Super Tourrific

Today I did some intervals at Auburn Ski Club, the host of the Supertour Finals sprint. They, as always, did an awesome grooming the course, which has some solid climbs in the back half. Unless the snow is literally bullet-proof no one will do that silly double-poling on skate skis thing.

Here’s a photo of me with my younger brother Riley, a huger baller ski racer at Bowdoin College, who came out for a taste of California skiing on spring break. He almost didn’t leave…

 

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Things I love about skiing…

I a few days ago I taught an 8 year old girl who had never skied before how to ski. The interesting part was that she didn’t speak English. It was a super fun challenge. I did lots of exaggerated demonstrations, and it made me realize how universal skiing can be.

Last weekend Wyatt and I, along with a solid group of junior skiers went and raced the Bjornloppet races in Bear Valley. The cross country community there, though small, is very strong and extraordinarily welcoming. They put all of us Far West’ers up in an apartment basically on the Nordic ski trails (I could actually jump from the front steps on to a groomed trail). The races were a ton of fun. I had a career first by double poling a classic distance race on skate skis. It was hard but definitely the right call for me. Plus it made me feel like some silly Norwegian skier who won the classic sprint World Cup Wednesday on skate skis.

After the races Wyatt and I did what we could to give back and skied played games with the Bear Valley Strider Gliders, a program that gets young kids on snow and having fun on skis. Everyone had a bunch of fun and it was super rewarding to see how excited the kids were about skiing.

It has also been great to see fast skiers start to trickle in for Supertour Finals. We’ve got some snow in the forecast and I hope to see you all at the races.

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Some happy farmers

 

The Great Ski Race

If anyone ever asks me what the Great Race is like, other then saying “It’s a great race” I’ll have to say its business in the front and a party in the back. This was my first time doing the race and I had a ton of fun. I was fortunate to have some of the fastest skis in the race. So fast in fact I went from being 3 minutes of the lead group, of Brian Gregg and farmer Wyatt Fereday at the top of the climb (11km), to winning the race by almost a minute at 22km. I ended up second behind Brian Gregg who caught me in the last two km partly because my skis weren’t quite as awesome in the last part of the race and partly because Brian is a darn good skier. Afterwards we all enjoyed the finish and watching other races come down the finishing hill. I think I saw everyone I’ve ever met in the Tahoe nordic community at the finish today, pretty awesome so many people came out to ski.
While skis will never completely make or break a race, the skis I had for the Great Ski Race helped out a bunch and I owe significant thanks to those who helped me not only have fast skis but also develop as a skier. All the Far West coaches, especially Martin Benes for waxing my skis and teaching me how to go fast. Madshus (I ski on their skis, boots, and poles) for all their support giving me the tools to ski fast. Also Roger Cheney, the local Rossi rep, last minute structured my skis and is a huge supporter of Far West Nordic and the Farm Team.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vro1i2z0jb0&feature=youtu.be&t=3m25s

Road(Race) Trip

Beth and I (with Wyatt partially in tow) are just wrapping up a epic racing road trip and figured a recap was in order.

First off the three of us raced the Boulder Mountain Tour (BMT, not to be confused with the sandwich) in Sun Valley last weekend. If you haven’t raced the BMT race yet put in on the list of ones to do. A fast net elevation loss course combined with a ton off pack skiing and drafting is a blast, especially if you have fast skis and wily tactics. Beth finished 6th, with wyatt and myself 25th and 22nd. We owe a big thanks to the Fereday family for hosting us for those races.

After convincing another Tahoe skier from the BMT to give Wyatt a lift home (he doesn’t take up that much room) Beth and I headed off to Vail for some SuperDuperTour action. We were generously hosted by Gus’s parents in SLC, which broke up the drive quite nicely. Once in Vail we were able to stay with the Woods’ family, if you haven’t already noticed a theme of great generosity we have been very fortunate.

We raced the Teva Mountain games a 10km Nordic Freestyle on Friday, which despite not being a supertour brought out a very competitive field due to a hefty amount of prize money. Unfortunately the race didn’t go quite so well for either of us, but I did get to ski in a pack almost exclusively made up of men ranked in the top 10 of the supertour points standing for a few kilometers. While doing this I probably (well almost certainly) was going too fast, it was awesome and I can’t wait to ski a whole race with them. (photo by Fasterskier: Vail does have some nice mountains)

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The Supertour races were in Aspen, a bit of a drive from Vail so we were able to stay with some of Team Homegrown in a very nice house they got to crash at. If you didn’t already know the Vail team does an amazing job networking, rallying support, and generally getting hooked up i.e. private jets, crashing in some very nice second homes, oh and their ski academy has their own stone grinding machine. There is a fair amount to be learned from how well they have been able to win some amazing support from the community. The Vail coaches were amazing and took care of all of our waxing giving us great skis for the Teva games and Supertours. Saturday I had a 10km classic featuring a lot of early hills in the 5km loop. Focusing primarily on pacing paid off well for me and I was able to pick up the pace on the second lap finishing strong to pick up some more places. The women raced a 5km and Beth finish 7th just seconds out of the prize money.

Sunday was the Owl Creek Chase a 22km point to point supertour from Snowmass to Aspen. This was easily the toughest ~20km course I have ever skied with some long grinding climbs. After racing two 10 km races the two consecutive days before I was pretty tired to start the race but ground my way through. Beth, feeling a bit run down, toured the race with a bib on, much to the jealously of some other racers. For a difficult course it was still a bunch of fun with some awesome mountains, a couple long downhills, some fun S-turns, and an narrow bridge spanning a canyon. We owe a huge thanks to the Vail coaches and skiers who took care of us like their own and they take very good care of each other.

Today we drove back to SLC and are spending the night in Alta, which means some highly anticipated hot tubs and more awesome mountains. Below is a map of the route we took, I can now say that I’ve traveled around the West a fair amount.

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Life’s Good As A Farmer!

Life has been good to the Far West Farm team over the last few weeks. On top of some sunny warm weather and a lot of km’s to ski, there has been some great local racing to be head. Two back to back podium sweeps in the Skogsloppet and Tahoe Rim Tour on the men’s side and Farmer Holly running away with the victories both races for the women.

Here is Holly, myself, Gus, and Wyatt enjoying some sun and chili post-Skogsloppet.


Coming up are some exciting races with a group of Farmers heading to the Boulder Mountain Tour this weekend. Then Beth and I will head to Aspen the following weekend for some high altitude Supertour action.
Other notable news: If you have been looking at the top results in Eastern College racing you may recognize some familiar names. A bunch of the collegiate skiers who trained with Far West last summer have been posting some impressive results, a testament to the program, coaches and nordic community here.

U.S. Nationals

This was the first year I have done all the races at Nationals. In years past I have only done the distance races. While the sprints are short and I didn’t make any heats to go on to, they are still quite tiring. By the end of the week of racing my body was very tired. I found myself almost constantly eating to replenish what I was spending during races. Pictured here is Martin helping my “supersize” my post race lunch after the 15km skate to get ready for the 30km classic mass start.

 

Racing wise, I placed a bit better then I had at nationals in years past. The significant increase in training I put in this summer and fall is going to take a while to sink in and I know I have some great races to come this season. I will just have to be patient and keep skiing.

Did You Know?

The 2nd ever World Cup sprint race was in 1993 in Strbske Pleso, Slovakia and featured some of the best prizes I’ve ever heard of in a World Cup.

Pictured below, is the first prize for men, a car which was immediately sold to the Swiss women’s coach, and the second place women’s prize, a fur coat. Then 21 year old, Thomas Alsgaard won a license to hunt bear in the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia for 2nd place. Vegard Ulvang won a live pig as an honorable mention for 4th place. The pig was later butchered and smoked for him and the rest of the Norwegian national team during the 1994 Olympics at Lillehammer.

 

Also I’ve become a fan of Thomas Zipfel’s Cross Country skiing cartoons which you can find at: http://www.fiscrosscountry.com/fan-stuff/thomas-zipfel-cartoons.html

Here is one about the upcoming Tour de Ski, STARTING IN 2 DAYS!!