HomeTag Alayna Sonnesyn

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You may have heard that the World Cup is returning not only to North America, but also to American soil, within the next few weeks. The world’s best skiers will be contesting sprint races in Québec City on March 14 and 15; a sprint in Minneapolis on March 17; and distance races plus a mixed relay in Canmore on March 20-22. For all six races, including the five across the border, the U.S. has an...

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We’ll start with the weather: think all over the place. A moving target for meteorologist with moisture spitting from the skies, and air masses swirling this way and that making the trees sway like a mamba line along the course. A wax tech’s nightmare scenario? Yes. It certainly trended in that direction.   By all measures, this was Therese Johaug’s, Norway’s latest version of a cross-country skiing record-breaker, stage and tour. Of six stages total, she...

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The day began in Trondheim with a centimeter of snow, which then transitioned to big blue skies for the thousands of fans attending the fifth stage of the Ski Tour 2020, a 1.5 k classic sprint. The Norwegians can throw a cross-country race party. The scene, despite the different setting, was reminiscent of the festive cowbell and camp-out sideshow of Holmenkollen’s Frognerseteren. It’s not quite the Yankee stadium of cross-country skiing, but a sign that in...

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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...

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As always, it was a reset: a new day at the start of a World Cup race. On Sunday, the ribbon of snow in Falun, Sweden offered an opportunity for a sixty-six women field to race head to head in a 10 k mass start freestyle race. With a course that some noted was softened in difficulty by eliminating the infamous Moderbakken climb — which has become a feared incline on the World Cup circuit...

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Not the backdrop one might expect from Scandiavia in mid-winter, rather, green grass, bare ski jumps, and a ribbon of snow were found in Falun, Sweden. However, what was lacking in snow was made up for by a densely packed crowd of cheering fans, erupting as athletes flew by in the women’s classic sprint. An occurrence that might meet our expectations is that the Swedish women showed up on home turf. Johanna Hagström won the...

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Onward and upward. Day two in Oberstdorf, Germany featured a 1.5-kilometer classic sprint with three sharp toothlike climbs. Seemingly riding the edge of their capability inside the tracks, athletes pumped their way up each pitch before wrapping around a bend and descending an equal grade back toward the stadium. After what Matt Whitcomb called an “off day”, the Americans demonstrated their ability to rebound. To not let the sensations or disappointment from one day percolate...

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Here at FasterSkier, we do not play the odds. Some contributors we know play Noah Hoffman’s Fantasy League – but we steer clear of rolling the dice on cross-country skiing. But the women’s skiathlon events on the World Cup may not be the biggest payouts since in recent history they have been a lock.  Oberstdorf in Oberstdorf, Germany — the site of next year’s Nordic Ski World Championships — required no crystal ball of an...

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Yesterday’s snow coated Nové Město, Czech Republic, clinging to the tall pines and masking the unsettling contrast of the man made ribbon of snow. Though wintry precipitation continued to fall, cheering crowds filled the stadium, ringing bells and sounding horns as racers passed through. Picking up where they left off after the skate stage, athletes set out onto the arduous tracks for a 10-kilometer classic pursuit. Steep climbs, sharp curves, and gentler though rippling terrain...

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“It has everything,” Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla told FIS before the start of the 10-kilometer interval start skate in Nové Město, Czech Republic. Though she was describing the steep uphills and working downhills, found along the 5 k track, it might have also been an apt description for what the weather had in store. As athletes headed out on course, the light icy precipitation transitioned into chunky white flakes accumulating on the deteriorating ribbon of man...

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Racing at the 2020 U.S. Senior Nationals wrapped on Tuesday with a 1.5-kilometer classic sprint. Although the day came down to six skiers in both the men’s and women’s finals — as is the norm — what flummoxed a few skiers of note were the dicey conditions, which left the tracks covered with slow-me-down lake effect snow. Post-race interview with Hunter Wonders Canada’s Julien Locke (CNST) won the men’s final in 4:03.83 — a time...

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FasterSkier’s American Birkebeiner coverage is made possible through the generous support of New Moon Ski & Bike in Hayward, Wisconsin. While you are at the Birkie be sure to visit New Moon Ski & Bike for all your local expertise. Falling snow. Not too frigid temps. And a layer of fresh snow overlaying the 50 kilometers of undulating terrain for the 2019 American Birkebeiner. Perhaps no matter the conditions, it is cross-country ski racing paradise....

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FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Seefeld, Austria 15 k/30 k Skiathlon Men’s Race Report | Women’s Race Report Between 3.75-kilometers and 4.85 k on Saturday, Norway’s Therese Johaug began to pull away in earnest during the women’s World Championship 15 k skiathlon — by then she had built a near 15 second lead. The time back to the Norwegian would only grow. Johaug powered into the classic to skate transition zone in control with a...

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  2019 U23 World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland 15 k/30 k Classic Mass Start Link to Doug Stephen’s images from Lahti. Of the four Russian athletes starting the 15-kilometer classic mass start in Lahti, Finland three placed in the top four. Anna Zherebyateva won in 40:31.4 minutes as she was able to stretch her nine-second gap at 10 k to 23.5 seconds by the finish. Also from Russia, Lidia Durkina placed second (+23.5), Germany’s...

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Four U.S. skiers began the U23 women’s 10 k skate individual start at the 2019 U23 World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland on Wednesday, all four finished in the top-30 after Russia’s Mariya Istomina claimed the win in 25:57.3 minutes. Fnland’s Evelina Pippo was second (+2.0), and Norway’s Tiril Udnes Weng third (+29.6). Istomina and Pippo are scheduled to compete at this weekend’s Ulricehamn, Sweden World Cup and have concluded their competition schedules at U23...

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Link to mass start skate race photo gallery. Another distance race at U.S. Cross-Country Nationals in Craftsbury, Vermont and another win for Caitlin Patterson of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project. Count them up: eight U.S. national championships for the twenty eight year old. And in as many days at her home course, Patterson has further solidified both her legacy and the fact she is the distance racer to watch and match as the start gun...

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The following was written by Alayna Sonnesyn, a new member of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) T2 Team who graduated from the University of Vermont (UVM) this past spring. Originally from Plymouth, Minnesota, Sonnesyn, 22, raced on the UVM Ski Team for four years and qualified for four NCAA Skiing Championships teams. She placed second and third in two races at 2017 NCAA Championships, and in her senior season, won the first five Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association...

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Note: This article has been updated to include comments from Simi Hamilton of the U.S. Ski Team (USST) and Stratton Mountain School (SMS) T2 Team, and Kevin Bolger of the USST and Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. *** It’s that time of year again where several members of the U.S. Ski Team, along with top-level skiers from the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP) and Stratton Mountain School (SMS) T2 Team are training at the Snow...

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With the 2017/2018 season officially in the rearview, FasterSkier is excited to unveil its annual award winners for this past winter. Votes stem from the FS staff, scattered across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and while not scientific, they are intended to reflect a broader sense of the season in review. This set of honors goes to outstanding college athletes in cross-country skiing.  *** Katharine Ogden, Dartmouth College Katharine Ogden skiing fast doesn’t exactly surprise anyone....

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The U.S. and Canada have named their squads for FIS Cross Country World Junior and U23 Championships, set to begin later this month in Goms, Switzerland. Both countries’ selections include athletes who excelled against the senior fields at recent domestic races (U.S. National Championships and NorAms) which served as selection races for Olympic teams. In fact, Canada’s U23 women did so well against their senior compatriots that it’s unclear who will represent Canada at the...