So I was hoping to write this a few days ago but it feels like I haven’t had much time to sit and write until now but in reality I’ve just been enjoying myself too much with the World Cup crews and our team.
So as usual I need to wind back the clocks a week. I arrived Sunday night, very late back into Canmore from Silverstar, flopping into bed at 1:00am. I crawled out the next morning after a small sleep-in and that’s when all the preparations for Saturdays sprint World Cup began. For the rest of the week everything was really focused on those 3 minutes of racing. In the past few races I will admit I have let nerves effect me too much so I know that the coaches were a little worried that race would eat me up before I even got to the start line. However between the boys quality words of wisdom and the coaches keeping me focused on the task at hand, I found I this race was probably the least stressful of the trip so far. I just new exactly what to expect and to be honest I was just excited to be racing a World Cup!
On Thursday I watched Callum race the 15km Classic Mass Start. This really helped me settle into the idea I was about to race. Cal had a really solid race, which also just created a sweet buzz in the team and a lot of positive energy which made Saturdays preparation a lot easier.
Saturday dawned clear but very cold, for the whole week it had been a reasonable -6 but on Saturday the mercury dropped to -12. Meaning that 3 minutes at 12 o’clock was going to hurt that much more!
The warm up went sweet and as I walked to the starting pen August met me there with my race skis and last few words of wisdom. To be honest out of my whole racing career I actually remember this race the least. There are only 4 points from start to finish that I can remember, for the rest of the whole race I was so focused on just skiing as hard as I possibly could I have no recollection at all.
Realistically on paper I didn’t have a great race coming 70th however I didn’t sign the list (come last) and I skied the course faster that I’d ever done it in practice. There is definitely a lot I need to do with my sprinting. For being such a big guy I really don’t use any of it to my advantage.
The next day was the 30km Ski-athlon and Callum again was the only Australian athlete representing and boy did he do it well! He skied a personal best result of 47th and at one point was looking like he’d crack the top 40 but sadly got out sprinted to the line by the pack he was skiing with!
Over this racing period the team has had an awesome shift and vibe. The whole team has either been producing PB’s or results that we haven’t seen in years so it’s really exciting to have progress and a step in the right direction! It’s a massive credit to the team’s coaching and management staff that this early on in the season the whole team is already stepping it up and pushing the bar even higher! A massive thank you to the whole crew!
The team has now split up again for a few weeks. August, Callum and I have driven the 23.5 hours back to California, Phillip and Esther are staying in Canada another week before flying to Europe and Finn has headed home for a month before heading back to Europe. For this Christmas period Callum and I are planning a massive training block before heading to US Nationals and then to Europe. Hopefully the good vibes and momentum we have got going continues!
The photos I have are all from the pre race the day before the World Cup. Photos are coming form the day but might take a little while.
Train hard, Rest easy, Live for the moment.