering. I made it to the finish, and I was skiing strong the whole time. It can be really, really hard to have the confidence for an effort like that, against the absolute best guys. So now I know that I can handle it, and next time I hope to go faster.

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The grandstands provided an unbelievable wall of noise every time you lapped through the stadium:

photo - Jennie Bender

photo – Jennie Bender

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I have to give a massive thank you to Patrick Moore, who was a volunteer wax tech for the US Team in Lahti, Drammen and Holmenkollen, and who did an incredible job with my skis. He provided as premium of a wax experience as I could imagine, and he nailed my skis every time, which can be very hard when you have never worked with a particular fleet of skis before.

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The next day, all of us guys went out to help support the women in their 30k. For most of us, this meant providing feeds at various points on the course. We had help from Kjell-Christian, who was doing a great job in his role as a team hand:

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It was fun being able to be on course to watch the best ladies in the world. I could stand just a track or two away as they went by. Marit Bjorgen was impressive in her dominance:

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The whole Oslo experience was pretty unreal. You feel like the whole nation is there cheering you on, chanting your name. I have never seen that many people live at a ski race; uncountable multitudes. Oslo is a beautiful city, especially when you get to stay up on the hill:

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After that was all over with, we packed up and rode on a bus all day for Falun. It was an all day bus ride, but luckily we got to stop in the Swedish countryside:

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Falun was a beautiful little town. It was big enough to have some stuff to explore, but small enough that it still felt friendly:19

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Trying to take pictures with my nice camera over all of these places and all of this travel can be risky. I have had a lot of close calls with my camera, and am always scared of it being stolen or damaged. I dropped it really hard into a hard floor right when I got to Falun, but luckily just broke the UV filter and not the actual lens:

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Falun was a little bit different than the first two weeks, because it was World Cup Finals. This means that only the best 50 men and women in the world are allowed to race, and then each Continental Cup leader is too (our Continental Cup is called the SuperTour in the US).

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Eli Brown was waxing my skis this weekend, and he absolutely killed it. He worked really, really hard, and we were a good team. It is hard to really imagine how much time these guys put in; they are testing and waxing all day, every day leading up to the races. I am so grateful that Eli was willing to donate his time to help me out:

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World Cup Finals is a mini-tour, which means that there were three races that all added up into a cumulative “overall” place at the end. The first race was a classic sprint, and I was super stoked for this one. It was on a difficult course that had two big, steep striding climbs, and I knew I was capable of a great race. It ended up going well. I say “well” because it was going really well for most of it, until the last climb. Because I was the last starter, I hadn’t gotten to ski on the course for almost an hour before I started. The game of kick wax is an extremely marginal one, and I didn’t have quite enough kick to really stride strongly up the last climb, having to herringbone over the icy tracks. This cost me a few precious seconds. I finished 31st, one place from being only the third US male to score World Cup sprint points this season. I had been running in the top 20 at points before that last climb.

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It was heartbreaking to get that close, but it also is a lot of motivation for the future. I know I can do it.

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Watching the women’s race from my hotel room:

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The Swedish fans turned out in force to cheer on their idols. They get into it:

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photo – Kikkan Randall

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After the sprint was a 30k skiathlon, and then a 15k pursuit. In both of these races, I had no big expectations. This gave me to freedom to aggressively, because I wasn’t afraid of the consequences. These two races ended up being very, very good experiences for me, because I attacked them like I never have in those two events before. I ended up being able to ski with some very, very good guys, and it opened my eyes a little bit to what I was capable of.

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Skiing in a pack, surrounded by four World Cup winners and Sochi Gold and Silver medalists:

photo - Kikkan Randall

photo – Kikkan Randall

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All in all, it was an incredible month for me. I had a good time, but I also got a lot out of it. I think it might have been the most productive trip to Europe I have ever had. It has given me the confidence that I can make the step up to compete at that level.

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I am incredibly thankful for everyone who has helped me get to this point, and to get to the World Cup. There are way, way too many people and groups for me to be able to them all here, but the really big ones deserve a shout. APU Nordic Ski Center, The Alaska Community Foundation, Girdwood 2020, The Alaska Club, PDC Engineers, NANA Nordic, and The Allergy Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska all deserve more than just this footnote. Their support directly improves US skiing and our communities. So thank you!!

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I also have to give a massive “thanks” to the US Ski Team staff who put in so much time and effort to help support me over there. These guys are overworked and probably under-appreciated, and they are what makes any of this happen. I am very grateful to them for their amazing sacrifices and tireless work:

left to right: Steph Caverhill, Chris Grover, Matt Whotcomb, myself, Eli Brown, Oleg Ragilo, Peter Johansson, and Jason Cork

left to right: Steph Caverhill, Chris Grover, Matt Whotcomb, myself, Eli Brown, Oleg Ragilo, Peter Johansson, and Jason Cork

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Thanks for reading!

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Guest Blog

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

My name is Noah Hoffman; I’m a friend of Reese’s and his roommate here in Falun, Sweden. I’m honored to be doing a guest post on his site.

In all honesty, I don’t get to read many of Reese’s posts on this blog. In a sport where everyone is trying to produce as much quality web content as possible (to help with personal marketing), there isn’t enough time to follow all of my friends’ posts. However, I know from experience that Reese’s photography skills are exceptional. Unlike me, Reese actually knows what he’s doing and takes pride in posting quality shots. At times, I’ve hired him to do small photo shoots of me. He produces great shots for me to distribute to my sponsors. Here’s a really cool shot he took of me on the Eagle Glacier last summer:

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Reese is here at World Cup Finals in Falun, Sweden as the leader of the U.S. Super Tour, and we (as a U.S. Ski Team) are so psyched to have him join our group. He is one of the nicest guys in the world. He is professional, thoughtful, conscientious, laid back and fun. We get several different Super Tour leaders joining our group throughout the season. Each of them brings something slightly different to the group, and Reese stands out as an exceptional teammate. I don’t mean to be writing a letter of recommendation for Reese, but I want to make sure you (his readers) know that he is awesome.

I’ve known and raced against Reese for a long time. We figured out that we both raced at the Junior National Championships in Truckee, California in 2005, but neither of us remembers meeting the other at those races. I believe the first time I got to know Reese was at my first World Junior Championships in Mals, Italy in 2008. We’ve never been super competitive with each other since Reese has excelled more in sprinting while I could not be more of a distance specialist. I do have one distinct memory of racing against Reese. It was at Junior Nationals in Anchorage in 2007 in the 15 kilometer mass start classic race. I was the top seeded skier, starting at the pinnacle of the chevron. No more than 20 meters into the race, skiing at the very front of the pack, I crashed. The entire field passed me. I eventually made my way back up to the lead pack only to crash again, again of my own accord. I made it up to the front a third time and tried to push the pace to drop my competitors. I tried as hard as I could, but I could not drop Reese or his teammate Max Treinen. In the last kilometers I knew I had to get a gap on Reese because I did not like my chances in a sprint against him. True to form, he absolutely smoked me in the final 100 meters, winning by a landslide.

Reese, his awesome brother Logan and his parents Nancy and Karl have put me up on the two occasions I’ve been in Fairbanks for races. They are a wonderful, welcoming family. I keep hoping for spring nationals to return to Fairbanks because I want to live with the Hannemans again.

This World Cup period, starting two weeks ago, marks Reese’s first ever European World Cup experience. It’s been fun to watch him awe at things that seem normal to me. I remember how exciting everything about the whole World Cup “circus” was to me when I first got an opportunity to race over here. I’m jealous that Reese gets to experience that now. Here’s Reese doing a little intensity today before tomorrow’s classic sprint race:

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He’s going to crush it tomorrow.

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Here he is enjoying a trip to town on Tuesday:

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We had a great time bowling as a team on Tuesday night.

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Reese and I had a good battle because we are equally inconsistent.

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Thanks to Reese for the opportunity to write this post! You can follow me daily at noahhoffman.com.

US Nationals; My first National Title and those Olympics

Monday, January 27th, 2014

I just got back to Alaska from Park City, Utah after almost three weeks spent down there for U.S. Nationals. I met my family in Park City on Christmas Eve, and spent a really fun and relaxing holiday season there with them. It was actually quite nice to avoid all of the craziness and holiday party obligations that usually crop up in alarming amounts while at home around that time.

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The weather was amazing, and we enjoy some nice family skis together. Of course, there are those holiday traditions that would make it seem weird if they were absent, so of course we tried to give it some sort of tradition. My parents actually brought our trusty, ancient lefse pan down from home, so that we could partake in our usual family tradition of making lefse. Lefse is a traditional Scandanavian treat, and our process usually goes like this; mom and dad work the pan and the dough, churning out lots of the thin, flaky pancakes, while Logan and I lather on the butter and heap on the brown sugar, folding them over and over again and repeating the process.

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After a pretty chill week, all of the athletes and teams showed up, and it started to feel more like getting ready for a ski event. I moved in my with my APU team, and we had a nice house with one of the nicest morning views I have ever seen in a rental:

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The organizers at Soldier Hollow did an amazing job of blowing tons of snow, just in case, and spreading it into some really awesome courses. The race courses were, without a doubt, the most difficult I have ever skied on in the U.S. The climbs were massive and long, and coupled with the altitude of nearly 6000ft, made for brutally hard races.

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The first race was the 15k classic, individual start. While I have traditionally had better results as a sprinter, I have been working very, very hard on improving my distance skiing over the past training year. So I actually had been looking forward to this race with more excitement than usual, and I knew that I had what it took to do well, even on such a hard course.

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Because of the incredibly big climbs, and the altitude, and that it was an individual start, I had a pretty distinct game plan for the race. I told myself that I wouldn’t go over Level 3 (threshold) for the first lap, and then on the second lap I would force myself to stay in Level 3 on all of the climbs, and then the last lap would be pure pain and whatever I had left. So it was to my amazement that I was getting incredibly good splits on lap one; I was leading, I was tied for the podium, etc… When you hear things like this while consciously trying to ski a very conservative pace, it is a little weird. At first I was like “what!? How am I leading?”. But as it went on and the good splits continued, I knew I would be fighting for the win.

photo - Bert Boyer

photo – Bert Boyer

(Bert Boyer has some awesome pics of nearly everyone who raced at Nationals, and he is selling them with all the money going to NNF. Super cool, thanks Bert! Check them out HERE)

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It ended up going well; I finished second behind my friend and team-mate Erik Bjornsen, who was also the National Champion in last year’s 15k, and ahead of longtime U.S. Ski Team member and mulit-Olympian Kris Freeman, who has been 4th at World Championships twice in this exact event. I was so stoked!! It was a little crazy to think back almost 15 years, to remember Kris signing a poster for little ten year old me, barely tall enough to see over the table he was sitting behind.

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On the podium with Erik and Kris:

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photo – USSA

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The next day was the skate sprint. I had a pretty decent qualifier, considering I lost my pole right out of the start and had to spend a few seconds getting it back on. From the first heat, I was feeling good, and I just tried to relax and see what I could do. Trying to get after it on the main climb in the qualifier:

photo - Toko

photo – Toko

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The heats went well, besides being a little bit nerve wracking after the quarters to wait to be lucky loser. It was actually really sweet, because my brother Logan and I were both in the same quarter, and we were both luck losers from that heat because our heat was so fast, so it was fun to move on together. We would go on to move on all the way to the A final together.

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As with all mens sprint races, there was some contact and some carnage. Torin and Dakota tangled here in our semifinal, which resulted in Dakota going down. It was definitely a bummer, but part of the game when the level gets high:

photo - USSA

photo – USSA

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And then this bizarre frame, where I can only assume Dakota is trying to correct from his tangle, and unfortunately wasnt able to pull out of it. I am at a loss as to how there arent any other skiers visible in frame, because we were all within a few feet of each other:

photo - USSA

photo – USSA

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One of the highlights of the week was racing the A final with my brother. It was so fun to hear the announcer try to figure out what was going on when there kept being two “Hanneman”s in the same heat. I was incredibly proud of Logan getting 5th at nationals, as well as his really good distance results, considering that he had a broken back 4 months ago. He is so, so talented, and had to work very hard to get back to this point after that injury; I know that he is capable of some absolutely world class results down the road. It was fun to share the day with him:

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It was also so sick to see Ben Saxton skiing so fast. Ben is one of those young guys that is just a monster talent, and we had fun racing together in Europe last year. Ben has really put his nose to the grindstone over this past year with training, and it is obvious. He is totally stepping up his game, and will certainly be a threat for many years to come. My second podium of the week:

photo - Toko

photo – Toko

Because the first two races went really well, I decided to skip the 30k skate in order to better prepare myself for the classic sprint at the end of the week. I knew I was in good form, and figured I could do pretty well in the 30. I have been working on my distance skiing, and my skating, a lot. But I also knew I was capable of a big result in the classic sprint, so that’s where I put my cards.

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Watching the 30k was one of the coolest spectating days I have had here in the U.S. 6 laps of that Olympic 5k course, some slowish, new snow, and a hungry and aggressive mens pack all added up to a really epic race. I was so, so happy to see my friend, and ever the crowd favorite Sylvan Ellefson ski a commanding, yet only 2 second win. How was is commanding if it was only 2 seconds, you ask? He broke away solo with over 10k to go, and held off the surging pack to the line.

photo - USSA

photo – USSA

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It was really cool to see him pull it off with so many of his family and fans there cheering. I couldn’t pass up posting this awesome shot of his grandpa congratulating him on just become a National Champion:

photo - USSA

photo – USSA

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Because I had a few days between races, I had to make sure to keep my body sharp. That meant some hard ski workouts, and some running in the afternoons. That mean lots of time to explore the old ranchs of the Heber Valley:

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The classic sprint was the last event of Nationals, and I knew it was a chance to really make a good case for myself. It is certainly quite the tightrope to walk; trying to be intense and focused enough to get the job done, while still staying mentally relaxed enough to execute well. We woke up that morning to a little bit of fresh snow, but the tracks were really well groomed and firm, and the new snow just packed right down.

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The course was longer and harder than the skate sprint course. This time, we went all of the way to the very top of Hermod’s Hill, which is by far the biggest climb I have ever seen in a sprint course. This made it a very, very difficult course, on par with something at the Olympics or World Championships. In qualifying, I tried to go out very hard on the first double pole section, and then pace myself up the first half of the climb before cranking it over top, and then of course taking it home as fast as possible. I felt pretty good, and ended up winning my first ever U.S. Nationals qualifier, which was a good sign for the rest of the day.

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In the heats, I was able to ski off of the front of the pack while keeping a relatively conservative pace, which kept giving me more and more confidence. I was excited, because I knew that if I could turn the screws in the final, that probably very few of the guys would be able to match the pace.

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Based on my observations of how people were skiing in the heats, I knew that my team-mate and winner of the 15k classic Erik Bjornsen would be skiing fast in the final. Based on the course, and the guys who were in the A final, I figured that my best tactic would be to push the pace HARD from the gun, and just try to blow it wide open. So that’s what I did… It ended up working well, and I couldn’t believe that I had won my first U.S. National Championship!!

photo - USSA

photo – USSA

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Erik and I breaking away at the base of the big climb:

photo - Toko

photo – Toko

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Here is a video of the finals from that day. The Mens A Final starts at 1:37 (the order of heats in the video is Mens B Final, Womens B Final, Mens A Final, Womens A Final):

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I was stunned that I had actually put it all together. I ran over to my coach Erik Flora, and gave him what I believe is the first ever hug between us (yeah, he and I were that stoked!!). He has helped me so, so much over the last 4 years to get to this point, and I owe him everything. It was so fun to stand on top of the U.S. Nationals podium!!

photo - SkiTrax

photo – SkiTrax

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There were a couple of cool articles, with some nice pictures,  about my first National Championship. It was really cool to have Fasterskier, SkiTrax, and USSA there covering the event.

Fasterskier: “Hanneman Wins Classic Sprint at U.S. Nationals; …”

USSA Press Release: “Hanneman Takes First Ever U.S. Title”

SkiTrax:  “Hanneman and Narvshikina Triumph in 1.6km CL…”

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After putting together such a great, consistent week of racing, I was really content. I have never finished on the podium at the U.S. Nationals before; this year, I was on the podium in every race I entered (3). I won my first Nationals Championship, which is a great milestone for me. Everyone I talked to was really stoked and people were pretty sure I would be going to the Olympics.

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While I was not surprised to not get named to the Olympic team, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a teeny bit disappointed. I am mostly bummed that the US Team chose not to fill the quota that they were allowed to bring, as I think it would have been good for the future and the excitement of our sport. I think it would be good for them to show the Nordic community that there is hope for someone who has recently started skiing at a world class level, although maybe that person hasn’t been on the small U.S. Ski Team in the past. I am not even necessarily advocating for myself, but friends of mine like Sylvan Ellefson, Caitlin Gregg, and Dakota Blackhorse-Von-Jess who have shown us this year that they are worthy of that team.

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But it is what it is. Those of us who got very close to making the team, but didn’t, must move on and re-evaluate what we are doing. There is a great short piece written by former U.S. Ski Team head coach Pete Vordenberg about athletes being “on the bubble” and not making the team. I wish I had read this when I was a junior and was so disappointed about not making Junior Nationals, World Juniors, or whatever it was at the time. Read Pete’s article HERE.

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I am so thankful to everyone that has helped to get me to this point; from chubby little punk kid at Fairbanks Junior Nordics who really only wanted to go ski in the Terrain Garden, to a U.S. National Champion. I cannot believe it. I owe so much to so many people, and I cant begin to thank them all adequately. My irreplaceable coach Erik Flora; everyone at Alaska Pacific University for supporting our incredible team and everyone at the APU Nordic Ski Center who works so hard. My amazing personal sponsors for helping me get to these races, and the training camps necessary to compete at this level: The Alaska Community Foundation; Girdwood 2020; PDC Engineers; The Alaska Club; Eye Clinic of Fairbanks; The Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska. My equipment sponsors; Fischer, WoodskiSwix, Oakley, Toko, 2XU, Suunto, and E’Klaar.

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I am very excited though; I am currently leading the SuperTour overall standings, and have a mathematical lock on the Sprint standings, so I will be getting to race a bunch of World Cups this March. I am very stoked for this opportunity, and I am currently in Alaska training and preparing for this next block of my competition season.

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Thanks for reading! I will try to blog more frequently during the next portion of my season!

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Holiday Skiing

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

After the last SuperTour races in Bozeman, I returned home to Alaska for a couple of weeks of training. I got a little bit lucky, as the snowpack had been a little thin up until that point, but it started dumping right as I got back. The skiing got really, really good.

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Basically, my plan was to come back from the SuperTours and take a weekend off from racing, and bump my training volume back up to prepare myself for U.S. Nationals.

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While there, I went out to watch one of the biggest high school races in the state. I remember racing in Lynx Loppet when I was skiing for Lathrop High School, and I remember being so incredibly nervous even though I was way back in the field. It was really fun to see the massive numbers of kids out racing, and all of the community interest. Alaskan junior skiing is thriving!

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Four hundred racers… equals a lot of ski bags. I couldn’t believe the amount of gear out there, it seemed like the entire Kincaid Park was blanketed in ski equipment.

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The highlight for me though was watching my cousin Andrew, who is a freshmen at Lathrop High School, racing in his first big high school race! It was super fun to ski around the course and cheer him on, he was having fun and doing awesome!

photo - Kate Bennett

photo – Kate Bennett

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Another cool thing I did in town was volunteer as a coach for the Lickety Splits Ski Camp. This is an annual camp that was started three years ago by my team-mate Tyler Kornfield, and it is now the largest kids ski camp in Anchorage. I had a great time working with the kids, like I always do, and it reminded again why elite skiers can make a big positive impact on their communities.

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Me (middle, in blue) with my group for the day:

photo - Cole Deal

photo – Cole Deal

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The camp was really well run, and the kids had a blast. We got to try out all sorts of different stations, ranging from purely fun to a little more skills based. They just eat it up.

photo - Cole Deal

photo – Cole Deal

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I was impressed with the turnout. There were something like 120 kids there, and they all wished there was more camp!

photo - Cole Deal

photo – Cole Deal

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The weekend before Christmas were the Besh Cups. I had done a fairly hard 2 week training period leading into them, and was using the races as two hard intensity sessions to finish off my training  block. There was a classic sprint, and a 15k skate. The sprint was fun, although the course was pretty mild, so a few of us double poled it on skate skis. The field was as fast and stacked as ever, which is really cool to see.

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Eric Packer and I leading the A Final…

photo - Charlie Renfro

photo – Charlie Renfro

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He and I had our third crashing photo finish of this season, which after a long period of deliberation by the officials, we never really heard who won. I ended up being relegated to 6th, because of a questionable skating motion around a corner. This was a good lesson for me, because as we double pole more and more sprints, it can be hard to stay on the legal side of that line, with all of the turning and track changes and such.

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The next day was a 15k mass start skate. Since I was just using it as a training session, I decided to make it as hard as possible and try a different tactic than I normally would. I attacked the field really early, and then with Scott Patterson after he worked his way up to me. He slowly pulled away over the next few k’s, but I was able to hold my gap over the big chase pack by myself, which I was really happy about. Eric out-sprinted the rest of the field for third:

photo - Eric Packer

photo – Eric Packer

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It was a fun, laid-back weekend of racing, and it was really fun to have my homies and roommates Erin Phillips and Don Haering waxing my skis. They are both coaches for the APU juniors and devos, and they killed it on my skis. I am really thankful to have an incredible team behind me, whether I am at big races in Europe, World Cups, or just Besh Cups. Erin, me, Don, and Eric Strabel:

photo - Charlie Renfro

photo – Charlie Renfro

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After that weekend, we hosted a big Christmas party at our house, complete with an outdoor ice bar that my roommates built. I was too busy training to really have much of a hand in it, but it turned out so awesome.

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The next day I left for Park City, Utah to spend Christmas with my family and hang out, getting ready for U.S. Nationals which start on the 4th. It was a great, low key Christmas with the family, and we are gearing up for a big week of important races.

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I will put up a blog after all of the races, and for results and race report, check on the Fasterskier homepage.

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Thanks for reading!

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West Yellowstone Racing

Friday, December 6th, 2013

I left Alaska about two weeks ago to head south in preparation for the season’s opening SuperTour races. While we have had an incredible fall of skiing at home, I was excited to head towards that warm western sun. I went almost down about a week and a half before the first race, with the intention of using that time to let my body acclimate to the almost 7000ft elevation we would be racing at.

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Every Alaskan’s favorite airport view; the Sea-Tac atrium. Let’s just say, you get to know it well…

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I want to give a massive “THANK YOU” to the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska for their incredible support. They have helped make it possible for me to travel to and from out of state training camps and competitions, and I simply could not do it without their help.

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I spent a couple of days in Bozeman, and got to train on some of the nicest conditions I have ever seen at Bohart Ranch. With my longtime Fairbanks bud David Norris:

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photo – PK Kovacs

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Skiing with Maine Winter Sports Center athlete Sam Tarling with the Bridgers behind:

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While in Bozeman, I went to the memorial for ski industry icon Peter Hale. He has been the Madshus rep for as long as I can remember, and probably longer than I have been alive. Even though I have been skiing on Fischer since I was a junior, Peter was always an incredibly nice guy, willing to help out even if it didn’t directly benefit him or his brand. I remember one instance, last year at US Nationals in Soldier Hollow, when my binding needed adjustment just minutes before my sprint heat; I was frantically running around trying to find someone with a NIS key. I asked Peter, and he mumbled something and promptly ran back to his Madshus tent, started tearing through all of his wax boxes until they were all a mess, and found one. He adjusted my binding, wished me luck, and I regretted that I didn’t have time to help him organize everything again as I rushed to the start line.

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It was really cool to see so many people who knew him so well, and to hear all of the crazy stories they had about him. We will miss you Peter!

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After being in Bozeman for a few days, I joined up with the rest of my APU team and headed to West Yellowstone. We settled into the western cabin-style houses that we usually stay in, which are rustic but cozy. And we have a diner chime on the porch…

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The skiing here in West has been some of the best I have ever seen. I bet it was conditions like this that originally inspired people to start flocking to West Yellowstone. We got really lucky with some nearly perfect conditions for the races.

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We started off the year with a skate sprint. It was really cool that the organizers put together a real sprint, with a legit course and full heats. While I didn’t feel especially snappy in my qualifier, it was good enough to get into the heats, and from there it’s a whole new race.

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I would like to serve up  a huge THANK YOU to PDC Engineers, who have been my headgear sponsor for a few years now and will be continuing to support me. They are an incredible Alaskan company known for solving some of the unique design challenges that present themselves in the Arctic climate. I could not do it without their incredible support. I am really, really excited to represent them on my headwear this season!

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photo – Toko

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I absolutely love skiing in sprint heats, and I was excited about going out and giving it everything I had. Because the course was extremely fast and extremely tactical, it took some figuring out. The only way to successfully move on (by finishing in the top two in your heat) was to put yourself in the exact right spot tactically, and to finish the last couple hundred meters with a ferocious kick. In three heats, I was part of three photo finish lunges that ended by crashing across the line and sliding to a stop in the finish pen.

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Heading out of the stadium in my quarterfinal. I am in about 4th place in the black/blue suit, bib #21. I would finish 2nd in this heat to move on to the semis…

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I ended up getting second in the final, which is my best skate sprint result in a SuperTour race ever. I was very happy with it, especially since it is so early in the year and am planning to only feel faster and faster as the season progresses.

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Sharing the podium with my buddy Ryan Scott (3rd) and a new Euro on the scene, Emil Johannsen (1st).

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The West Yellowstone races  and ski festival always happen over Thanksgiving, which is a bit of a bummer that we don’t get to be home with family. But it is always an APU team tradition to make the best of it, and go all out on a traditional style Thanksgiving dinner, with all of the staples.

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Homemade stuffing in progress:

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The second race was a 15k skate interval start. This has traditionally been very much my Achilles heel, but I have worked really hard over the summer to bring my skate game up. I went decently well, 21st, which is my best skate 15k in West ever, but still not what I know I can do.

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My good friend Sylvan Ellefson, who skis for the Ski and Snowboard Club of Vail, had a great 15k, getting third. I took some pics of him for one of his new sponsors L.L. Bean, which I think is one of the cooler sponsors out there. They make some cool stuff, and the logo looks good on Sylvan’s suit:

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After the races and the festival, the town clears out pretty quickly and returns to its winter ghost town status. We hung around for a couple more days, training on the empty trails, and then headed to Bozeman for the next weekend of SuperTours. It is currently pretty cold in Bozeman, but I am hoping the races happen. I will put up another blog soon.

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In other news, I just put up some lifestyle photos from a photoshoot I did with World Champion and U.S. Ski Team member Jessie Diggins. You can check them out here, or click on the picture below:

Jessie Diggins Reese Hanneman 2

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Thanks for reading!

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