AUBURN, N.H. — Today, Fischer Skis U.S. announced the January Fischer Skis Select Athlete of the Month. This month’s featured athlete is 21-year-old Reese Hanneman of Fairbanks, Alaska. Below are insights on Reese’s training and lifestyle.
Fischer Skis Select Athlete of the Month: Reese Hanneman
Name: Reese Hanneman
Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
Team: APU Nordic Ski Center
Years Skiing: Since I could stand on my own two feet at two years old
Years with Fischer: 10
Annual Hours Training: Approximately 700
Q: How did you get started in the sport?
RH: My parents took me skiing to help me learn how to walk. I was lucky that they liked to ski, at least recreationally, and it was a family activity. My dad used to race, and I think they thought I would like it. I hated skiing for a while, but I got over that.
Q: Skiing is a small community throughout the world. What are the unsaid rules of being a cross country skier in your mind?
RH: As cliché as it sounds, you really have to be able to work hard. I know there are a lot of other sports where you have to push yourself, but even more so in cross country skiing I think. In our sport, there’s no way to fake it; if you haven’t worked hard, it shows. Besides that, you also have to be willing to handle the endless heckling about those rollerski contraptions.
Q: What’s the best workout you did to prepare for the season and why?
RH: I like going fast for a relatively short amount of time, so I enjoy more sprint oriented workouts. This fall, I did some intervals and specific strength with APU that were new to me; about 1 minute long, and anywhere from moderately to ridiculously steep. We would do them at a pace that was just shy of maximum. I think it really helped increase my top speed and power while going uphill.
Q: Who are your heroes in the ski community?
RH: How can you not like Northug? The guy is insane! I think skiing needs more personalities and performances like his. I also like following the Norwegian SprintGutta. It has been really awesome to train with Kikkan Randall, Lars Flora, and James Southam this year, because they have so much experience and so much good advice to give. It’s amazing to get to ski alongside them, after lining my walls with posters of them for the last 10 years.
Q: What are your goals for this season?
RH: My biggest goal of the season is to turn in some good results in Europe. I have raced at World Juniors and U23 Worlds a few times before, but I’ve never felt totally on my game. I think the experience has been good, because I am more relaxed about it this year. I know that I can ski with the best young sprinters in the world, so I hope to prove that.
Q: Favorite conditions and technique to race in?
RH: It’s a classic sprint, and there are bomber tracks. It’s zero degrees Fahrenheit, and the course has lots of medium sized climbs.
Q: In ten years, what story will you be telling about your skiing history?
RH: Probably about all the poles I’ve broken and trying to recall the circumstances for each incident. In ten years, that will be a very captivating topic, because poles will probably be made of substances mined from other planets, and completely unbreakable.
Q: Cross country ski racing is about hours and training. Where is your favorite place to train and why?
RH: Growing up in Alaska, there are so many awesome places to explore. I have some great memories of skiing in the Chugach, running in the mountains, roller-skiing by the coast, and biking through alpine passes. I have had some epic training sessions through Thomson Pass just outside of Valdez, Alaska; passing between huge glaciers while sweating under the summer sun never gets old.
Q: What’s the toughest part of being a ski racer?
RH: So much traveling during the racing season is very exhausting. You never really get to settle in one place. Also, trying to make it financially viable is a constant struggle.
Q: You could potentially ski for any program. Why did you choose Fischer?
RH: If I am going to put in all the work to try and become the best ski racer I can, I don’t want to risk having it all go to waste because of inferior equipment. Every brand makes good skis, and some even make great skis; but they are few and far between. I use Fischer because I know that every pair is going to be fast, predictably and without fail. They are hands-down the best skis available.
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