Finally I am in the home stretch to the beginning of my race season. The truth is our training season never really ends but skiing and racing on snow is always a fun new beginning. The CXC Team and I arrived last week here in West Yellowstone, MT. West Yellowstone is a sleepy little western town this time of year, which lies directly at the western access road to Yellowstone National Park. When we first arrived there was a little snow on the sidewalks, but our hopes were a little diminished when we saw the mud pit at the entrance to the ski trails. Amazingly, once we moved to a different trail head, there was enough snow for us to actually ski! There were bits of grass sticking through but the skiing was great!
As the week progressed the snow became thinner and thinner but our spirits and drive remained high. The entire CXC Team put in some huge training hours with lots of intervals and strength sessions! We made what little snow or un-groomed snow we found work, and we even took the opportunity to rollerski into Yellowstone National Park. The park was absolutely incredible but I will admit I was more than a little afraid of the Bison and Elk.
The Yellowstone Ski Festival is held every year during the Thanksgiving week. Not only does this festival serve as the opener for the Super Tour, but it also brings people from all over the country who are in search of early season snow. The Nordic Ski Industry uses this event to have a ton of demos and expos to keep people entertained and excited about the sport of Cross Country Skiing. I am always excited to see familiar faces again and catch up with people I haven’t seen since last March.
The first races start the day after Thanksgiving with a 10K Classic on Friday and a 5K Skate race on Saturday. I am really looking forward to seeing how the entire CXC Team does. We have all been working hard and I know it will pay off. I will send another update after the first races are over.