The last few weeks have marked my introduction to SuperTour racing as a post- collegiate athlete. And it’s been pretty fun! At the very end of January, we headed to Lake Placid. The races were schedule for Mt. Van Hoevenburg, but due to low snow, were moved to the jumping complex. Saturday was a skate sprint, were I placed 19th in the prelim. I was pretty excited to qualify for the heats, which is definitely not a given for me. It was really fun to race my quarter final with one of our juniors, Alex Lawson. I led my quarter out of the stadium, but was quickly passed by four girls and solidly in fifth for the rest of the heat. Fast starts are not something I’m particularly adept to, so despite the embarrassment of going from first to fifth, I was pleased that I was able to start quickly. It was awesome to see Caitlin begin the trend of birthday podiums, when she won the qualifier and was second overall.
Sunday brought a 10k classic race with a lot of climbing and a long, not very technical, downhill. In year’s past, it would have been a course that made my heart sing, but with my improved double poling ability, I think I looked at it a little more like others do- there’s a lot of uphill out there. Caitlin rose to the occasion and absolutely crushed it, finishing a minute ahead Kait, who also had a great race and was second.
This weekend was a special weekend because it was my first time racing with most of my GRP teammates. Though I’ve been living with everyone for the past eight months, I’d yet to put on a bib alongside them, and it made me feel like I was really part of it and that I’m getting towards being fully recovered. I’m excited for this to become more in the norm for future races!
Midweek still brings necessary trips to Burlington for PT. Lately, PT has progressed from remedial strengthening to recovery measures, which is a step in the right direction.
Midweek also brings practice with the BKL and Catamount crews. These kids are a blast to ski around with.
The next weekend of SuperTour/ Eastern Cup/ Carnival racing was set to take place at Trapps, but a stadium full of dirt and gray ice brought the races to Craftsbury. Saturday was a skate 5k and Sunday a 10k classic. Both races were held on the same course and made use of almost all of our available terrain and certainly didn’t have the same amount of climbing as in Lake Placid. For the first time in my ski career, I was excited for a relatively flat course! After so many months using the skierg as one of the my primary forms of training, my double poling has evolved from a major weakness to a strength, so I was psyched to be able to use that in a race. Some girls chose to double pole on skate skis, but I wasn’t ready to put that skierging to the test quite that much. I started out the race a bit too quickly, so the first two laps were faster than the last two- need to work on that pacing thing. Nick’s comment to me after the race was “Are you really that excited to race that you go out too hard every time?” Yup! Still so stoked to put that bib on and now need to work on reigning it in a bit for the first few K’s.
Liz had an awesome day and tied for second with Julia Kern. She continued the podiuming-on-your-birthday streak! It was great to her crush it after being so close thus far this winter.
This weekend marked the end of the Eastern Cup/ Junior National Qualifier series and this brought with it the naming of the JN team. Craftsbury has five juniors who will go to JN’s in Cable, Wisconsin in March: Callie Young, Phoebe Sweet, Avery Ellis, Rena Schwartz , and Alex Lawson. Congrats girls! Breaking news: and Anders Hanson too!