For the past 24 hours, my job as "assistant to the assistant coach" has largely been comprised of airport taxi-driving duties. I drove down to the city last night to pick up Cara and again this afternoon to pick up Karina. Cara had an uneventful trip down from her home in Smithers, British Columbia, but Karina's trip didn't go so well. Karina was actually supposed to show up here last night, but the fine folks at the US Customs and Immigration desk in Chicago had different ideas. After more than three hours of dealing with their understaffed staff and then dealing with underinformed airline staff, she missed her connecting flight to Utah, had to stay overnight in Chicago and ended up stretching her 18 hour trip to 34 hours. But they're both here now and we're finally a complete team!
At least Karina's trip went better than that of Reini Neuhauser, an alpine skier who skied for us a few years back. Reini flew back to Alaska from Austria a few years ago, was stopped by US Customs, interrogated overnight (with the bright lights, good cop/bad cop routine, the threats, and all that other crazy stuff you see on TV), then thrown in jail for a couple days and finally was told to buy himself a plane ticket back home to Austria and try again. (By the way, Reini had done nothing wrong.) Alaska's congressional delegation got involved with an investigation into the incident, and I guess everything worked out, because Reini came back, got married, lives in Fairbanks and owns a fishing guide company. So at least Karina can be happy that she didn't end up like Reini!
Tomorrow we ski our first "college-style" race here in Utah. It's a 10k for the women, who ski at 10AM, and then a 15k for the men at noon. You can probably get start lists and results, etc at http://summittiming.com/races/race_results.php