|Awesome panorama of the venue taken by my teammate Lauren Fritz|
|Sunrise from our hotel! Lauren Fritz Photo|
|Mass Start up the steepest of climbs. Rob Whitney Photo|
|The front of the pack cresting the hill. Rob Whitney Photo|
|Cruising on up the hill. Rob Whitney Photo|
|Boys skiing fast. Rob Whitney Photo|
|As you can see, girls don't mess around with cat and mouse games, they just push push push making the pack get really strung out just 1 km into the race.|
Saturday was sprint day. I was originally not scheduled to race the sprint since I didn't qualify in sprinting, but illness hit the team pretty hard this week and people were coming down with colds right and left so the afternoon before I got the nod to test out my sprinting skills. I haven't been able to find that fast twitch in me this year so I did my best, but didn't have the speed to make the rounds, finishing the day in 39th. But once again, my teammates did great. Kikkan 2nd, Ida 10th, Sadie 22nd, Sophie 23rd, Andy Newell 5th, Skyler Davis 24th.
|Trying hard to get the sprint speed...|
The last day called for a pursuit, which means we switch from classic to skate half way through the race. This is stressful for everyone! Racers have to test classic and skate skis, then make sure all their skate equipment is in the box in the stadium and all the classic equipment is with you for the start then in the middle of the race you have to not get too frantic switching gear and make sure you grab all the right stuff. This is also stressful for the wax techs because they have twice as many skis to prepare. All this adds to the nerves so needless to say I was a little nervous and checked to be sure I had all the right equipment at least five times before the start. In the U.S. we never race this format so I have only done a few pursuit in my life and none have gone that well.
I got a much better start and did my best to hang tough in the classic portion climbing that massive hill 2 more times. I had a good transition and felt remarkably good on my skate skis. I have really put a lot of effort into working on my skate technique and it seems to finally be paying off. I held really strong in the skate, but skied with a lot of trepidation and ended up in a big pack at the end, finishing 38th. Another strong day for the U.S. Kikkan 8th, Ida 14th, Holly 28th, Noah 8th, Kris 10th, Tad 28th!
|Classic Leg. Rob Whitney Photo|
|Noah Hoffman crushing it. Rob Whitney Photo|
|And the mouth open race face......working on my turning technique and downhills. Rob Whitney Photo|
As for now, it's homeward bound for the Holidays! I am thankful to get to be home for a whole month! U.S. National Championships are taking place at Soldier Hollow so I hope to have a good cheering squad! Here is the schedule so everyone can pencil it in to their day planners now!
Jan. 2nd Classic Sprint
Jan. 4th 10km Freestyle
Jan. 6th 20km Classic Mass Start
Jan. 8th Freestyle Sprint
Thanks for following!