Monday, March 31, 2008

UW Nordic Ski Camp Registration is open!

It's that time of year again, the ski season is over and it brings a feeling of bitter-sweet. Actually here in Laramie we are still skiing on some of the best conditions of the year, but even so the actual racing season is over. Some of you are excited and it ended well, others are glad that a rough season is over and you can start thinking about next year. Although last season has just ended now is the time next season starts, spring and summer training are the most important thing you can do to ski fast next season.

With this in mind it's time to register for the UW Nordic Summer Ski Camp! The snow this year has been phenomenal and we should have plenty of area to ski. We also do a lot of dryland running, bounding, circuits, etc. In addition, while all that is fun and you learn a lot we all know that the reason you come to the camp is for the food so you'll all be glad to know that Ev & Dick Boggs will be back with more amazing meals!

It's not too early to register for the UW Nordic Summer Ski Camp. We will only be accepting 25 participants and we already have 10 signed up so be sure to register early!

The dates are June 7-10 and the information can be found at:

http://www.uwyo.edu/ski/camp/

Let us know if you have any questions! uwski@yahoo.com

We hope to see you all out there!

Got snow?

We do! It is March 31 and we just returned from skiing on groomed trails at Happy Jack! We classic skied on Swix Extra Blue and it was actually dragging because the snow was colder than that!

An amazing day, on wonderful trails, it doesn't get any better than this!

Get out there and ski!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A thought

Some people dream of success. Others wake up and work hard at it. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

year in review

well the season has officially ended, but man was it fun! i was excited to travel to maine especially as a freshman. the competition was tough and got me excited for a summer of good training. This team meant a lot to me as i was coming in from minnesota and didnt know hardly anyone, i made a bunch of new friends and i think this team is what got me through the year. thanks everyone for being such great friends, teammates and coaches. looking forward to next year!
...pretty short review huh

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Still Skiing!

After being gone for 2 weeks, one to Nationals and one backpacking in New Mexico, we finally got up to ski at Happy Jack on Friday and Sunday morning. WOW! The conditions are like mid-winter, perfectly groomed, hard packed, light skiff of fresh snow, amazing!

It was actually 15 degrees in Laramie this morning which probably accounts for the mid-winter conditions but it sure was nice. I suspect there will be good skiing up there for at least another week, maybe more! It's awesome and exciting.

It should make for an awesome crust skiing year since we're still skiing on groomed trails at the end of March.

Get out there and ski!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good job!

I just want to congratulate everyone on an awesome mationals! You guys did great!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

That "Best Race of My Life" Feeling

Wow, where to start... Nationals was Amazing, The East is Crazy and Classic Skis really do Matter!!!

Here is a great site with results and a really cool slideshow of the relay. Check it out!

This was my second Nationals experience (I went to Winter Park last year) and my first time East of the Mississippi. It was also my first time skiing at sea level. Maine is absolutely beautiful and there are tons of trees. There was much more snow than I was expecting. I had heard many horror stories of skiing on gravelly slush the last few days but there was no danger of that.

The racing was grueling but fun. Sea-level skiing really is a new experiece. You breath better (which is imporant) but you can still definitely feel the asthma kicking in. Also, as you climb hills you can actually feel the lactic acid building in your muscles. But, if you can bear it, it doesn't slow you down too much at first because you recover quickly. I was SO sore after the sprints and 15km classic. The snow is also different. I don't know how to describe it; it is just something you have to see for yourself.

I had one of the best races of my life in the 15km classic. It was one of those races that feels so amazing. You are just hitting it hard the whole time and you have a huge smile on your face. I got new classic skis about 3 weeks before Nationals and they make a HUGE difference. Before, I had skis that were too stiff so that I could not completely flex them, and therefore not get kick. Unfortunately, I found this out 7 years after I bought them. In the meantime, I did a lot of technique work thinking my technique was the problem. I think I can safely say that the skis were 98% of the problem. As I skied by coaches and Joe in the race I yelled out, "These skis are AMAZING!" I hope that everyone gets to feel that "best race of my life" feeling at least once. It is one you will never forget.

I had a great time with my teammates and coaches. I wish I could stay on the team forever but I think life is going to take me elsewhere. At least I don't have to quit skiing!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The fat lady has sung!

We’re finally back after a marathon of 48 hours with only 10 hours of sleep, most of it in small 1 hour chunks. Talk about jet lag...

Anyway, here is the wrap-up from the week. I wasn’t able to get to the computer after Wednesday thus this late message.

We had a day off on Thursday and had a great day going down to Portland, visiting a lighthouse and eating lobster. Then we were back for the skate race on Friday morning.

Finally the weather was starting to cooperate and we had some decent 20 degree temperatures and stable snow. The women lead the day and once again Katie Turner lead the girls. Katie is a dominant classic skier and usually doesn’t do well in skate but Friday was a great exception. She flew around the trail right into a top 10 finish of 9th! She was followed closely in 10th, by 4 tenths of a second, by Erin Hammer. In 11th and 12th, just 16 and 19 seconds back came Marie Cartwright and Liz Turner. Karyn Liebsch and Mae Peterson finished 18 & 19 for the cowgirls. It was an amazing pack race that showed potential for the women’s team for next year, only Katie and Mae will be graduating and Marie and Karyn are freshmen. The cowgirls finished a great 3rd place as a team.

For the men’s race the weather warmed considerably and caused a panic rewax of their skis. Despite some of the athletes getting their skis less than a minute before they started they also skied extremely well in an incredibly strong men’s field. John Kirlin skied to his 3rd first-team All-American finish in 4th place, just 5 seconds out of 3rd. Brian Sebade had a great day finishing in 12, only 1 minute out of the top 3 and 10 seconds out of the top 10! Brian was followed by Jacob Peterson 19th, Nicholai Smith 20th, Justin Kinner 30th, Michael Fitzgerald 31, Patrick Richards 34 and Adam Karges 36. It was a tough day for the men in an extremely competitive race that had 20 men in the first 2 minutes! The men also skied to a 3rd place team finish, just a few points behind Clarkson. This team will only get stronger with only Brian Sebade graduating and Justin, Michael and Adam being freshmen!

The relay was a great day for racing. After raining most of the night on Friday it cleared up and was a balmy 35 degrees. The relay format is for teams of 3 each doing 5km. The first leg is classic and the last two are skate. The women were able to field two full relay teams and they were pumped to end the week on a good note. The first leg for UW team 1 was Mae Peterson and for UW team 2 Liz Turner. Mae and Liz worked together for most of the race and help on to the leaders throughout the entire race. This was an amazing feat since this leg had multiple women who placed in the top 10 in the classic race. Mae handed off to Katie Turner who stormed around the course and caught 2nd place Clarkson. Katie had the 5th fastest skate time of the day! Liz handed off to Karyn Liebsch who held her own well and managed to hold on to 4th place. Katie handed off to Erin Hammer who held on tight to 3rd place holding off all comers. Marie Cartwright races hard and had a fantastic leg, the 6th fastest for the day and despite a huge surge from University of Maine, Presque Isle, Megan Tuossaint who dominated the skate race the day before. The UW women’s teams finished 3rd & 4th in the relay making a fantastic finish to a great week!

The men’s relay had the same format. Brian Sebade started for UW team1 and Justin Kinner for UW team 2. 2 km into the race Brian decided the pace was too slow and took the lead from the pack. Unfortunetly after he did he fell into a soft spot in the trail and lost 20 seconds getting out. This gave the pack a huge lead and St. Olaf started to break away. Seeing his team mate on the ground Justin sprinted to the front of the pack and tried to slow it down, to give Brian and chance to catch up. The tactic worked and by the finish Brian capped an amazing 4-year career of racing by pulling with 2 seconds of winning the leg of the race and finishing 2nd. It was trully impressive! Brian handed off to Jacob Peterson who managed to stay in contact with the leaders for the entire 5km. Justin handed off to Michael Fitzgerald in 3rd place. Michael skied extremely well. Jacob turned the reigns over to John Kirlin to who shot out on the course like a man possessed. He soon caught Clarkson and went by him and then went after St. Olaf. By this time St. Olaf had a 26 second lead and proved to be a little too far, the race came down to Clarkson and UW. John stormed up the last hill with Clarkson hot on his heals and after 15km of racing and 3 people the race came down to a photo finish, which Clarkson won by 2 inches! Despite losing the photo finish this it was a truly amazing race for all the men and John Kirlin had the fastest skate leg of the day. Check out the youtube video of the finish of the relay - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW-8m6UJXHQ UW team 2 also finished extremely well with Nicholai Smith managed to pick up multiple places for a great 7th place finish!

It was an extremely difficult week on really tough trails and in horrific conditions, rain, sleet, freezing rain, snow, etc. The athletes skied amazing and really hung in there, even in their tough races. Despite the tough week the women placed 3 people in the overall rankings, Katie Turner 7th, Liz Turner 9th and Marie Cartwright 10th. The men also did amazing with John Kirlin finishing 3rd overall and Brian Sebade finished 9th overall. Jacob Peterson just missed the top 10 and finished 11th. Throughout the week there were 17 All-American finishes and 5 Overall All-Americans. Both men’s and women’s teams were 3rd, behind St. Olaf and Clarkson. There were 8 Academic All-Americans: Mae Peterson, Katie Turner, Erin Hammer, Marie Cartwright, Karyn Liebsch, Jacob Peterson, Adam Karges and Michael Fitzgerald.

On the whole it was a fantastic week of racing and these athletes made UW proud!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Stampede 42k classic: hell of a fun

It was fun race, but I've made few mistakes. First, I should not have raced 42k, while having just recovered from flu. Secondly, I should not have been doing classic without coaches doing the kick wax - because I screwed it up. Thirdly, I should have been born a billioner and spend time drinking gin-and-tonic on the beach in Hawaii.

I didn't feel in shape at the start, so I decided to start relatively slow and keep heart rate below 180 at all cost. I did pretty good job at it - my race-average HR turned out to be 179.

The conditions were winter-cold at the start and slushy (on sunny spots) and still relatively cold (in the shade) on the second 21k-loop. I had toko multiviola klister for kick - it slipped on cold snow , worked reasonably well on warmer snow and had zero grip on slush.

That was a pity because the longest and hardest uphill was all chest-deep water on the second loop. I don't know how I climbed it, but it was not pretty. It wasn't not fast either. It was hell. When I was slipping my way up to top, I was passed by Sarah Konrad (in skating mode) and cheered with "Go Wyoming". With a proud tear on my weathered face, I had no choice but to go like a true cowboy.

Magically, I finished in forth - it seems there was no change of order since the start.

I am eternally grateful to organizers for providing a feed every 5k - it was very appropriate on a spring day like that. BTW, gatorade seems to go down much easier when it's cold.

It's great to see that team is doing so well on Nationals! Keep it up guys, or you will find youself digging gold in Siberia very quickly! :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Online Results

Just wanted to let you know that the results can be found online at http://www.chisholmskiclub.org/chisholm_results/2007-08/07-08_results_frameset.htm

Results so far...

I don't have much time to post so I'm just going to post what I sent to UW News Service. Hope it gives you some updates anyway.

We just finished some of the most difficult skiing and racing we have ever done. The weather in 5 hours has gone from snow, to sleet, to rain, to sleet, to rain and back to snow! It's been crazy!

So far things have gone extremely well. The first race was a 1.4km classic technique sprint. The way this race is run there is a qualifying round that everyone does and then the top 10 fastest times go on to the finals. Both men and women placed 4 athletes into the top 10 for the finals. There are two additional rounds where the top two go on to the A Final, the next 2 go on to the B Final and the last person in each heat places 9 & 10.

For the women Erin Hammer, Liz Turner, Katie Turner, Karyn Liebcsh and Marie Cartwright all qualified for the final rounds, in 10, 5, 6, 9 respectively. Erin and Marie were eliminated in the first round and ended up 10 and 9 respectively, Karyn was unable to compete in the final rounds. Liz qualified for the B final and Katie for the A final. At the end of two very exciting races Liz finished in 7th and Katie in 4th. Mae Peterson was the only other cowgirl, she managed a 16 place after falling twice in the qualifying round.

The men's race was also exciting. John Kirlin, Jacob Peterson, Brian Sebade and Justin Kinner all qualified for the final rounds in 4, 7, 9, 10. Brian and Justin were eliminated in the first round and finished 9 & 10 but Jacob went on to the B Final and placed 6th and John qualified for the A final and placed 2nd in a photo finish! The other men in the race were Michael Fitzgerald in 12, Adam Karges 29 and Patrick Richards in 32.

It was an amazingly successful day for both men and women. they both ended the day with podium team finishes of 3rd place!

Wednesday was the 15km classic mass start and it was really difficult conditions. As were were waxing skis it literally went from clear, to snow to sleet to snow to sleet and on and on. It was the most difficult conditions to wax for as well as to ski in, especially for Wyoming skiers who have never skied in sleet and rain! Despite this there were some great finishes.

The women started the day and despite having no one ranked in the top 10 two cowgirls manage to sneak in there. Mae Peterson lead the charge with an amazing 8th place followed closely by Katie Turner in 9th. Liz Turner finished 13th, Marie Cartwright 16 and Erin Hammer 17. This placed them once again in 3rd place behind St. Olaf and Clarkson.

The men's race went extremely well with John Kirlin once again leading the cowboys to a great 3rd place finish. He was backed up by a great race by Justin Kinner in 9th, Jacob Peterson 12, Brian Sebade 13, Nicholai Smith 22, Michael Fitzgerald 33, Patrick Richards 37 and Adam Karges 39. The men also had a strong 3rd place finish in and extremely competitive field. They followed St. Olaf and Clarkson.

It has been a bit of a struggle with the weather but the athletes are performing amazing and it's been a great nationals so far.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Snow Mountain Stampede 42 Km

Melissa-it was good to hear about your Tour of Anchorage race, and know the alum are out there representing.

I'm on a recovery week now and I don't like it. It is my third rest day since the 42 km Snow Mountain Stampede skate race, and I'm already feeling the withdrawl from my excercise addiction. It was totally worth it though. The race was awesome- gorgeous day, lots of people, and a wonderful course. Like Melissa, previous to last weekend I'd never raced over 15 km.

We-Gina, Aubree, Grigory and I were all laughing about getting in a good warm up before the big race, and I didn't ski at all before the mass start. I'd been planning on using the first 5 or 10 km as a warm up. But in the mass start excitement, I started out faster that I had planned, zone 3 probably, but Aubree and I were still in the back of the pack. I was really surprised that everyone was going so fast. I was thinking I should have warmed up a little but was too scared of cramping up to try and keep up. Most racers did eventually slow down, and I started picking people off starting at around 10km and ended up in the middle of the pack. The last guy I passed near the end of the race said, "Wyoming... where did you come from, I haven't seen you all day!"

I thought that I would be skiing in zone one the whole race, but I couldn't make myself go anywhere near that slow. I was a little worried the whole first lap that I was going to bonk on the second lap, but I just kept feeling really good untill about the last km when my legs started to feel pretty tired. I think I owe a lot of that to GU and gatorade. Rachel was right, it didn't take me 4 hours like I expected, only 2:45, a little slower than my Cowboy Chase 15km speed. It was so much fun, and not at all painfall like I was expecting, except for the raspberry I got on my shoulder from a falling clump of icy snow. I think I've found my new favorite distance for a race, and I think I am going to be up for that Steamboat 90 km in a couple weeks!

I Can't wait to hear about the Sprints at Nationals today!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Tour of Anchorage, UW Alumni are everywhere!

I hope this post finds everyone well at Nationals!

Yesterday I raced the Tour of Anchorage 25k skate race. At the Tour of Anchorage there are several racing options, ether a 50, 40, or 25k skate or a 25k skate. Seeing as one month ago I was sitting by my swimming pool in TX sipping a fruity adult beverage, I chose the 25k skate.

The race day conditions were unparalleled for a skate race. 25 degrees, slightly overcast but quickly burning off, packed snow, and not a hint of ice. After consulting with my wax technician (Thanks Joe!) via cell phone a few days before the race, I decided to mix LF6 and LF7 for my race wax. This turned out to be an excellent idea! The majority of the course was in the shade, and my skis were rockets! The few areas where sunshine was my only option were a bit slower, but nothing too horrible. We started out in waves of 50 people every 2 minutes, I was in the 5th wave, and the trails were SKINNY. At some points we were 4 across and double poling. After about 15k however, I had passed the majority people I was going to pass and was able to focus on skiing, rather than getting around the masses. Lucky for me, in my wave a younger girl (12-13 years old) kept passing me, then I would pass her, etc, and we started to work together at about 5k into the race, and we continued to work together throughout, she ended up overtaking me with about 4k to go, but let me tell you, she earned it! Yes, that is right, I had my butt handed to me by a 12 year old girl! I think she was getting a kick out of all the 13 year old boys we were passing though. I finished in 1 hour, 30 minutes, and 35 seconds, placing me 17th for the women’s field of 217, and 66 for the overall field of 500. Not the greatest day ever, but hey, it was a blast! Besides, all of the “big guns” were skiing in the 40k and 50k races! Maybe next year for me…

This was my first 25k ever, before yesterday my longest race had been a 15k! I guess I used to be intimidated by the longer races, but up here I am definitely going to have to get over that if I want to do any racing. I have started to notice that the skiers up here are all bout the long races, so I guess it is just another challenge. This will be my last ski race of the year, I am going to continue to train while there is snow, then switch to running/biking/roller skiing to train for 2 half marathons I have planned for the summer. I also have decided to take on snowboarding so that should be an adventure and hopefully help me not be as freaked out by fast downhills!

The night before the race a coworker had a pre-tour potluck at his house that I went to and it turned out to be another one of those “small world but even smaller since I am from WY” moments. My coworker is British and here in Anchorage many of the Europeans hang out together so at his house there was a Norwegian coworker of ours that I had met in passing at work but hadn’t really talked to him at all. We started chatting about World Cup skiers, etc, and I mentioned that I skied in college fro WY, and he looked at me and said “So did I!” He was a member of the UW team in the beginning to mid 80’s, before Christi’s time. We had a great time talking about the team, etc, and he and I are the same degree so we had even had the same professors while at UW. I thought it was pretty awesome I moved to AK and met a fellow UW teammate!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

So far, so good!

We are all safely in our farmhouse near Rumford, Maine.

It was an amazingly easy trip considering we are trying to move 18 people, 12 ski bags, 2 benches, 5 wax boxes and everyone's personal bags via car, plane and minivan over 2000 miles!

Often the worst part of the trip can be actually getting through security at the airport. We only had a couple of hick-ups there. The security guard didn't like Jacob's and Joe's ID's and had to call a superior, apparently the old Wyoming licenses are tricky. Marie was grilled as to her age, they must have thought she was an unaccompanied child despite the fact that the security guard had her ID in his hands! Once Joe managed to get through the first checkpoint he put his ID and credit cards in his shoe. The shoe flipped out of the box inside the x-ray machine and dumped his cards out. He managed to find everything except his credit card, they slowed down the line as he and several security people probed the depths of the x-ray machine to find it. Patrick also got slowed down but actually didn't have any trouble with security, just unlacing and lacing his boots took quite awhile!

On the whole though things went well and we all made it through will no tears.

Picking up the vans with Enterprise was easy and wonderful, what a great company! All of us stuffed ourselves into 3 minivans and went to a grocery store, got food for 5 dinners as well as lunch and breakfast, ate at a Denny's and finally found our way to the Farm. What an awesome place! Everyone who wants a bed to themselves has one and there are 2 fridges and 2 stoves. There is a hot tub and a sauna and a pool table. Generally it is an awesome place and perfect for making us feel at home and relax.

We slept in this morning and went up to the nordic venue at Black Mountain. After trying to get information from an extremely unfriendly woman in the alpine lodge we managed to find some extremely helpful women at the nordic venue and got a chance to ski the course. It is beautiful out here! There is probably 4 feet of snow, huge piles everywhere. We used hard wax to classic ski today. The most amazing skiing we have ever seen in the East, it's wonderful!

The trails are also wonderful. Rachel skied here as a Junior and described the trails perfectly. They are great fun with rolling up and downhills, nice and wide and challenging. Should make for some really great races.

Joe, John and Adam are making a Mongolian grill dinner tonight and then we'll start the racing prep in earnest.

Keep tuned for more updates!