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!