Overview: A lot has happened in the past few days! A week ago we were planning on heading to Fairbanks. Then Fairbanks was cancelled because it was -40º F (and C!) and we were planning on racing in Anchorage. Our first race in Anchorage was a 1.8k prologue. The next day the races were postponed because of the temperature, so we did a 5k classic at 2pm. After a final 5k skate Sunday, it was time to get ready for three weeks on the road! I packed a huge duffle and headed to West Yellowstone. Pete Kling, Reese Hanneman, Kate Fitz and I woke up on Monday at 4am. We hopped on a plane at 6am, and rolled into our house in West at 9pm. Yesterday we did our first race on the SuperTour here, and still logged a handful of top 10 finishes. Not bad for such a flurry of madness!
Anchorage Details: I think that races in cold weather are the best thing going. I am actually starting to worry that I am some kind of subzero specialist; I am just so comfortable skiing at cold temperatures on really cold snow, that I can’t help but have a good race. While I was sad that I couldn’t kick off my season with some good races at home in Fairbanks, the races in Anchorage were held below zero on the first two days, and below 10º F on the third. It felt a lot like home! Anchorage had my favorite kind of skiing, the snow was still pretty fast and the kick was perfect. I can only hope it will be cold again later this year!
[Photo: Robert Arnold. It was so cold that Fitz wore a mask!]
West Yellowstone Details: We haven’t been here very long, but I am already settled in to a rhythm. My room is predictably a mess, we’re skiing every day, and eating pasta for Thanksgiving. I love life on the road!
The race yesterday went pretty well. I felt okay, placed consistently, and went as hard as I could. However, because I have been getting 10th in West Yellowstone for almost four years now, I would like to improve on that. It’s a little bit like being in the B final at Nationals three years in a row: it was sweet the first time around, but now I think it’s time to move on. My consistency extended from my 10th place rank coming into the races to 10th places in both disciplines. I suppose there is something to say for being a well-rounded skier and I really can’t complain. For the races tomorrow however, I would like to improve my place!
Here are a few photos from APU’s West Yellowstone experience this year:
Our house this year is spacious and