Read Kikkan's personal account of the trip, and view photos on her FasterSkier blog – http://blogs.fasterskier.com/kikkanrandall
CANMORE, ALB (Oct. 28) – The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team's Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) found herself in some very good training company recently as she took to the terrain of her neighbors up north to train with Canadian cross country all-star Chandra Crawford, who won the sprint gold medal in the 2006 Olympics.
“Oftentimes on the World Cup, I am the only female competing for the United States and the same thing happens to the Chandra,” Randall explained. “So, a couple seasons ago we started teaming up to do some workouts together and it turned out that it worked really well for us because our strengths and weaknesses match up really well.
“At the end of last season we talked about maybe getting together over the summer. So we traded schedules and found a week in October where I could go to Canmore and train for a week.”
While Randall is already a historic figure in U.S. cross country history, she says she admires Crawford's achievements and her dedication to the sport they both love.
“She won an Olympic gold medal and that's something I aspire to do. I can definitely look up to her on that and also the way she lives her life around skiing,” Randall said. “She's really professional about a lot of the aspects in her life and she has the tools she needs to be successful so it was great for me to see another athlete in action that way.”
The cross country femme fatales fashioned a workout plan that would maximize their time together.
“We made a pretty aggressive plan where we got to do some sprint stuff together and it was a great week of training,” Randall said.
The week in Canada wasn't entirely filled with training, though, as the girls managed to pack in some shopping, dining and yoga.
“We tried to go to hip hop dance class, but unfortunately it was canceled that week. So, we went to yoga twice. I had never been to yoga before and she's a yoga expert, so that was fun being exposed to that,” Randall said.
“We also went to sushi and to a movie. She's been a Lulu Lemon athlete ambassador for a few years and I just got to join their athlete ambassador program. So, we went to the Lulu Lemon store and tried stuff on. She showed me what the good stuff was and that was fun.”
The final touch on an already special trip was Randall's invitation to experience a Canadian Thanksgiving with Crawford's family.
“I got to have a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner with her family,” Randall said. “Her aunt and uncle have a ranch just outside of Calgary, so we went to the ranch and she has a big fun family like my own and it was fun to look into their version of Thanksgiving. It's basically the same as ours.”
Now that her Canadian expedition is complete, Randall continues to train as the first cross country World Cup of the season approaches Nov. 22-23 in Sweden.