Wednesday, February 25, 2015

24 hours

Scenes from the day:
The RMISA coaches pitched in with shovels to get the race course ready for racing.
Kathi.  And Moose. On the race course.


Think this job isn't stressful?
Manon.  Her best college result yet...
Kathi.  Her best college result yet...
Mackenzie.
Hanna.
Hanna again.
Pati.
Smiley.
Mario.
Clement.
Davis.
After today's ski race, I rode my bike to the airport and caught a flight to Kodiak Island. There's clearly not much snow in Anchorage.
The Chugach Range behind Anchorage.
Harding Icefield.

Descending into Kodiak.  Hey, it looks like there might be surfing after work this evening...!
...nope. No waves at the surfing beach.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Random Hillside Scenes

When I make a video, you pretty much know what what you're going to get: a video that's not good.

Bob Arnold also makes videos. But his videos are different than mine; his are good. He made two videos today, and he put them into the series of tubes so that we all can watch them and have fond memories of our day of racing at Hillside today. If you were to click on the two photos below, you would see them for yourself:



I will say one negative thing about this video though:  It's too bad Bob didn't catch Lucky's crash (at 3:21) until he was getting underway again, because it was a pretty good one. It was definitely worthy of submission to one of the finest websites currently on the World Wide Web - of course I'm talking about this one.
If you're not big on videos, here are some photos:
Wildcard.  Warming up.
Pati
Hanna
Kathi
Manon
Mackenzie
Andrew, Sara, and Zach. Strategy session.
I know you think college ski coaching is all about the glamour, the walks on the red carpet, and the paparazzi. And mostly it is. But there's also some hard work that goes on behind the scenes. For example, after our skiers get done racing, who's going to load them off the ski trails if not the coaches? Here's Andrew and Sara lugging a load of athletes back to the van.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

For Those About To Race

Here's a preview of Tuesday's 3.3km race loop that will be used for our RMISA races at Kincaid Park. As this winter's weather has been the worst in Alaska history, there's not much snow on most of the trails. But we do have good racing conditions on the loop where artificial snow has been made by the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage.

If you watch close at 3:45, you may catch a glimpse of this week's RMISA technical delegate Lin Hinderman yelling at me for going the wrong way on the high school race course she was preparing. Good to see Lin's on the ball and keeping things in order.

I know exactly what you're thinking right now: "But Adam, why didn't you make a video of tomorrow's (Monday) race course at Hillside?!"

I have a good reason and here it is:  I tried today to make the kind of video you're describing. But I'm a gopro amateur. Instead of pushing the button on the top of the camera that makes it record, I pushed the button on the front of the camera that turns it off. Then I hauled my out-of-shape self as fast as I could, all the way around that trail and didn't figure out until afterward that I hadn't recorded anything.




Thursday, February 19, 2015

Oosik!

I don't want us to get ahead of ourselves here. We have the four biggest, most important RMISA races of the year coming up this week. It's definitely too early to start thinking about the Oosik already. You're not supposed to start thinking about and planning for the Oosik until all the serious stuff is over. But an hour-long call-in radio show took place yesterday on KTNA radio in Talkeetna, and if you're interested in hearing all the dirty little secrets and behind-the-scenes details about the Oosik Classic Ski Race then you're going to want to make yourself some popcorn, settle deep into your favorite couch, and hear one of my biggest role models, Arthur Mannix, wax poetic about Talkeetna's annual celebration of spring skiing: KTNA Oosik Classic Radio Show Starring Bill, Adam and Arthur! 


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Meet the Press

As a regular UAA Ski Team Blog reader, I'm sure you've noticed that there hasn't been so much action on this blog lately, and I'm sorry for that. I've been off traveling in the (far) east and the team has been off racing in the south, and frankly I haven't had a chance to see much of the team lately. But that's all about to change because we're now getting into the heart of the ski racing season.  It's getting to be Championship time and things are about to get real busy around here.

Next week, UAA hosts four RMISA races here in Anchorage, including the RMISA Championships. And just a week later we travel to New York for the NCAA Championships in Lake Placid. The coaches are scrambling to do double-duty as race directors and ski coaches, and our skiers are working to make sure they're in championship form as we come into the most important period of the season.

Today, Sara and Clement got together with the news media for a press conference regarding our upcoming races and it went a little something like this:



Two different photos, two different people, two different links. Click 'em both for the maximum blog experience!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Signs of Winter

On Sunday, D and I went skiing at Alyeska. It was fine I guess. But when I go skiing I like it best if there's a lot of snow on the ground. The more snow the better, I figure. It's kind of a weird thing about me. You're probably not like that.
Not a lot of snow in the Chugach.
There's less snow in this photo than there appears to be.
Alyeska didn't have much snow. We hit some little rocks now and then, some pebbles, some gravel. At the end of the day I was left unsatisfied.  I wanted more. Wasn't there someplace I could go where the snow is heaping high? Where it snows most every day - all day? I remembered hearing about a place like that somewhere along the line. It was called Japan.

So I bought a plane ticket and flew across the Pacific Ocean the next day without asking permission from coaches Andrew and Sara, and I hope I'm not in too much trouble for missing practice this week.

The locals tell me this is the first day in the past three weeks when it hasn't been puking down snow all day long.
The Japanese have better road signs than we have in America.
I'm trying real hard to follow directions, but it isn't always easy.

I hooked up with some Kiwis for a morning in the trees.
There were many good options.
Trust me, I always let the staff know when I get on the gondola. 
From what I can tell, Japanese breweries are not using NASCAR or the NFL to promote their beer.
These are the kinds of dodgy places I stay when I travel. ("dodgy" is a word I learned from my new Kiwi ski friends.)
A few years ago, I bought a car with about a hundred horsepower and a heated seat. It feels pretty special to sit in such a high-tech machine. But my blue car would get its ass kicked by any Japanese toilet. Not only does it have a heated seat, but it's got an array of other fun functions on the control panel to the left. And this toilet's got a remote. As far as I can figure, you could use the toilet remote to time your deuce. Perfect for competitive people like you and me! This is next level shit (so to speak).

Monday, February 2, 2015

Red River

The entire staff, management, interns, board of directors and shareholders of the UAA Nordic Ski Team Blog LLC, Inc would like to congratulate Clement Molliet on his first RMISA podium this past weekend in New Mexico. May this be the fist of many!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

As It Happens

About a year ago, Alaska Public Radio started airing an evening news program called "As It Happens". As It Happens happens to come on the air right about the time you'd like to hear the evening news. All of the stories covered on As It Happens have one common thread: none of the stories have anything to do with anything that anyone would consider interesting. It wouldn't be so bad if the show aired at one o'clock in the afternoon when everyone's busy doing important mid-day-stuff, or at three o'clock in the morning when most people are asleep, but this CBC (Canadian) show, with it's wacky Canadian accents, comes on right at the time when most right-thinking people are driving home from an evening ski workout at Kincaid Park. As D asks, "Why do we have Canadians doing the news on our Alaska Public Radio station anyway?!"

This edition of the UAA Ski Team Blog is a news roundup, sort of like "As It Happens", with one important difference: You actually care about the people I'm about to write about here.

Lasse Moelgaard-Nielsen has left skiing behind to focus all his energy on becoming an elite Copenhagen lawyer ...or so we thought.  Lasse was spotted in Liechtenstein this week coaching the Danish team at the European Youth Olympic Games.  And that's not all; rumor has it that he'll be a ski serviceman at the World Championships in Falun in a few weeks. Face it Lasse, ski racers and coaches get to wear red spandex all the time while lawyers are restricted to the occasional red bowtie.  It's not too late to change your career track!


Steffi and Karl Schauer are going to have a baby in May!  Steffi is now the director and head coach for the Partenkirchen junior ski team, while Karl is studying in Innsbruck to be a school teacher. Congratulations to the Schauer family!
Nice lid, Steffi!

Meanwhile in Sweden, Viktor continues his gradual, steady climb up the ranks in the Swedish ski racing scene.  He finished eleventh yesterday at the 30km skiathlon at the Swedish Championships, and first in the under-23 class. Viktor's steady progress toward the Swedish national team continues...
I don't know about you, but I see an uncanny resemblance between Viktor Brännmark and...

Spongebob Squarepants!

And Kjetil Hagtvedt Dammen has apparently recovered from his horrific rollerski accident last August, as he's back on the full schedule for Team Leaseplan Go.  He finished 27th in the Marcialonga this past weekend. Not bad, especially considering his injuries pretty much kept him from training all fall. Good luck in Vasa'n, Kjetil!
Pick a winner, Kjetil!
This must be some kind of inside joke - all the sponsor names are written backwards.

And finally, though we don't have a ton of snow around here in Anchorage, we have gotten enough so the skiing isn't half-bad at Kincaid Park. Here's what the ski stadium looked like this morning: