Rachel Perkins

HomeAuthor Rachel Perkins

Rachel is an endurance sport enthusiast based in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado. You can find her cruising around on skinny skis, running in the mountains with her pup, or chasing her toddler (born Oct. 2018). Instagram: @bachrunner4646

If you read FasterSkier, you are likely aware that elite cross country skiing in the U.S. has been steadily on the rise over the last decade. In the last four years alone, we’ve borne witness to medals at all levels, including a Diggins-Randall double podium in the freestyle sprint at the 2017 World Championships, a 10 k classic win for Gus Schumacher at the 2020 World Junior Championships, a bronze medals for Will Koch and...

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On June 3rd, FasterSkier published a statement regarding our commitment to diversifying the stories we cover and to providing a platform for people of color in the ski community to share their experiences. We aim to highlight the philanthropic actions members of the ski community have taken to support disadvantaged skiers and to promote inclusivity in sport. We’ve listened to your recommendations and followed the leads. We’ve spoken with clubs who have sought grants to...

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Here in the Rockies near Carbondale, Colorado, June is often a transitional month. Low elevation trails are dry and surrounded by lush vegetation and spring blooms, while jagged peaks and ridges remain encrusted with receding snowfields. Roaring creeks and flooded riverbanks hint the speed with which these sun-cupped features melt away.  As someone whose preferred form of movement in the summer is running in the high country, it is the season of preparing my legs...

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On April 9th, the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center in Bozeman, MT released information and qualification criteria for their newly founded elite team. As you skim what it takes to earn a spot at each tier of the program, it may catch your attention that the cross country, biathlon, and para nordic are housed within the same program. This single team approach reflects the growth and development at Crosscut in connection with its partnership with the...

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As we all know, the COVID-19 global pandemic has left the world scrambling to adapt to the many challenges of slowing the spread of the virus. In the world of Olympic sports, the ripple effect has disrupted the efforts of anti-doping agencies worldwide to conduct the athlete testing normally relied upon to hold athletes accountable to abiding by the rules surrounding banned and controlled substances. Most international antidoping agencies have halted testing since mid-March as...

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“You should probably wear something over that.” That was my husband’s witty response when I asked what he thought of the Brynje RaceBase long sleeve shirt and 3/4 tight base layers. No, most people don’t ski in just their long underwear, but these, in particular, would be quite revealing.  Why? Unlike traditional base layers, the RaceBase is made out of a polypropylene mesh, designed to allow maximum breathability while reducing air turbulence between the outermost...

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It’s May. Yes, really.  For most skiers, the new page on the calendar also marks the beginning of a new training year. Dust off your rollerskis, locate your heart rate strap and drink belt, and make sure your running shoes have plenty of life in them. With the country still predominantly on public health orders to stay close to home, avoid groups, and keep at least six feet of distance from those outside your home,...

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Of the members of the U.S. Para Nordic team, more than half compete at the highest level in both summer and winter sports. Instead of quadrennial, their training is designed for biennial Paralympic cycles, oscillating between sports each year with an overall focus shift toward whichever Games is approaching fastest.  And the goal is not simply to compete in both rounds of the Games, it is to bring home medals.  Illinois based Oksana Masters is...

Like many mountain towns, Carbondale, Colorado is a magnet for athletes. The definition of that word is used broadly — though there are plenty, it is not just home to the uber endurance junkie. Within 30 miles, you can find world-class rivers for whitewater kayaking or fly fishing, five ski resorts, a variety of rock climbing and bouldering objectives, and miles of single track to be run, hiked, or ridden. With this unbelievable backyard, we...

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On April 1st, the University of Alaska Anchorage athletics department announced that interim head coach Marine Dusser-Bjornsen had been named Nordic Coach of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) after her first year in the role. Despite stepping into the position last minute, Dusser-Bjornsen proved her readiness for the role and led the Seawolves to an outstanding season.  The men’s team finished the season in second place in the RMISA standings...

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My relationship with yoga is very one-sided. Though I do not consider it in any way lesser, I ignore it most of the year when considering my options for exercise, choosing primarily running or skiing instead.  Then something crops up. A switch from skiing back to running in the spring makes my hips and IT bands cranky, causing pain in my knee. A couple ankle rolls on a trail run fire up my peroneal tendon....

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We’ve all heard the phrase: “These are unprecedented times.” And it is true. What the world is facing during the Covid-19 pandemic is something that none of us have experienced before. We are all feeling it.  Uncertainty is ubiquitous and caused by a myriad of factors. We may be concerned about the health of ourselves and our families, or about the financial impacts of our country coming to a halt. We might be attempting to...

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to inspire anyone to travel to Crested Butte at this time. The county’s public health office expressly asks you not to do so even if you are a second home owner. The aim here is to highlight the familiar therapeutic role cross country skiing has played in the community thus far during the COVID-19 crisis.  Like many other small mountain towns, Crested Butte has been labeled a “coronavirus county...

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We’ll be publishing a few select gear reviews moving forward. It’s not business as usual for FS or readers: we are posting gear reviews as a brief respite from grim news. We know minds are on more serious Coronavirus related issues. ‘Tis the season for layering. Here in Colorado, the high altitude sun wrestles with the snow packed mountains to create highly variable temperatures. One moment the sun is shining and I’m stripping down to...

On March 13th, the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 caused the World Cup to come to an abrupt halt. Quebec, Minneapolis, and Canmore: all cancelled. SuperTour finals: also cancelled. For some U.S. athletes including Gus Schumacher and Katie Feldman, this meant missing their first ever World Cup starts. For others, like Andy Newell, it meant missing his last. Jessie Diggins was in sixth place in the

A new reality is setting in. As a nation, we are isolating ourselves at home, minimizing our contact with others to flatten the curve. Depending on your geographical location, you may still have access to scarcely populated nearby ski trails, routes to run, or  bike paths to ride while still socially distancing. However, with schools closed, gyms shut down, and the challenges of working remotely, you may be finding that maintaining your usual exercise routine...

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Rounding the final turn off Butte Avenue toward the Slate River Valley at the start of the second and final lap, I had my eyes peeled for a ride. There: the man dressed in a Birkebeiner-esque sweater with suspenders fastened to his Swix pants just beyond the — is that the Jamaican bobsled team? This is Crested Butte’s Alley Loop, titled a “Birkie qualifier with a twist”, a moniker that falls far short of capturing...

On February 18th, four days before the American Birkie, Kyle Bratrud (SMS T2) announced that the race would be his final competition as a professional skier. The news caught many by surprise as Bratrud seemed to be having a strong season, following a solid season in 2018/19.  Last season, the 26-year-old Minnesota native won the 15-kilometer classic and took second in the 30 k free at U.S. Nationals in Craftsbury and ended his season as...

At the end of the 2018 season after being on the wrong side of the cusp of making the Olympic team, Erika Flowers made a transition in her ski career. She left her Stratton Mountain School T2 training group and returned home to Bozeman, MT where she began a role as the Associate Director at Profitable Ideas Exchange. However, Flowers did not hang up her skis — it was not retirement, just a transition and...

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Racing the Holmenkollen without spectators is a bit like not getting a white Christmas. It does not change the end result, here racing a 30-kilometer mass start classic race on the famed tracks above Oslo, Norway. But the experience loses some of the magic. Race organizers announced Thursday that spectators would not be allowed to attend the race due to the increased risk of spreading COVID-19. On a typical year, crowds in numbers up to...