Note: This article has been updated to reflect the corrected 2013/2014 SuperTour overall standings. Lex Treinen finished fourth behind Reese Hanneman, Erik Bjornsen and Brian Gregg, respectively.
As if four races in seven days weren’t enough, Lex Treinen, of Alaska Pacific University (APU), signed up for the Ski to Ski in Homer, Alaska, two days after the last day of Spring Series — on a whim.
He and his brother Nick decided to do so a few days before.
“I had hardly heard of it, but felt like I needed a little vacation, if you can call it that,” Treinen, 24, explained in an email. “So we jumped in the car after dragging our hottub off the racecourse in the morning, spent a night in Girdwood and finished the drive in the morning.”
The two left Anchorage last Saturday, a day after the 50-kilometer classic mass start at U.S. Distance Nationals, which for most, was the final race of the season. The drive itself was 220 miles south toward the mouth of the Cook Inlet. In Homer, competitors did a 5 k run, followed by a 7 k bike, and ending with a 5 k ski … to the sea.
Treinen won it in 55:23. His brother Nick took second, 3:03 back, edging third-place finisher Chaz DiMarzid by just four seconds.
“Nick and I came into the bike one and two, but we stupidly used studded bike tires and had to ride the seven kilometer uphill hearing the sound of grinding asphalt beneath us,” wrote Treinen, who placed fifth in the 50 k and fifth in the 15 k freestyle earlier that week at SuperTour Finals. He finished fourth in the overall 2013/2014 SuperTour, behind teammates Reese Hanneman and Erik Bjornsen, respectively, and Brian Gregg (Team Gregg/Madshus) in third.
On Sunday, Treinen started the ski a few seconds ahead of DiMarzid, who rode his way up to second.
“Despite getting on skis and feeling like I forgot how to ski because my legs were so tired, I managed to hold him off,” Treinen wrote. “It felt good to be at a low key race like that after all of the pressure of the season. When we got into town there were signs everywhere since the race went through town, but at the bike drop off there was nobody watching out for bike-thieves, not out of laziness but just because Homer is cool like that.”
Treinen and his brother received medals made of sand dollars. Local businesses donated prizes as well, and Treinen estimated half of the nearly 100 finishers won raffle prizes.
Even after Sunday’s race, he thought he had some more skiing in him.
“Usually at the end of the season I am super excited to go back-country and all that but I woke up the next morning after the race my legs felt like wood so I told my brother I was too tired,” he wrote. “The Sea to Ski was the last hurrah for the season, but I didn’t realize it at the time.”
Pleased with his most successful season yet, including sixth place in the 30 k skate at U.S. nationals in January and top-10 finish in the American Birkebeiner in February, Treinen is looking to build for next winter.
“After being [fourth] in the Supertour, I definitely feel I can move up with some better races early in the season and hopefully some wins,” he wrote. “I have never started a World Cup, so I for sure want to qualify for that. As for World Champs, I really would love to qualify but the way to do that is still unclear to me, so I will just do my best and focus on being sharp in the early season.”
Alex Kochon (email@example.com) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.