Saturday, January 5, 2013

Rocky Mountain Racing

Day after day, just the same.  Cold temperatures, easy waxing, consistent track conditions from first skier to last, and sunshine - lots of it.  We've got race two of three behind us now, with one more national championship race coming up tomorrow - 20km for women, 30km for men, 5km for junior women and 10km for junior men - all classic mass start.  The skiers went for an easy hour of skiing today to loosen up from yesterday and prepare for tomorrow, while the coaches did a little more ski testing for both glide and kick.  We've had good skis all week so far, but the waxing is easy enough that our own waxing decisions have probably been pretty similar or identical to the other wax technicians out there this week.

Yesterday, we were a little (a lot) more in our element than we were in the sprint race on Wednesday, and our results showed it.  Marine was thirteenth overall and she was the second RMISA college woman, while Lukas was 24th overall and the fifth best RMISA college skier.  We've been at altitude for about five days.  This is the toughest period of adaptation to altitude, in my opinion, and some of our skiers felt pretty heavy in the legs.  Not a surprise.  But we also had some really encouraging results, and we're feeling optimistic about the coming college racing season.  You can find results at

Erik Bjornsen stopped by this afternoon to join some of our team for an easy 40-minute run.  Erik was a member of the UAA Ski Team in 2011 before moving on to the US Ski Team, and he won yesterday's race - his first ever national championship victory.

In case you were wondering, dinners here are amazing.  Every night, a different athlete head chef and his/her sous-chefs create the best food I've eaten in a long time.  Every afternoon I wonder what kind of epicurean delight awaits at the evening's dinner table.  It's going to make me miss this team next week when they continue their journey around the rocky mountains for more racing and I'm back home in Alaska with my peanut butter sandwiches.

After a sunny, restful day today, we'll get the skis prepared tonight and we'll be ready for another go tomorrow. These mass-start races are exciting and I'm looking forward to screaming my lungs out at our skiers from the sidelines - while getting a suntan.

Team stretching the night before each race.

Outdoor ski waxing at our house.

Marine in action

Karina and Marine

Training on tomorrow's race course. That's the ski stadium in the background, and Heber Valley.

All of us

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