I first headed east to Craftsbury, where I am lucky to have a nice bed to sleep in, lots of friends, great food, and what turned out to be amazing skiing. It was extremely frigid, but that made for nice skiing so I can't complain too much. I spent a few weeks training before we got under way racing. It was great to have so many new trails to make training just fly by and remind myself how much I love skiing. I also got to join in on lots of college races as we had combined SuperTour and NCAA races which was fun to catch up with my old teammates and coaches.
We first attended UVM Carnival for some practice and tune up after taking a few weekends away from racing. It was during the first day of races that we learned of the passing of Torin Tucker, a Dartmouth skier, in the Craftsbury Marathon earlier that morning. While I was never a teammate with Torin, seeing my friends and former teammates hurt so badly was more than I could handle. It was devastating. It is hard to imagine someone as fit and young as any of us could suddenly pass away doing something I do every weekend. It made for a very tough weekend of racing. Winning or losing doesn't seem very important when life is at stake. I was happy to be able to participate in a memorial ski with much of the community and college skiers in honor of Torin's life. If you are interested in knowing more about the great impact Torin left on Dartmouth and the ski community, please read here: http://thedartmouth.com/2014/02/06/news/torin-tucker-15-remembered His classmates and teammates did a wonderful job expressing what a loss this was so I will leave it in their words.
|Tough weekend of racing at UVM. I think you can see my distractedness in this photo. Not many race thoughts flowing through my mind.|
|Cheering on Annie at UNH Carnival|
The following weekend, we had a packed weekend with 3 days of racing in Craftsbury, which was combined with Dartmouth Carnival. I was really excited and happy to be able to take part in another Dartmouth Carnival as some of my fondest racing memories come from Dartmouth Carnival. While I was sad not to be racing at Dartmouth, Craftsbury provided a great alternative with brutal courses and great conditions. My skating seemed to be suffering a little a bit so I opened the weekend in the 5k skate with a 4th place. But I really found my stride classic skiing and had one of my better races of the season winning a 15k individual start. Feeling the fatigue from 2 previous days of racing and struggling on a grueling sprint course, I limped home in 4th place in the skate sprint on the last day.
|Izzy, Me, Annie, and Erika post race at Dartmouth Carnival/Craftsbury SuperTour|
|Trying hard to find my skating legs|
|Pink Hair and Captains!|
|Patrick racing in the cold.|
|More Podium shots|
|Psyched to win!|