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Nathaniel Herz

Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.
Can jet-setting ski racers be climate activists? Schumacher, Diggins lean into “imperfect advocacy.”

MINNEAPOLIS — After Gus Schumacher’s upset win at an international cross-country ski race here last week, one of his first moves was not to celebrate at a bar, but instead, to stand in front of the crowd and talk about climate change. With hundreds listening to the panel discussion from the grandstand, Schumacher, his teammate Jessie Diggins and activist and author Bill McKibben passed a microphone back and forth. The subject, for Schumacher, is immediate...

Norway had 10 wax techs. Estonia had a fanny pack and a borrowed wax bench.

This coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and A Hall Mark of Excellence Award. To learn more about A Hall Mark of Excellence Award, or to learn how you can support FasterSkier’s coverage, please contact info@fasterskier.com. CANMORE, ALBERTA — With his fanny pack of kick wax and Kia minivan, you could have easily mistaken Alvar Johannes Alev for a weekend warrior cross-country ski dad in this Canadian mountain town....

Schumacher’s Win—World-Class Talent is “Still in There”

This coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and A Hall Mark of Excellence Award. To learn more about A Hall Mark of Excellence Award, or to learn how you can support FasterSkier’s coverage, please contact info@fasterskier.com. MINNEAPOLIS — Gus Schumacher, a 23-year-old from Anchorage, accomplished something Sunday that no American man had done in 40 years: he beat every single Norwegian, Swede, Finn and all other comers in an...

The Devon Kershaw Show: Minneapolis magic with Muzzy, Benny and an extra special guest

What a weekend. If you weren’t able to make it to Minneapolis, we had the good fortune of taping this episode of the podcast in front of a live audience at a local brewery, and we think it brings through a little of the amazing atmosphere. British skier Andrew Musgrave joined us in-person, Ben Ogden zoomed in from mono jail and a very special guest whose name ends with Schumacher joined us mid-pod. The audio...

Witkowski Revels in Last-Minute Minneapolis World Cup Call-up

This coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and A Hall Mark of Excellence Award. To learn more about A Hall Mark of Excellence Award, or to learn how you can support FasterSkier’s coverage, please contact info@fasterskier.com. Most of the athletes competing Saturday on cross-country skiing’s World Cup circuit in Minneapolis arrived at the venue on a bus, chartered by organizers to carry racers from the official event hotel. Then,...

Tears and Glitter Flow in Minneapolis as Diggins Finally Comes Home

This coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and A Hall Mark of Excellence Award. To learn more about A Hall Mark of Excellence Award, or to learn how you can support FasterSkier’s coverage, please contact info@fasterskier.com. MINNEAPOLIS—The suspense and the nerves built all morning at Theodore Wirth Regional Park, where America’s cross-country skiers were set to contest their first World Cup race—the sport’s top competition circuit—in 23 years. By...

For U.S. Skiing, Minneapolis is a High-Water Mark

This coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and A Hall Mark of Excellence Award. To learn more about A Hall Mark of Excellence Award, or to learn how you can support FasterSkier’s coverage, please contact info@fasterskier.com. MINNEAPOLIS — The last time cross-country ski racing’s most elite race circuit, the World Cup, traveled to the United States from Europe, Jessie Diggins was nine years old. At the time, in 2001,...

With Fresh Snow, Minneapolis World Cup is a Party in the USA

MINNEAPOLIS — All winter, cross-country ski race organizers in this midwest metropolis faced weather that just wouldn’t cooperate. Heading into the weekend, it had not snowed in Minneapolis in nearly a month, with daily high temperatures above freezing every single day since late January. All this as a local nonprofit, the Loppet Foundation, was set to host the first cross-country World Cup events in America in more than two decades — after a last-minute, coronavirus...

The Devin Kershaw Show: Canmore is a wrap. On to Minneapolis.

We’re back, with our fourth? Fifth? episode in the past week. It’s been a whirlwind, but we’re still here to wrap up the last day of World Cup racing in Canmore. Amazingly, Nat is posting this podcast from a moving airplane between Calgary and Toronto, with Victoria Carl and Katharina Hennig sitting a few rows up. We’ll be back with more action from Minneapolis, including a show with a live audience late Sunday afternoon at...

Canmore World Cup Reporter’s Notebook: Signed Bib Edition

CANMORE, ALBERTA — The World Cup circuit, cross-country skiing’s top level of racing, has officially finished its visit to Canmore, and now heads to Minneapolis for the first events in the U.S. in more than two decades. A number of teams are on a direct, early morning flight Wednesday from Calgary to Minneapolis, while others are taking an extra day in Canmore and waiting to travel until Thursday. The events in Minneapolis are sure to...

The Devon Kershaw Show: A tale of two races in Canmore distance classic

We’re grinding on with our third episode in four days. Hope you’re still listening. If you don’t get the hat reference, read our coverage. We’ll be back with another episode after the last race in Canmore. To keep you from podcast withdrawal later in the week, we’ll roll out some interviews we did with a couple of international athletes here. Then we’ll be back again from Minneapolis this weekend. Speaking of Minneapolis, if you’ll be...

Canmore Reporter’s Notebook: Scandinavian Feuds, Nearly-Nudes, Car Crash Recovery, and Doping Doubts

CANMORE, Alberta:  We’re three days into a six-race series of World Cup racing in North America and I’m just one guy, which means there hasn’t been time to share all the fun little stories and subplots that have been filling my notebook. I’m summarizing a few of the better ones here. Stay tuned for more notes and some feature stories after Tuesday’s final race in Canmore. If you have ideas for stories, tips or feedback...

Vermont Talent Jack Young Breaks Through in First-Ever World Cup start

CANMORE, ALBERTA — Jack Young’s home in Vermont is two miles from the Canadian border. So it makes sense that he skied like he was right at home in Canada on Saturday, in a smoking fast finish in his first-ever race on the World Cup—the top-level circuit that saw him lining up against a bevy of Olympic medalists. Young, 21, placed 11th in the qualifying round of Saturday’s sprint race in Canmore, and 23rd in...

The Devon Kershaw Show: fast and furious in Canmore, Day 2

We’re back, in less than 24 hours since hour last pod. Devon is burning the midnight oil in Norway to bring you this new episode recapping the excellent sprint races in Canmore today. Stay tuned for another episode after tomorrow’s race and a bonus episode where Nat will interview Sweden’s William Poromaa. Email us at devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com with questions, comments and race predictions. We’ll be back.

Olympic Medalists and Rookies Rub Shoulders in Canmore

CANMORE, ALBERTA — Abbey Zimmer and Natalie Meinert peered over a railing out onto the course at the cross-country ski center here Thursday, where dozens of the world’s best athletes were amidst their pre-race routines. The 14-year-olds had driven seven hours to Canmore with their parents from icy Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They were there to ski on some snowy trails and for a weekend of watching racers that they normally only see on highlight reels. “We...

The Devon Kershaw Show: A James Clinton Canmore bonus with JC Schoonmaker

Coming in hot from Canmore, Alberta, where the World Cup circuit makes its North American return after five years away. We’ve got a preview here of sorts, featuring an interview with JC Schoonmaker, the California-raised U.S. Ski Team member who made his first World Cup podium earlier this season. We cover his rude awakening to the demands of elite-level training, his affection for his adopted home of Alaska and get some fun details about his...

The Devon Kershaw Show: Go big and go Goms

Goms! These races, in Switzerland, were unambiguously awesome. Wipeouts, sun, fondue, North American podiums and breakout performances. And an Alaskan guest who watched the races firsthand. We really went above and beyond the call of duty this week — we’ve got sounds from the side of the trail and even a profanity-laced tirade from Devon if you stick it out to the end of the show. We’ll be on scene at the next round of...

The Devon Kershaw Show: A French Canadian-inflected, 90-minute recap from Oberhof

Prince of Quebec Alex Harvey and his protege on the Canadian team, Tony Cyr, check in with us after a three-day weekend of racing in Germany. We went kinda long. Also: We have a first-of-its-kind waxing and service report from U.S. Ski Team technician Eli Brown. Let us know what you think: We’re at devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com. We’ll be back after another weekend of racing in Switzerland before the World Cup circuit heads to North...

The Devon Kershaw Show: It’s time for the yearly bag ‘o mail, and it’s a good bag

Did Devon Kershaw once jump over a cattle guard, on rollerskis, at 40 miles an hour? Is a seven-and-a-half hour classic ski a wise choice in the middle of the racing season? Where are Tiril Udnes Weng and Simone Mocellini? These are among the many questions Devon and Nat fielded during the 2024 edition of the show’s yearly mailbag episode. We had fun with your submissions; we hope you enjoy our answers. Email us more...