A wild wintery start.

So winter started wet, warm and slow. Pretty much describing me and my efforts with my pile of laundry from this weeks national team training camp. No one wants to be around that or likes it…

Classic bag explosion living with skiers...
No this is not my room… Classic bag explosion living with skiers…

May and early June weren’t looking too good at all for winter and snow. It seemed like I was going to be doing a whole lot more wet “dry land” training, running in the rain. Then around three weeks ago the Snow Gods decided it was time to do their own washing and get this wet, steamy winter into white fluffy awesomeness! So like a bag of training gear exploding, it’s been pretty much non-stop snowing since! It’s been amazing how quickly it has spun into winter. As we approach the 2 metre mark with snow falls, it’s been amazing training and living up top.

Always nice when you can't quite see your car after only leaving it for 2 hours to go train.
Always nice when you can’t quite see your car after only leaving it for 2 hours to go training.

However like the last few winters, the sun has been a fairly rare commodity with mainly snow or grey days. Still it’s been great to get back onto the skis and start living up on “the rock” again.

The lake frozen over.
The lake frozen over.
Enjoying a rare day of sunshine!
Enjoying a rare day of sunshine!

So far I’ve had two races, a quick dash for cash at Lake Mountain, which is always a laugh. They make a small but crazy loop that’s super twisty and turny and a lot of fun. I had an ok race there and came in 3rd. I was leading at the start but lost it on the first corner, spinning out.

Driving to Lake Mountain through some amazing forests.
Driving to Lake Mountain through some amazing forests.
Going head to head with Phil, Photo Credit Lake Mountain.
Going head to head with Phil, Photo Credit Lake Mountain.
Running in the Cathedral Ranges post sprint. Enjoying the view.
Running in the Cathedral Ranges post sprint. Enjoying the view.

The first real race came a week ago, the Birkie Classic. A ten-kilometer, mass start classic race at Falls Creek. Traditionally it’s always been a fairly brutal race for me and a bit of a disaster with equipment breaking or wax going wrong. However this year it seemed to go fairly well. Around 70 people started which was great to see, considering the weather wasn’t the best, with rain and snow showers blowing through.

Seeing as the Birkebeiner Classic is run by my awesome ski club, I thought I’d give a quick race report (thanks for running such a great event BNSC!).

The gun went and as always the masses surged forward, getting funneled into the tracks. I found myself at the front of the pack and set a comfortable pace for myself along the flats and into the first climb. Fellow teammate Phil Bellingham slotted in behind me and as we crested the top of the first hill we made a break from the rest of the main field and soloed off the front. For the rest of the lap I lead and for the entire second lap Phil lead, keeping the pace solid, but nothing crazy. We slowly opened up a comfortable time gap to the rest of the chasing racers. On the third lap Phil started to throw down some power and started to put on the speed, by the half way point in the third lap,I had slipped off the back of Phil and he slowly wedged the gap open during the fourth and final lap. It wasn’t an amazing race for me, but solid and something to really build and improve off! I’m really looking forward to testing myself a bit more in the up coming races and seeing if I can really get going.

Always exciting driving up to this!
Always exciting driving up to this!
Training in some amazing conditions at Falls.
Training in some amazing conditions at Falls.

I have also just finished up at the Australian team training camp, where it was great to work with coaches and train with some of the interstate athletes. This weekend we have another 10km race and the Interclub relays, which should be good! And for the record, it’s still snowing up top.

Intervals with Australian team. Coach Tom getting fired up in the background.
Intervals with the Australian team. Coach Tom getting fired up in the background.

As always.

Train hard, rest easy, live for the moment.

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