All Abuzz about Fairbanks!

FasterSkierOctober 5, 2011

I am just so psyched! Not because I am sick and resting right now (that really stinks, although it means I have a lot of energy with which to be psyched)… but I am so excited about planning some really sweet events in Fairbanks! This October 27-30 there is going to be all kinds of skier activity in my hometown, and I am getting to focus my excess sick-skier energy into the planning process.

First, a short history:
Back in the day, all of North America’s fastest skiers would come up to Fairbanks for training and racing early in the year. Because of our early snow and reliably cold temperatures, Fairbanks was the place to be! However, times have changed. Now international competitors head to the world cup in early November, and everyone else races domestically in West Yellowstone. The little ski festival is no longer in Fairbanks.

Now the exciting part:
This year Challenge Life, an organization that organizes kids’ sports camps in Alaska, has put together a new kind of early-season ski festival. In three busy days Challenge Life offers a full training camp for high-school skiers complete with meals, coaching, seminars, a banquet, and even a costume party Halloween dance. Athletes that come from out of town will be put up in the Hampton Inn just 10 minutes from the trails, and can expect to pay around $200 for the whole camp, meals and housing included. The cost of the actual camp including tuition, lunches and dinners is $150. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me! If I was in high school I would be extremely excited about this, it will be a great chance to learn from fellow competitors and spend some time on snow early in the season. Not to mention stay in a hotel and goof off with some fun skiers! There will also be APU Elite team skiers in Fairbanks training, so the camp participants will be training alongside some high-caliber athletes. Jan Buron, Erik Flora, Kikkan Randall, and Pete Leonard will all be present and coaching, so we know that the workouts will be totally top-notch.

What more could you ask for? Training twice a day, learning about skiing, hanging out with awesome skiers, and a costume party… I mean seriously. Sorry, this has turned into a little bit of a sales pitch, but after all the time that I have spent planning and getting excited about this, I can’t help myself. It’s going to be so fun! If you are in high school, coach high school, or have kids in high school, 1st Tracks Team Ski Camp is something you should seriously consider. The brochure can be downloaded here. To sign up just print the registration page and mail it in, or contact me.

And the other exciting part:
If you or your daughters are not quite in high school, there is something awesome for you too. I am putting together a Fast and Female event on Sunday, October 30th from 2-5pm at Birch Hill, and would like to invite all girls from 9-19 for a fantastic afternoon! We’re going to have some fun on skis, then have some healthy snacks and do a little bit of yoga, then chat with some Olympians. Kikkan Randall and Holly Brooks will both be in Fairbanks training, so I asked them to hang out with the Fast and Female of Fairbanks, before they head off to race in Europe for a few months. If anyone has some awesome things to teach a group of active girls, it’s those ladies. I learn new things from them every time I train with them, which is most of the summer!

Why am I so darn excited?
I don’t know. Obviously I love skiing, and I love Fairbanks, so that correlation is easy. Other than that, I love planning and feeling productive. It’s nice to spend some time focused on making something happen, and watch it develop into something real. Yesterday I was putting a poster up in AMH to advertise the Challenge Life camp, and a woman saw it. As she walked out the door she said “Oh! That’s the camp my daughter is going to!”, and I almost did a little dance right there. The challenge of bringing Anchoragites to Fairbanks is a bit daunting because they tend to be entrenched, they worry about it being cold and dark, and it’s not terribly convenient to drive seven hours. In reality it’s not much colder and darker than Anchorage, and seven hours isn’t that bad when you get to ski groomed trails for two and a half days… but I digress. The point is that just hearing a mom mention it, to know that people are talking about it and are interested, it’s exhilarating! I might get to make a difference in their lives, and help them have a good ski season… and that’s a great feeling.


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