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Wild Rumpus Sports

Ski Tour 2020!

*This blog post was written right after the tour but accidentally didn’t post it because the internet kept crashing in Germany.

The past few weeks have been filled with many firsts for me! I just finished the Ski Tour 2020, which consisted of 6 World Cup races in 9 days in both Sweden and Norway. Although this was similar to the Tour de Ski in terms of it being a tour, this tour was the first ever of its’ kind, including race formats and conditions that brought all sorts of new challenges and experiences.

I have always dreamed of finishing the Tour de Ski, so being able to race an entirely new tour and finish was such a fun experience. I am going to break it down stage by stage, since every race and stage comes with its’ own feelings, adventures, and laughs, and of course with photo documentation to capture the true feelings!

Stage 1: 10km Individual Skate—Östersund, Sweden

We were greeted with lots of sunshine the week leading into the tour. The first day brought perfect conditions for a fast and hard race. We all bathed in the stadium sun after training…the image below is really not staged, I swear!

Feelings: Energized by sunshine 🙂

Soaking up all the sun in the stadium.
Sunset run with my best buddies, Katharine and Hailey 🙂 

Stage 2: 10km Classic Pursuit—Östersund, Sweden

The amount of sunshine we had was overdue, so the weather changed to pouring rain and then to dumping snow 15 minutes before the race. This made for wild conditions during race time, and advantageous time of day results for those starting further back, which I took full advantage of, skiing to the 6th fastest time of day, my best ever World Cup distance result!

Feelings: Very wet and cold. The worse the weather, the better race I have it seems?

Trying to catch the snow on my tongue I guess? (PC: Nordic Focus)

Stage 3: Uphill Skate Sprint—Åre, Sweden

Two bus rides and a train ride later, we arrived in Åre to check out the uphill sprint course…and let’s just say we were all very surprised how BIG the hill was. The first of its’ kind, a point to point uphill sprint up an alpine mountain, featuring a banked turned, it was for sure something new to all of us. We embraced the pain and conquered the mountain (also our team cheer that day). Fun added bonus, in the heats we got driven down by electric skidoos. I poled my ski and face planted right out of the start of my quarterfinal, getting the rookie moves out of the way I guess….

Feelings: Ooooof, lactic acid flooded jello legs.

Skidoo outfits and flooded legs with Sadie
Looking up at the the climb. 
Cresting the top, completely flooded. 

Stage 4: Point to point 38km 34km Skate Mass Start—Storlien, Sweden to Meraker, Norway

Due to 50 mph winds in Storlien, the Sweden to Norway point-to-point race unfortunately got changed to a 34km out-and-back race on the second half of the planned course. We were all really excited for the point to point, the scenery is supposed to be absolutely incredible. the new course made for a grueling but scenic and unique long distance race in some windy (but less windy than otherwise would have been) conditions. This was probably one of the hardest races I have ever done, hovering around my redline for pretty much the entire race. I was happy to out sprint my pack at the end and end up 19th.

Feelings: Seeing stars in the last 1km, and deliriously tired for the hours following.

Ouch, 34km is hard! Decided I would just lay there for a while.
Alayna and Jessie taking a nap while we wait for the boys to join us to get on the train.

Stage 5: Classic Sprint—Trondheim, Norway

Another two bus rides and a train ride later, we arrived at our 4th destination of the tour, Trondheim, Norway. We had one off day to recover from the long, hard effort before switching our muscles to fast twitch again. The sprint course was really fun, with good hills and ripping downhills. Sophie, Jessie and I all qualified, but unfortunately all of our days ended with the quarterfinals, leaving us hoping for more. I was excited to qualify for the first time in a classic world cup sprint though!

Feelings: I found my second wind of the tour, with the tour giggles setting in hard.

Finding the fight with my second wind of the tour (PC: Nordic Focus).
Train ride games with my buddies.

Stage 6: Classic 15km Pursuit—Trondheim, Norway

It seemed the weather gods knew it was another classic day, delivering rain over night, switching to sunshine with a mix of random dumping snow spells. This made waxing super tricky for the last stage, and those who had good energy were able to still well and make the skis work, while others who were tired just fought their way to the end of the tour. I fought my way through a grueling last race, slipping 4 spots to 30th overall in the tour, hardest fought World Cup point thats for sure. It is safe to say, I am ready for some serious rest and recovery now after a big block of racing!

Feelings: Incoherent sentences, hungerrrr, zzzzzzzz.

Norwegian waffles coming in clutch post tour ❤

We have now all split our separate ways for the next two weeks. I headed to Oberwiesenthal, Germany for U23 World Championships with Hailey.