Maya MacIsaac-Jones, 19, of the Canadian National Junior Team and Rocky Mountain Racers (RMR) in Canmore, Alberta, submitted the following article about her RMR’s recent dryland camp in Park City, Utah, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Born and raised in Athabasca, Alberta, MacIsaac Jones lives in Canmore and is a student at Athabasca University.
From Sept. 27 to Oct. 11, one of Canada’s high-performance racing teams, Rocky Mountain Racers (RMR), headed down to Park City, Utah, for their two-week long high altitude training camp.
RMR is comprised of just over 20 high-performance athletes in both cross-country and biathlon from all across Canada. Led by coaches John Jaques and Luke McGurk, the team’s athletes focused on both high volume and high intensity during their camp.
Long 4-5 hour workouts were completed on the various mountain passes surrounding Park City and Salt Lake City while intensity sessions, time trials and shooting practices were reserved for the excellent facilities available at Soldier Hollow in Midway.
Because of RMR’s cross-country/biathlon mix, Soldier Hollow was the perfect place for training sessions to occur; coaches were able to coordinate shooting practices for the biathletes with simultaneous rollerskiing sessions for the cross-country side of the team.
Utilizing Soldier Hollow’s biathlon range, extensive set of rollerski tracks and advantageously close proximity to Park City, RMR held several intensity sessions and time trials at the former Olympic site. The hilly climbs the facility offered also gave the athletes an opportunity to have a dryland time trial with a course very similar to what they will face during the ski season.
“It’s inspiring to train in the exact spot that I saw my Olympic heroes win medals at during the 2002 Olympics,” RMR athlete Andrew Brisbin stated. “[Soldier Hollow] is the most difficult and technical rollerski track that I’ve been on, meaning it most closely resembles a World-Cup caliber ski course through its lung and leg busting climbs and quick descents.”
Stuart Harden, RMR athlete and one of Canada’s top junior biathletes, also enjoyed training at the former Olympic site: “Soldier Hollow was a great asset to have at our Park City training camp. For biathletes, having a range and full rollerski loop close by made the trip feasible. As far as rollerski tracks go, Soldier Hollow is considerably challenging. Some steep, sustained climbs coupled with the altitude can really make you hurt, and can definitely make training there worthwhile.”
When not focusing on intensity sessions or shooting practices, the team explored the many other mountain roads available for rollerskiing in the area, including Mirror Lake pass, Wolfe pass, and Guardsman Pass. They concluded their camp with a 4-5 hour altitude run at 9000 feet on the trails above Park City.
With their last camp of the season complete, RMR athletes are now in their final stages of preparing for the racing season and the upcoming [SuperTour and] NorAm races at West Yellowstone, Bozeman, Rossland, and Whistler.
For any athletes or coaches interested in exploring Soldier Hollow as a future training possibility, please use the following contact information:
— Maya MacIsaac-Jones,
RMR cross-country skier