Global warming is one serious pain in the butt! We are in-between Supertour weekends here on the East Coast. I’m inside drying out after doing intervals in heavy rain. The paddocks and fields are green and brown dotted with the odd patch of white. The snowstorm that battered parts of the east coast never came north to Vermont or the upper half of New York State where things are desperate.
So far this year I’ve only raced on two courses that have been natural snow, all the other courses have man made. Strips of white through green and brown forests.
On the 26th I flew down to Vermont from Alaska and hired a rental car. After 13 hours of travel I wasn’t super psyched to drive but I managed to find my way to New York State and a good friend’s house. An old friend of mine whom I knew from back in the Lake Tahoe days and who also skied with Lauren during college.
The McClellands were extremely accommodating and lovely and I had a blast catching up with them and hanging out. There amazing home is built in a cool little valley beside a stream in the Keene Valley.
From their place it was just a 20 minute drive to Lake Placid where we were racing that weekend. We were meant to race at a different location near Placid but due to minimal snow it was shifted to the “jumping hill” venue. The course was all man made and a very basic 2.5km loop with a few cut-offs for the sprint.
Basically the course was one giant long climb out of the stadium to the top of the course and then a series of turns before a bombing downhill back to the stadium. Very basic but in many ways more challenging because of its simplistic design finding those extra seconds and skiing each section fast just made it all the more important.
I was really eager for these races. I’ve felt like my training in Alaska has been really good recently and so I was looking forward to the challenge!
I was working with Justin Beckwith for wax support and he did an outstanding job. JB used to wax for the US World Cup team so I had the best skis I could have asked for.
Saturday was a skate sprint and I had a really solid day. I skied everything really well bar the first section where I “spun the wheels” a little and didn’t really ski well. In the end that cost me and I didn’t make it to the heats. I was just a second or so out of the top 30 and definitely a little disappointed!
Sunday was 10km classic and I was determined to have a good race. I started hard and on the first lap came through in 9th. Because the lap was so short many of the first and fastest starters were constantly lapping through and finishing. I managed to get on the back of David Norris, one of the boys from APU, and I skied with him for my second lap up the climb. However I chose to ski directly behind Dave hoping to get pulled along but I found myself skiing frantically and scrambling a lot. David skis quite differently to me, and trying to be in sync with his stride just made me ski terribly. He pulled away and as I came into the third lap I resettled and found my own form again. I finished well, perhaps not quite as hard as I wanted but I ended up in the top 20. It’s the first time this season and I beat quite a few big names which I was stoked about. David actually went on to win the race by a massive 45 seconds. The biggest winning margin in a Supertour this season.
On Monday I left New York State and drove across to Vermont where the next set of races are to be held. Justin was kind enough to let me stay with him and his wife Brie. I’ve had some great sessions, skiing all around the area in the little cross country venues but things here are really grim and we have been battered by warm weather. A call today is being made on the races and I hope they find a way to pull them off because I feel like I have some unfinished business!
Train hard, rest easy, live for the moment.