The past five weeks have marked the end of the 2015-2016 race season and April- rest month, adventure month, off month. Or call it what you will, its a month of unstructured time that has been a blast.
In October, when I realized things were going downhill quickly with my knee and a second surgery was necessary, the goal for the season shifted from racing fast at US Nationals in order to make U23’s to salvaging the second half of the season and racing well at SuperTour Finals at Craftsbury. This long awaited series came at the end of March, and though I didn’t have any outstanding results at SuperTour Finals, it was a solid week of racing that makes me really excited for next year. There were four races: 10k skate, classic sprint, 4X5k “club” relay, and 30k classic mass start. One of the highlights of the week was qualifying for the sprint heats for the first time ever at Nationals or SuperTour Finals, even if it was in 30th! I was 6th in my quarterfinal, however it makes me eager to work at sprinting next year, rather than be really excited just to be make the heats.
Another highlight was racing with the “Green Buffaloes” in the club relay. Because all the GRP boys are biathletes, we all had to find other boys to make our relay teams. Liz and I teamed up with two (really fast!) CU boys, Petter Reistad and Mads Stroem, for a fourth place finish. Caitlin and I were tagged by our teammates, at the same time, in second and third. We skied the first few minutes of our legs together, which was great!
The final race of the week was a 30k classic mass start. With a last minute schedule change, the women started at nine and the men at noon, which worked in our favor. The first two laps were a bit icy and fast for my liking, but as the sun shone brighter, the snow got slushy and the tracks disappeared and I was happy we raced first. A huge thank you to Nick and co. for making awesome skis that were kicking when others weren’t!
SuperTour Finals wrapped up the “official” racing of my first season as part of the GRP. Though it didn’t quite go as planned, it was a great first year as part of a great team, and I can’t for next year, hopefully with all knees still intact. None of this would be possible without coach Pepa and waxing extraordinaire Nick as well as Anna and Ollie and everyone else (Ruth, Jake, Marc, and others) who jumped in throughout the season to help us out!
About a week before SuperTour Finals, there were conversations about a trip to California for some skiing and beaching, spearheaded by Clare. Unfortunately, Clare got sick right before the trip, but the Tuesday after the real race season ended, Liz and I headed to sunny Truckee. Pictures do a better job than words describing the awesome week!
We made the trip down to Mammoth for the Mammoth Marathon. Racing 42k at 9000 feet is an experience I wasn’t quite prepared for, but it was a lot of fun!
After a week at home, I went to Rhode Island for a few days at Halie’s beach house, who is one of the Bates skiers. It was great to hang out with old teammates, new Bates skier Sam, and the whole Lange Gang. Every day was full of a lot of coffee, a lot of laughs and smiles, a lot of activities, and even some naps.
No pictures of the week’s most comical activity: tennis. Maybe we were always moving just a bit too quickly to be captured by the camera. For the second year in a row, Laurel won the annual Hallie- Laurel showdown tennis match. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time around.
En route from Rhode Island to Vermont, I stopped in Boston to see some other Bates friends. This visit involved a harrowing ride on the T, a Red Sox game, and a declaration that I will never live in a city.
Now, one last week at home with my family before heading back to Craftsbury to begin the 2016-2017 training year!