Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holdiays

I am spending today with my family and I hope that all of you are around people who you care about.  Enjoy the winter weather, or summer if you are in Australia.  My parents and I have created a maze of trails for my dog in our backyard, as the snow is too deep and tough for her to get through on her own, she does these sprints through our snow packed paths and puts on quite a show.  Anyway, pictures to come....Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Day off after two days of racing.  Our first sprint of the season was on Saturday and a 10K skate followed on Sunday.  It was great to be racing on a loop again, as West's out and back classic race and point to point skate race made it difficult to have much terrain change.  Our coaches dialed the wax both days and worked their tail ends off helping us out.  Canada is into getting things done quickly, which is awesome, especially on sprint days.  Saturday's race was done in an equally efficient manner, sending all 100 dudes out, one every 15 seconds, and then immediately, with no break, all 50 girls out right behind the last boy starter.  If having a girl start 15 seconds behind you when you are a junior boy doesn't get you going, I don't know what else would.    As a coach trying to get splits for his athletes, it was a cluster, but as a skier it was pretty fun.  

Silver Star is beautiful and it is always fun to stay in one of the houses on the knoll whose color is one that your mom would never think to paint your own home.  Bright yellows, greens, blues, purples, pinks, you name it, and in many cases the trim is an equally exciting shade, making the house look all the more inviting.  After all, anyone who lives in a house whose shade is a bright pink, must be one of the more friendly people you will ever meet.

Taz Mannix starting off

Mo hammering

Noah hanging with Frederic Touchette
Coming through the stadium for Lap 2

Weirdo skiing with Kristina Strandberg

Kuzzy starting things off

Things are great here, but I have to say, our cheer squad from West was missing in a big way...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Drive....

Yesterday, our Continental Cup (CC) Team got in the car at 6 am and drove the 16 hours it takes to get to Silverstar, BC.  We are all a bit sore and stiff today, but very happy to be here.  Here are a few more pictures from West Yellowstone, as our internet connection is much better here.  

Leif Zimmermann after a great race on Saturday

Our strength coach, Alex Moore made the trip from Park City for the week.  
He is from Australia and is the guy in shorts running behind me... 
Alex having a little "squat picnic" with our PT Aaron Saari on the trails.  These guys were the best cheerers out there.  On Saturday they both showed up in shorts and T-shirts, clad with pots and pans (drums) and parked themselves 500 meters from the finish and at the bottom of the biggest hill on the course.  They banged the drums for every skier and had full on bruises on their legs from hitting these drums so hard all day long.  Best cheering squad I can remember.  Someday they need to go to the Vassaloppet just to cheer because they would be the life of the party, and that is saying something since all 70K of the course is a party.  Big thanks to these guys for making the trip, bringing their expertise, and cheering like hell.

Members of the CC Team doing a presentation in West last week
Left to Right: Lindsey Dehlin, Lin Willi, Noah Hoffman, 
Garrott Kuzzy, Morgan Arritola, Matt Gelso, me
Tax Mannix
Noah Hoffman on his way to a 4th

Rosie Brennen, Lindsay Williams and Lindsey Dehlin skiing hard in the classic race

Thanks to Dan Dehlin for the photos.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

West Yellowstone

Well, West Yellowstone pulled it off again.  This is the third year where the snow has been very slim leading up to the Yellowstone Ski Festival and the first Supertour races of the year.  Last year, the girls from the local coffee shop, rode their bikes in bikinis around town the day before the festival was planned to start.  They woke up the next morningto 6 inches of fresh snow, just enough to get the races off.  This year the snow never came, and neither did the bikini bike ride, but the event organizers plowed the road up to the "plateau" (a network of trails about 1200 feet above town), groomed some 30 kilometers of trails, and held the races there.  Our team put up some good results with Morgan Arritola leading our girls squad both days and Noah Hoffman and Leif Zimmermann leading it for the boys on Friday and Saturday respectively.  We are now headed to Silverstar, BC, as West Yellowstone is not the only place in the country lacking snow right now and both Bozeman, MT and Soldier Hollow, UT races were cancelled.  We are driving tomorrow and hoping to make it there in about 15 hours.  I will keep you posted on what we find in Canada.  

Morgan Arritola heading for the win on Saturday

More pictures to come.....

Friday, November 14, 2008


Well, I have now officially experienced my first Ski Ball.  Last Thursday morning I left my rural home in East Montpelier, Vermont to get puddle jumped on a plane to the infamous NYC.  I have been to "The City" twice before, once when I was in high school at Burke Mountain Academy to see a broadway production of Othello with my english class, and again this spring with my good friend Harry Poole to see a Red Sox v. Yankees game in Yankee stadium.  Needless to say, we were not fans of the home team, and we got a bit razzed in our bleacher seats.  However, this time, I was carting with me, not only my usual ski bag and duffle, but a shiny red dress and heels as well.  The first thing that is funny about this is that I have never worn or owned a "shiny" dress, nor have I ever walked in a pair of heels besides my Dansko's, so I knew I was a bit out of my element.  These ski balls are put on by the US Ski Team and are fundraising events where people from all over buy tickets to come meet members of the team, enjoy an elegant dinner and bid on chances to ski or ride with the best.  Pictures of the ball can be found at: 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

First Post

This is my first post, so for all who do not know me, I will fill you in a bit on who I am.  I am a nordic ski racer who grew up in East Montpelier, Vermont, went to school at a ski academy called Burke Mountain Academy, and now live part time in Park City, Utah to train.  

I just returned to Park City, Utah, from 5 weeks in the east.  Two of those weeks I spent in Lake Placid, NY at a training camp with my team, as well as Central Cross Country (CXC) and Sun Valley.  It was a great camp, spending some quality time at the Olympic Training Center (OTC), where despite the dorm room style of living, there are wonderful facilities.  There is a weight room, an enormous gym, and a recovery/PT room where they have wonderful things like hot and cold tubs, spin bikes, athletic trainers, and foam rollers.  It is in this room where we get rid of our kinks, injuries, tired legs and soreness, so as to train well again in the next workout.  There is also a cafeteria that always has hot, ready food for the taking any time of the day.  The choices may get old after a while, but having someone else cooking for me never will.  

I then went back home to Vermont for a three week block of family time and continued low altitude training.  During that time, with Onion River Sports sponsoring the event, I put on a clinic at Morse Farm Touring Center, at which 25 people showed up.  As usual, I was impressed with the turnout of avid cross country skiers, all itching for the first snowfall of the year.  Thanks for all the enthusiasm of all who came, and especially to the high school skiers who gave up half their Saturday to come to a clinic.  It's really awesome to see howAdd Image much fun everyone is having with the sport.  Ben and Jerry were right, "If it's not fun, why do it?"  You all brought such a great spirit to the day, and it made for a really fun day for me.  So thanks to all, and especially to Onion River Sports and Morse Farm for making it happen.    Add Image