Monday, March 28, 2016

End of Winter

And just like that, our season is over! The last month has been a whirlwind between the Ski Tour of Canada, a short break at home, and Spring Series. Even though the races themselves weren't everything I hoped for, there have been a lot of positive takeaways from the last month. The World Cup races in Canada were some of the coolest events I've ever been to. We experienced mid-winter conditions for the first time this year, tons of friends and family members were lining the courses cheering for us, and we had a handful of U.S. skiers having their personal best results, racing their first World Cups, and scoring their first World Cup points. It was an exciting couple of weeks to be an American ski racer. I had a bit of bad luck getting tripped up in the first sprint race and then coming down with a persistent cold on the third day of racing. I raced through it for a few days before dropping out of the tour a couple days early. It wasn't the tour I wanted to have, but sometimes sh#@ happens, and hey, life goes on anyway (I'm beginning to sound like my dad)! We raced four times in three different cities in eastern Canada (Gatineau, Montreal, and Quebec City) before heading out west for the final four races in Canmore. I'll let the pictures do the talking!
Opening ceremonies for the Canadian Ski Tour (John Lazenby photo)

Fun to have my little brother, Austin, on the road with us as a wax tech for a couple weeks

Simi and Jessie with a pair of 3rd places in the Gatineau sprint. This is the first time a U.S. man and woman have ever been on the podium on the same day! (John Lazenby photo)

Jess, Annie, and me. These were Annie's first World Cups and she skied like a champ. It was fun to have some new energy on the World Cup circuit and even more fun that it was one of my best buds!
My 88 year old grandmother, Twinkle, came to all five races in eastern Canada. What a trooper!

US flags lining the trail everywhere

Spending time with best friends between races in Quebec City

Mom in Quebec!

Hugs from teammates after the good and the bad (flying point photo)

Quebec City sprint Qualifier (Reese Brown/SIA Nordic photo)

Classic 10k in Montreal (Reese Brown/SIA Nordic photo)
Getting some last minute words of wisdom and love from my dad in Quebec City (Kate Boobar photo)

Cheesing with Uncle Tim in Quebec (Kate Boobar photo)
My cousin, Anya, surprised me in Canmore and came with lots of hugs and kisses

After dropping out of the Tour, I tried to get out to enjoy the beautiful Canmore scenery

Mountains in Canmore

Cousins going for a ski

Enjoying some american burgers and fries with Anya, Dakota, and Liz
After coming home from Canmore, I had about a week at home before Spring Series in Craftsbury, Vermont. I was still coughing quite a bit, so I mostly rested and tried to get healthy for the final races of the season. The races at Spring Series were a 10k skate, classic sprint, club relay, and 30k classic. It's always fun reuniting with my club team, SMS T2, and it was nice to finish the season in Vermont. Craftsbury did an incredible job of providing us with world class courses despite the lack of snow and mud season that the East is currently experiencing. Spring Series can be a funny week of racing. Almost everyone is tired and some people can still dig up the last bit of energy they have to pull out some great races while others are running on fumes. Unfortunately, I mostly experienced the latter, but it was still a great opportunity to be reunited with so many U.S. skiers for a fun week of racing. We finished the week off with a 30k classic which was twice as long as any race I've done in the last two years. It's always satisfying to end the season with a long race like that and now I'm ready for a nice break!
Hike with my sister, Isabel

Dash for Cash sprints in Craftsbury

Hanging with Jessie and Annie

Birthday serenade on the sprint podium (Reese Brown photo)

SMS T2 relay teams! (Reese Brown photo)

Getting tagged off by Sim in the relay (Reese Brown photo)

Soaking up the sun with teammates
Grandpa and his girls doing some trailside cheering for the 50k

Happy to be finished with a long race and a long season! (Reese Brown photo)

And made it back in time for Easter dinner with Twink!
Thank you so much for following my season. This year was more than I ever imagined it could be and I'm already looking forward to next year. But first, it's time to say goodbye to the skinny skis and roller skis for the month of April. Happy spring!