The 2013 Australian Winter

The Australian winter has been fairly short and sweet this year. So on that note I’ll try and keep my blog that way! No promises though!

Back before there was even any white stuff on the ground, we were off in Canberra at the AIS for our pre snow testing camp. I won’t bore you with the lab rat details, but I came away from the week feeling both excited and just a little bit tired! Excited because I’d finally got to the next level of the VO2max test and my body was responding and improving well. And oh so tired, because The Boss (World Cup Coach August Teague) had flown in for the winter from the US and straight away put all of us in our place, in the pain cave.

June Testing at the AIS with Finn and August. Running on the Vo2max. I managed set a new PB on this test which was great.
June testing at the AIS with Finn and August. Running on the Vo2max. I managed set a new PB on this test which was great.

Looking back at the winter, basically the day the Boss got here the training really just stepped up a lot and suddenly I was working super hard, which was just awesome! So I guess you get the point now, training was good, but hard. How was the racing you ask?

Fickle is probably the best one word answer I can give. As a whole, I raced really well and I was extremely happy with my increase in performance. However I definitely had some misfortunes. What still ended up being my best race for the season, I had a collision with a citizen who was skiing on the course. Its odd my best race involved the only crash I had for the year, but I guess up until that point I was skiing so well and comfortable I just look at that and take that from it. The rest of the season is a fairly white, wet blur as one of the wettest winters I can remember swept by.

10km Classic at Falls Creek for Nationals. Photo Credit Ben Grasseschi.
10km classic at Falls Creek for Nationals. Photo credit Ben Grasseschi.

The second round National championship races in Perisher were crazy with wild weather and new exciting courses. I managed to sneak into the A final of the classic sprint which was a lot fun and in the 10km the next day, stay on my feet as the winds picked up. Literally athletes were knocked to the ground on multiple occasions, the wind was so strong.

Podium at Perisher for the Sprints. Photo Credit. Lauren Fritz
Podium at Perisher for the sprints. Photo credit Lauren Fritz
The day of the 15km was shortened to 10km due to wind... Photo Credit. Lauren Fritz
The day of the 15km was shortened to 10km due to wind… Photo credit Lauren Fritz

We finally had perfect weather and snow for Australia’s World Loppet race. It was an amazing day with perfect grooming, clear skies and great organisation by the Hoppet committee and BNSC! I didn’t have the race I was hoping for, I missed the early break and thought I could ski myself on the front chasing pack. Instead I managed to drag three others up the leaders board, then slip down to 13th where I painfully sat for the rest of the race trying to recover from my first effort, which left me spent.

Coming through for my second lap of the Hoppet. Credit. Ash Spittle
Coming through for my second lap of the Hoppet. Photo credit Ash Spittle
Start of the Hoppet. Photo Credit. Ash Spittle
Start of the Hoppet. Photo credit Ash Spittle
Hoppet Start, to my left the Boss and to my right Mark Raymond. Photo Credit. Lauren Fritz
Hoppet Start, to my left the Boss and to my right Mark Raymond. Photo credit Lauren Fritz
Hoppet Start. Photo Credit. Lauren Fritz
Hoppet Start. Photo credit Lauren Fritz

I truly need to thank a lot of people for this season.

Firstly, to the Boss who flies out to Australia every year putting his life back home in California on hold, as he works with us tirelessly. The rest of the Australian team staff, Finn, Allison and JC who have all helped to make sure 2013/14 will be one of the best yet.

Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club always needs to be thanked. Every year they organise amazing races and the senior and junior coaching programs. Not to mention they support me every year getting overseas, so I have a chance to race internationally! In my completely biased opinion, best ski club in Australia!

Innovative Practical Marketing Australia, once again thank you for your ongoing interest and support in me! It means a lot!

Feathertop Winery, for helping me to put together some awesome fundraisers!

The University of Ballarat, for your ongoing support and patience as I continue to study and chase my dreams at the same time.

A huge “thank you” to all!

For now I’ll let photos from this winter do the rest of the talking.

Loving the sun. Photo Credit. Lauren Fritz
Loving the sun. Photo credit Lauren Fritz
Sunset on the Mountains Photo Credit. Lauren Fritz
Sunset on the mountains Photo credit Lauren Fritz
Callum and I training at Falls Creek. Photo Credit. August Teague.
Callum and I training at Falls Creek. Photo credit August Teague.
Mum and I out Skiing together.
Mum and I out skiing together.
Lauren and I at the end of the Hoppet. Photo Credit. Lauren Fritz
Lauren and I at the end of the Hoppet. Photo credit Lauren Fritz

Finally the 2013 winter had a very sad ending for me, I had to say good-bye to a very good friend of mine who suddenly passed away. For many years he was one of my greatest supporters in skiing and I’ll miss him dearly.

So many great memories.

Train hard. Rest easy. Live for the moment.

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