From Will Wicherski and Michael Vigers:
The last few days in Finland have been super sick. Lots of stuff has been going on, and we have been having tons of fun. Tuesday we went for an easy ski with intervals on the 5k race course, which by the way is really rad. The course starts with a big climb and then rolls up for the next 3k until another large uphill to the end. We also took the team picture at the end of the ski, which took forever, because Logan took his good sweet time to cool down from his intervals. It wouldn’t have been that bad except that it was -20 degrees Celsius outside, which is about -4 degrees Fahrenheit, and we were in tights. After our ski, we went out to go shopping and walk around in downtown Kuopio. We saw many things, including an Intersport Megastore, what looked like a ten year old smoking a cigarette, and some of the sickest water bottle carriers ever. I picked up a Bjorn Daehlie water belt, Ashley got some awesome boots, and we got a bunch of candy from the store. Then we went to dinner at a really nice bar and grill in downtown Kuopio, which capped off the day nicely.
Wednesday started with another one of those amazing Finnish breakfasts, which pretty much means the day can’t go wrong from there. It was an off/easy day and most of the kids opted not to go skiing except the Alaskans, who went for a ski in the cold. It was really windy, and also still -20, so they had a pretty chilly time. The rest of us stayed back at the hotel and did various activities, including lots of miniature golf and valiant attempts at homework. We went out on the town again in the afternoon to go see the outdoor market in the central square of town. It’s like a street market, except in a freezer. Most of the kids got hats and other presents for members of their families, along with a bunch of random assorted goods. After the frigid market, we went to the top of the Kuopio tower, which was epic. It is 75 meters tall on top of the tallest mountain as far as the eye can see, which makes for some pretty sweet views. We went on top of the tower, and it was like being on top of Mt. Washington, complete with gale force winds and arctic temperatures. The countryside is a lot of lakes with dots of islands everywhere, and it is really really cool to see. A nice team meeting and now a bit of chilling at the hotel ended the day. Everyone is getting more in race mode every day and we are falling back into race routine, with only a day to go before the races. We are going to shred on Friday. Be prepared.