Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Series in Photos

The season is over! We just finished up a busy week of racing in Anchorage and I have to admit, Alaska was pretty perfect. Each day we had sun and bluebird skies with temperatures ranging from 15-35 degrees. The skiing was great and it was so much fun to be reunited with my SMS T2 teammates. The Packer family very generously allowed us all to stay in their home and it felt so good to be staying in a real house after spending the winter in hotels. We had four races while in Alaska. The first race was a 10k skate, the second race was a classic sprint, the 3rd was a club relay, and the final race was a 30k classic. My races went pretty well and my favorite part of the week was the new addition to the Spring Series format, the club relay! We all painted our faces and were really excited for the team event. The two SMS T2 teams placed 2nd and 4th and I was really happy to be part of a team that was not only so speedy, but that also gets along so well. As fun as this past week and the whole season was, I'm ready for a little break and happy to be heading back home and hanging up the skis for a bit! I have a ton of photos from last week, so I'll let the pictures do the talking. Thanks for following!

Alpine skiing at Alyeska our last day in town

I had my 24th Birthday and my teammates made it a very special day. When I finished my race, all the girls were waiting for me in costumes at the finish line and singing Happy Birthday and then when I got home, my SMS teammates had set up a trail of 24 Birthday cards for me!

Classic sprint final of USST ladies (Rob Whitney photo)

Men's 50km cheering squad/feed station

Birthday bash at the finish line

Eagle cry cheer after our sprint final

Annie, Simi, Ben, Jessie, Andy, and me cheering on Erika as she crosses the finish and brings her team to 4th place in the relay

Eric took us on an off day ski out to Portage Glacier. It was beautiful!

Tired legs post 30k

Jessie striding out in our new podiumwear suits!

Kik cooked up a delicious seafood feast for us one night!

Family dinners at the Packer house

And the view each evening

Annie P in the 10k skate

Classic sprint podium

Relay mustache

Relay mustache

Eight athletes and Coach Gus

Relay podium

Ski out to portage

Start of the 30km

We had a champ camp one day with a great turnout from the local kids. We skied and played games for an hour and then introduced ourselves and did A LOT of autograph signing

Pulling a train of my new best buds

Sadie leading a train down the hill

Jessie, Annie, and me attacking Erika at the finish of the relay

SMS team cheer


Trying to figure out what was happening after crossing the line on my Birthday

Birthday treats!

Relay mustaches

Annie and Erika about to head out on our ski

We spent a lot of time completing the daily puzzles in the newspaper each morning

Friday, March 21, 2014

World Cup Finals and Home!

A lot has happened since my last post! After Lahti we went to Norway for the city sprint in Drammen and the Holmenkollen. I love being in Norway and was happy to be back. The Drammen city sprint isn't something I've figured out quite yet. My strength is definitely skate sprinting and Drammen is a classic sprint, but for some reason it's an especially tough classic sprint for me. I didn't have a great day and didn't qualify in the top 30, so my day was over pretty quickly. My friend Marty Smith was in Norway visiting his sister, Brooke, who lives in Gjovik, Norway, so right after the sprint I hopped on a train to go visit them for a couple days. It was the perfect break and I got to spend a lot of time playing planes and trucks with Marty's two little nephews. I returned to Holmenkollen for the 30k over the weekend and that was a pretty incredible experience. I had never seen so many (drunk) fans lining the trails. Some of them camped all weekend to watch the races and they all had start lists and would cheer for you by name as long as you weren't skiing with a Norwegian.
Marty, Jacob, and Henrik

Holmenkollen stadium

My bib with a lot of spilled feeds on it
After the Holmenkollen, we loaded up a double decker bus and made the long drive to Falun, Sweden for World Cup Finals. World Cup Finals consists of a three day mini tour with the top 50 overall ranked skiers from the World Cup season. It's cool because you get a mix of sprinters and distance skiers and each person has start rights in every race! It was also neat because Falun is the venue for World Championships next year, so we got a sneak peak of the courses (which are awesome)! The first race of the mini tour was a classic sprint, the following day was a 15k mass start skiathlon, and the final day was a 10k skate pursuit. The highlight of my races was definitely the classic sprint. It ended up being my best classic sprint result ever AND I got to be in the final again with Kikkan. I ended up 6th place and Kik ended up 4th and after the sprint was over, we got to watch her receive her third straight crystal  sprint globe, meaning she was the best sprinter of the season!
Sadie on the double decker bus to Falun

Jessie and Andy hanging out at a rest area on the way. Looks like spring!

Kik, Sadie, and I went 1,2,3 in our quarterfinal! Unfortunately it wasn't fast enough for Sadie to move on as lucky loser, but it was a pretty cool feeling to be leading our heat with those two. (FIS/Nordic Focus photo)
Some Norwegian fans camped out on the race course at Falun

Ida doing a titanic pose off the Norwegian wax truck

We let some of the Norwegians and Steph, our massage therapist, get us all dolled up the last night

Our final cool down of the World Cup season - happy to be DONE!

Andy building a bridge across a mud pit in Falun

Kikkan sporting her Winner bib!
After World Cup finals, I got to go home for a few days before heading to Alaska for Spring Series. I had been counting down the days till home for awhile and was so excited to get back to the US. I got to see my family and my cats, went for a nice ski at Wild Wings, ate home cooked meals, slept in my own bed, AND Peru had a welcome home parade for me where I rode down Main Street in the firetruck :). It was so nice to see so many people from home and I still can't believe they did that all for me!
Peter, Isabel, me, and Susan Bradford

Grandpa, GRandma, and Twink!

A bunch of the local West River kids

John O.

Bill Koch gave a very nice talk and introduced me!

Dudley Rose sharing my Jessie Diggins water glass

The Peru banner
I only had two full days at home before flying out to Anchorage. I'm pretty exhausted at the moment, but I'm excited for the final races of the season and it's so nice to be reunited with all of my SMS T2 teammates. Racing starts tomorrow with a 10k skate. Thank you so much to the Packer family for putting us up in their beautiful home for the week!
The view from Eric's house is unbelievable 

The land of moose!