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
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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...

Earlier this morning, the Norwegian news outlet NRK posted that Ingvild Flugstad Østberg has been forced to end her season early after sustaining a fracture in her heel. The news was announced by the Norwegian Ski Federation, after Østberg spoke with the press while carrying crutches and wearing a protective boot, which she will be wearing for the next five to six weeks.  Østberg believes that the injury, which team doctors are calling a stress...

For the men, Zak Ketterson (USST/NMU) was the only American qualifier in 15th (+5.65) in the U23 World Championship men’s skate sprint in Oberwiesenthal, Germany. Logan Diekmann (Univ. of Utah) was the next American finisher in 44th (+12.36) followed by Zane Fields (Ford Sayre) in 45th (+12.82) and Hunter Wonders (APU) in 52nd (+14.03).  On the Canadian side, Graham Ritchie (Big Thunder Nordic) was the top qualifier in 6th (+3.37), followed by Antoine Cyr (Skinouk)...

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Racing continued amidst a snowstorm in Oberwiesenthal, Germany in today’s U23 1.2-kilometer freestyle sprint event. Coming down lightly at some times and in heavy bursts at others, the precipitation accumulated on the tracks creating some excitement in the form of repeated starts and untimely crashes.  Two Americans qualified on the women’s side, with Julia Kern (USST/SMST2) near the top in third, exactly 1 second behind the top racer, Sweden’s Johanna Hagström. Hailey Swirbul (USST/SMST2) was...

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Sports fans talk a lot about home field advantage. Which team will play at home at Game 7 of the World Series? Or in the playoffs before the Stanley Cup? Home turf and the swells of a crowd whose numbers are skewed toward the home team has an undeniable effect. Yes, the Norwegian team of Tiril Udnes Weng, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, Therese Johaug, and Heidi Weng won yet another 4×5-kilometer relay with a time of...

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In a typical season, you might expect late February in Lahti, Finland to look wintery. 61 degrees North latitude, ample snow on the ground and clinging to the trees, maybe even a reindeer? In fact, in a plug for the venue showed a woman skiing through a snow-laden town and arriving at the base of the towering ski jumps.  But it was not so today. Women time-trialed through the woods for two laps on a...

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Two hours and twenty minutes after leaving the starting gate in Cable, Caitlin Gregg crossed the finish line on Main Street in Hayward, her eighth journey through Wisconsin’s north woods during the American Birkebeiner. Five of these resulted in the win, but this year, Gregg was the fifth woman across the line. Butt was still a first — her first Birkie as a mom, just over one year after giving birth to her daughter, Heidi,...

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Several inches of new snow five days out, a cold-snap that sent temperatures in Hayward plummeting to -24 degrees Fahrenheit two nights before the race, and a bluebird day with temperatures in the high teens at the start, climbing to mid-30s in the early afternoon. Firm tracks, perfect groom, and fast snow. You could not have asked for a more perfect day to showcase the trails linking Cable to Hayward, WI at the 2020 American...

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When we reviewed this year’s results for the elite women’s field at the American Birkebeiner, we did a double take. Jessica Yeaton sets a new course record and beats Riitta-Liissa Roponen of Finland, a favorite for the win, by over 40 seconds.  The surprise was not because Yeaton’s name didn’t belong there; the 28-year-old Perth, Australia native who has skied for APU has a list of SuperTour podiums and a wealth of international racing experience...

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To view Riitta-Liisa Roponen’s complete FIS profile requires a lot of scrolling and selecting “show more.” The 41-year-old raced her first World Cup in Munio, Finland on November 28th, 1998. More than 20 years later, she raced her final World Cup event, helping the Finnish relay team to 3rd in Ulricehamn, Sweden on January 27th, 2019.  She went on to race at the World Ski Championships in Seefeld, Austria, placing 22nd in the 30-kilometer mass start...

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When Therese Johaug wins a sprint qualifier by 4.5 seconds and Sophie Caldwell qualifies in 23rd, you know it is not your average course. Held at the Swedish national alpine ski area in Åre, today’s event seemed to blend the infamous climb up the Alpe Cermis in the final stage of the Tour de Ski with skier cross on perhaps the shortest but toughest sprint on the World Cup. A gradual uphill start led skiers...

Here we go again. A new Scandinavian Ski Tour takes the spot of a World Championship or Olympic Games during this off-cycle year. Six stages working east from Östersund, Sweden to Trondheim, Norway, beginning with today’s 10-kilometer individual start freestyle event.  Under clear skies, light fading and shadows lengthening as the sunset looms just a few hours away, the women time trialed through the tall conifers to set the tone of the overall tour standings....

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The countdown is on. Marathon season is underway and we are inside the final two weeks before the American Birkie. At this point, “the hay is in the barn” when it comes to training, but there is still time to dial in a nutrition plan to stay fueled and all the way from Cable to Hayward.  For pro tips, FasterSkier reached out to last year’s Birkie winner, Alayna Sonnesyn (SMST2), for insight into the system...