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Wild Rumpus Sports
 

Kuusamo to Lillehammer

It’s been a busy week so it wasn’t easy to get a blog update in but here is a quick recap of what the US crew has been up to here on the World Cup.

IMG_2687EBJ getting in some training in Finland before the Ruka Tripple.

Ruka was pretty epic this year. The past two seasons I really struggled in the sprint there for whatever reason. Could have been because we were coming into the season too flat, maybe it wasn’t enough of on snow time, but after a few years in a row of struggling to break the top 25 I nearly swore off Kuusamo last season hoping I would never have to come back again.  Of course that bitterness tends to fade and of course 12 months later I found myself at the start line of one of the toughest sprints of the season in Ruka.

This year was different though and I tried to plan ahead as best I could. I spent the last few weeks training more intensity and working more on steep striding so I could be in a better position to compete against all the best sprinters in the World. More than any specific result it really feels good when your training pays off, when you put your mind to something and it works out. So I was stoked to feel strong on that terrain and give a good shot at the podium.

As you guys might know this isn’t the blog to tune into for a full race recap of the weekend. I’d just rather not bore everyone with a play by play of race day… In fact I can’t even remember it on occasion, which I think is a good thing. Something I have discovered over the years is that my best results are the ones I think back on the day after and wonder “what the hell happened out there” you can’t remember the tactics, you can’t remember who was in your heats, and you almost can’t remember the pain of racing up the final hill. Thats a good thing.. It means I was 100 percent in the race zone, which is a place I plan of being in a lot more this season. Just 100 percent focused on getting across the finish line first and nothing else.

12308423_920004474753417_7370593600577147712_nBeing in that kind of mindset is a really fun way to race. So I will say for sure that Ruka was fun! and I was happy to get back into the finals and post a better result than in any race last season.

On Monday we loaded up the big World Cup transportation bus at 5:30 in the morning and had a 3 hour drive to the Rovaniemi airport. Kuusamo airport is a little bit closer but since we had flown into Rovaniemi initially on our way to Sweden, we had to back track a little bit. In general the travel day was long but relaxing and we were in Lillehammer in time for a jog and dinner.

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Looking down on the city of Lillehammer

Monday also happened to be my Birthday, which can sound kind of depressing to be stuck traveling on your B day but every year my teammates make November 30th a pretty fun day for me no matter where we are! I feel pretty lucky to have so many friends/teammates around so its actually a pretty sweet gig to have a B day while on the road. The day was highlighted with the arrival at the Hotel Raddison here in Lillehammer which is possibly one of the best food stops on Tour! It’s a serious buffet situation here with salmon, crab, all kinds of different fish and fresh veggies. The massive dessert buffet is something we always look forward to here and was only sweetened by the birthday candles Liz scrounged up and the usual barrage of ‘old man’ jokes that can be expected when you turn 32.

A lot of our fellow World Cup athletes were able to go home for a few days after Ruka but for those of us who were in Lillehammer 5 days early we got in some really fun skiing. Our first morning here a big bus picked us up along with the German team for a day of skiing up in Sjusjøen. It was the first time we had seen direct sun light in a while and it’s always an inviting break to be able to ski on something other than super steep and difficult race trails. Up in Sjusjøen we toured around for a few hours, many of us double-poling out on the Birkenbiner trail.

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sunny days and festive walks down main street here in Lillehammer

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First Sadie, me, then it was Rosie’s turn to experience a B day on the road. The girls actually came up with a really fun idea though,  to have a water color painting class here at the hotel. Caitlyn rounded up some waiting supplies in town and arranged for the hotel to open up one of their conference rooms downstairs. Some people were better at following instructions than others but it was a pretty hilarious time. One of the things that I think is amazing about this team is that when we do something like this everyone jumps in… athletes, coaches, and techs all experienced paint class together.

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Who’s is best?? of course it turned slightly competitive.

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Once the races drew closer we started having a lot more training sessions at the venue up at the Lillehammer Olympic stadium. The trails here have been re-done in the last few years and they are pretty exciting but also incredibly tough. The big climb on the main race loop is a serious one… it’s over 4 minutes of straight uphill at a fast race pace which is pretty unusual even on the toughest courses. It will make the 30 kilometer skiathon a pretty epic race for the dudes this weekend. I’ve spent the last few days preparing for a relay spot on Sunday. I was able to get in some tough skating intervals on Thursday in preparation for next weeks important sprint races in Switzerland, but also some good classic practice and some pre race intervals this afternoon in the dark.

I will suit up tomorrow morning for the first leg of the 4×7.5K relay. Lets do this!

 

 

 

 

 

On Snow in Sweden

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

Talking With VT Kids

With just two weeks at home in Vermont this is always a pretty busy time of year.  We are coming off a solid three week western training camp so it’s perfect to have a little down time at home before the season gets underway.  Most people know that I’m always stoked to take some time to visit with the local schools here in Vermont. Being from a rural area I think it’s so important for kids to know that no matter where they’re from they always have the opportunity to chase their dreams and do great things. That’s why I was super excited to partner with Union Mutual of Vermont this Fall to set up some school visits in the Montpelier area.    We started our Monday morning with a visit to the Union High School. I don’t do a ton of High school talks but I really enjoy connecting…

Introducing Sven Can See!!

With the start of the World Cup season just one month away it’s time for me to officially announce my new head-gear sponsor Sven Can See! I’m super stoked to be partnering with this new Boston based company and I’m excited to help introduce Sven Can See to the world.   So what is Sven Can See?? They have products that can be used on all types of eyewear from ski goggles and glasses, motorcycle and snowmobile shields, to water sports gear like scuba diving and swimming masks. Pretty much anything you want to see through clearly and prevent fogging in any condition.  They make a lens cleaner and an anti fog/ice gel that can be applied to the eyewear.  Perfect for those snowing, sleeting, or raining days on the xc race course.           So whats with the name?? The name Sven comes from the name of a…

Johansson Fest/ Park City

Since arriving out in Utah the past week has been incredible, filled with a lot of first time adventures and great training. Our final USST training camp of the off-season started on Tuesday but before we jumped into the hard training many of us traveled out to Utah early for a few nights of desert camping in Moab. The main reason for the trip was to hang out with and celebrate our long time wax tech Peter Johansson. Peter is stepping down from his head wax tech position this season after a serious long haul with the team. Peter has been with the US Ski team for almost 10 years and has been a driving force behind bringing the team to where we are today.   As the results of the US skiers began to improve on the World Cup the professionalism of the staff also stepped up each year lead…

Fallin’ and ski ballin’

There’s no denying it that Autumn is the best time of year to be training around New England. For the past week the Stratton team has been together getting in one last big team week of training around SMS before our next US Ski Team camp out West. For many of us this will be the last time we have the whole team training together in Vermont before the season starts, so we wanted to take advantage of this time with some epic training and fun Fall adventures. Although the leaves are late to change this year it still takes you by surprise how great some of the back road colors are. One of our favorite Fall workouts of the year is our annual ski-run combo at Little Rock Pond. It’s always a fun point to point workouts followed by a chili and corn bread lunch at Sverre’s house.  …

Join The Club! Get the Gear!

Today is the official opening of the Andy Newell Fan club on RallyMe! What is the Andy Newell Fan Club? It’s a cool way for me to connect with ski fans from around the world. In my ski career I’ve always had     two goals: 1.) Win an Olympic Medal 2.) Encourage more Americans to ski by showing everyone how fun and exciting it is! By Supporting the Andy Newell Fan Club you are helping support my journey in accomplishing these two things! Most of all think it would be super cool to see a lot of fan club gear at this season’s World Cup races in Canada! Here’s how to join:  go here: https://ussa.rallyme.com/rallies/2159 To the Andy Newell Fan Club page on USSA’s RallyMe. On this page you can get more info about the club and also sign up for the Fan Club Package: For the Fan Club Package…

From LP back to VT

Lake Placid camp can kind of have the reputation of being a bit of a ‘soggy boot fest’ so to speak. Rows upon rows of stanky nordie boots lining the hallways of the Olympic Training Center. However this year we saw none of that and really lucked out with some great training conditions for our 1 week intensity camp. We started things off on the right foot with a double intensity day and back to back L3 and L4 intervals. We tried to do the L3 skiing on more flat terrain to practice a high speed distance pace which made for some fun drafting and fun pace-line style intervals. With just a few hours to recover in-between we headed out that afternoon to do some L4 all double pole gradual uphill intervals. 3 minute double pole intervals are becoming one of my favorite workouts and this summer especially I’ve been…

Bring on the Intensity

With 3 days of hard rollerski racing in Norway and now that the first week of September upon us it’s officially time to bring the intensity. For most elite level skiers the beginning of September marks the start of more interval training and a drop in hours. In a way it’s time to stop worrying about getting in the big long workouts and start thinking about how to ski fast with much more speed and short interval training on the schedule. Here at SMS the entire team is back together for the next 2 weeks of training before we head up to Lake Placid USST camp, one of the more interval-heavy camps of the season.  In the meantime we have been using our days here at Stratton to get some hammering in, including three interval sessions this past week. I started off the week with some hard L4 double polling…

Trondheim Video

Made it back home to Vermont yesterday after spending one more hot sunny day around Trondheim getting in some training and recovering from the 3 days of racing. Toppidrettsveka was one of the most fun training camps we’ve ever had mostly because of the high paced high intensity roller skiing. If you haven’t had a chance to check out any footage from the last stage in Trondheim I believe is still available to watch online here:   https://tv.nrk.no/serie/toppidrettsveka/MSPO42030315/22-08-2015 For the next week I’ll be settling back into training here at Stratton, Stay tuned for updates!