About Spencer Eusden

Spencer returns to the Elite Team for his second year. Orignially from Maine, and a graduate of Bowdoin College, Spencer was part of the inaugural summer college program and returned to California after graduation. Last year he put in a big volume push and looks to build of off that results-wise this year. Top results from last year were 2nd place at The Great Ski Race, 11th Aspen SuperTour, 22nd Boulder Mountain Tour, and 21st in the SuperTour Finals Prologue.

Fundraising Dinner Saturday

The Far West XC Elite Team is putting on a delicious fundraising dinner at TXC this Saturday. See the details here. http://farwestnordic.org/fwnsea/elite-team-dinner/

Please come out and support the Elite Team by letting us serve you a delicious meal.

Alaska

Pat and I are in Anchorage Alaska for Supertour Finals. We had a 15km Skate race Saturday and I did the Classic Sprint Sunday. Today we skied out across a lake to a glacier on one of the most scenic skis I’ve ever been on. The sprint went fairly well although I’ve now been 32nd in the last 3 Supertour sprints I’ve entered in (the top 30 qualifiers move on to heats). Even though its tough to be so close but not make it to the heats, I’m pretty excited on how much I have improved in sprinting this year. Tomorrow is a team relay, which we don’t have enough people for so Patrick is joining mixed club team. Race Schedule and results are here: http://anchorage2014.com/

 

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West Yellowstone Rendezvous

(Scroll through slowly while listening to this music www.youtube.com/watch?v=yptp1yCCRWk)

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Episode VI

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RETURN OF THE JOHNSON

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A long time ago in a race far far away….

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Patrick Johnson has returned to his home range of Hoth West Yellowstone in an attempt to rescue his friends Spencer and Wyatt from the vile bedbug hoards of Western Montana.

Little does Pat know that the RENDEZVOUS EMPIRE has begun construction on race course warmer and faster than ever before.

When completed, this ultimate weapon will spell certain doom for the small band heros, known as the Far West Elite Team, struggling to restore freedom to the galaxy…

 

 

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If you haven’t already guessed the West Yellowstone Rendezvous race was star wars themed this year. Patrick, Wyatt, and myself made the trek out to Montana for what ended up being an awesome race. Patrick, after winning the race last year, got his name on the appropriately designed event shirt. Apparently the force is strong with people named Patrick.IMG_0405

 

Conditions looked like they might be about as balmy as the forest moon of Endor, but the groomers worked their magic and the sun was shaded by the deflector shield making for a wicked fast 50km. Patrick broke the course record, at just under 2 hours, while I was just a couple minutes behind in 3rd place with Wyatt just behind me in 4th. Our skis were faster than Proton Torpedos with Toko Jetstream Red Powder and Toko Jestream Blue Bloc on top. We owe a huge thanks to all the volunteers. I’ve never seen so many Jedi at a ski race before….

 

We will post race photos as soon as they make it out of the Dagobah System.

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Staying Warm

The Far West XC Elite Team owes a huge thank you to Silver Sage Sports Performance, Marmot, and Alpenglow Sports for providing us with team puffies this season. Ben Grasseschi put together the design to keep us looking sharp.

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These jackets are awesome. Last week we did a bit of “field testing” to see just how warm they were……they worked great….

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What happens on rest days?

 

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These kids are pretty good at managing a bunch of schoolwork and racing.

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Happy Holidays

In which

This holiday season I went to Maine to visit my family. In typical New England fashion, we got a half inch of ice the day I arrived. While this wasn’t the best for skiing, it was really pretty.

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Air travel with skis can be often a pain, this time was no exceptional. On arrival there was a hole I could fit my head through in the bottom of the ski bag. It was for good reason I left all my good skis at home in Truckee. Luckily my cat was more than happy to help me sew the bag back together. (While blue jeans are what you might typically sew up a ski bag with, mine now has pockets)

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On Saturday the local ski area had a fun biathlon race, which my brother and I participated in as both of our first ever biathlon races. The race was put on by a local biathlon club using air rifles and had some seriously stiff competition…. (the field for the 6km and 3km race)

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The race went great, so well I’m considering retiring. I hit all the targets, which the lead over my brother (who did not hit all his targets) and the win. The trail system here has one of the better ideas I’ve ever seen at a cross country ski area. At the high point of the trails was a “Snackbox”. It’s really a just mailbox filled with snacks and candy, but is quite delicious. I can think of a few cross country centers that should do something similar  in the Tahoe region.

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I will meet up with the rest of the Far West group in Soldier Hollow in a couple days and am excited to race at U.S. Senior Nationals.

Racing!

Today’s race was a tough one. First off it was debatable whether or not temperatures were warm enough to hold the race, which is -4F….

Maybe if we all huddle around the thermometer it might warm up enough to race.

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Despite ambiguous temperature legality, the crew at Bohart did a great job taking care of some very cold skiers and spending long hours outside themselves. Someone from the race crew checked me for frostbite mid-race today. As ridiculous as that is, I was impressed on how hard everyone was working to pull off the races.

 

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I still can’t quite feel some of my toes.

That being said we had some great skis thanks to Tim Whiton, former Bates skier and Bowdoin Coach. Who bravely stood around in  the cold waxing our skis.

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If Tim looks cold, that’s because he is.

The race itself went alright for me. I was glad to be back racing post-concussion, but have some catch up training to do before the next Supertours.

Live from Bozeman

Live feed from Bozeman

Today we tried to wax some skis in order to test waxes for the race Sunday, but it was so cold the iron wouldn’t turn on, which for reference happens around -12 F. We almost always do some intervals the day before a race, as this has been shown to boost performance. Although when the air is this cold, breathing hard can do some serious damage to your lungs. With a High of -10F today, we got a little creative to do a pre-race workout.

 

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Bozeman is colder

 

 

Patrick and I are here in Bozeman getting ready for the races this weekend and it’s really cold.

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We’re planning to do some harder level 4 intervals today and are going to wait until noon (when it’s hopefully warmest) so we don’t turn our lungs into icicles. Both of us will be racing the 15km Classic at Bohart Ranch Sunday.

With some extra down time, watching world cup races can be a lot of fun and great visualization for your skiing. This site (http://crosscountryski.us/) has all of the world cup races in their entirety you can watch for free.

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On Snow Again

Wednesday Patrick and I drove to West Yellowstone in search of some skiing. The drive was aggravatingly long (12 hours more or less straight). Despite eating on the road we were still able to eat relatively healthily, broccoli feels surprisingly kind of like an ice-cream cone in hand.

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On arrival we found that there was as much snow as we had hoped and put in a solid day of skiing Thursday. For those of you at home packing your bags, it’s definitely race ski conditions.

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This was especially exciting for me, since I have been sitting on the bench for the last 4 weeks with a concussion. As much as it was painfully boring to sit around for the last month without training, I’ve been amazed how supportive the nordic community has been in helping with my recovery. In particular, Nina Winans of the Center for Health & Sports Performance helped me put together a plan to get back to training. Today I skied for 3 hours, which doubled my total training hours for November, and felt great.