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Green Racing Project Blog

Experiencing Khanty-Mansiysk

6.Apr.2015 by Susan Dunklee

I know, I know, the race season ended two weeks ago. But I have these really cool pictures from Khanty-Mansiysk that I want to share. Khanty is a fascinating city in western Siberia and it was the site of our last races. Hannah and I made it a point to get out and see as many sights as possible. Every day we found something new.

Wandering around the City

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(photo credit for this one: wikipedia, because my camera battery died)

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Locally crafted boots for sale at a vendor

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Birch park in the middle of town

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Our hotel

A visit to Archeopark

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Biathlon

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Elaborate Opening Ceremonies

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(Photo: NordicFocus/USBA)

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Reindeer waiting to bring winners to flower ceremony

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Eager Russian fans lingering by the athlete exit

Alberta to Idaho

23.Mar.2015 by Alex Howe

 

On March 9th, Emily, Mike, Miro, and I traveled to Hinton, Alberta for the Canadian Biathlon Nationals.  Ethan met us there after competing in the IBU Cup races in Canmore, Alberta the week before.  Hinton is on the eastern front of the Canadian Rockies.

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Here is Mike, looking stoked about the upcoming races. In the background you can see the pulp mill which was built in the 1950’s.

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Running through one of the many industrial drives in Hinton.

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Cleaning our shoes off on the last patch of snow in town. We had to drive about 20 minutes to the venue which had great snow considering the weather.

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With all the warm weather haircuts were a life saver. We also found that the roof of the hotel was the best place because we didn’t have to clean anything up after.

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Hinton’s population seemed to be extremely proud of their over-sized and muddy trucks! (I won’t put all the photos I took of them on here)

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I have seen a boat on top of a truck, but never one on a trailer on top of a truck!

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This is the pulp mill in Hinton, which made the whole town smell pretty foul. Luckily the venue was far enough away that we didn’t need to smell it while racing.

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Looks like they could make some pretty awesome ski trails pretty easily!

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We found a hunting store in Hinton called High Calibre Sports. It was an awesome store that we could have spent a long time in!

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On our day off we drove up to Jasper which is located right in the middle of the Rockies.

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In Jasper we went for a run, but were warned by signs about the bears in the area!

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Running on the trails outside Jasper. Even Miro decided to come for the adventure!

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Our run took us through a couple different lakes.

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Heading back down into Jasper from the lakes.

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Found a spot looking out over the town of Jasper.

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After our run we got burgers in town. The restaurant had balcony seating overlooking the town.

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On our way home we ran into these guys right next to the road.

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We also stopped at this lake on the way back to Hinton. The lake drains during the winter and fills up during the summer.

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This is the monster sled that they did all the grooming with for the race. The racing went well but I need to do a lot more shooting this summer!

After the racing was over in Hinton, Emily and I traveled to Sun Valley, Idaho to meet up with the rest of the team for Super Tour Finals.  Mike split off and headed to US Biathlon Nationals in Truckee, and Ethan and Miro headed back home to Craftsbury.

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Our view from the plane. You can see Mt. Baker which is just north of Seattle.

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Looking out over the town of Ketchum, Idaho. Its been sunny and in the 50’s and 60’s almost every day!

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Pepa is a big fan of the owner of our rental house. Here she is planning out her relay team, which will be racing tomorrow!!

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A look at the stadium at Galena Lodge. Pretty amazing considering there is no snow down in town!

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Here is some of the team sitting on the tailgate of our rental truck! Some pretty good sun burns happening so far!

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Galena Lodge, which has awesome snow even when Ketchum has very little!

 

Manual Spring

19.Mar.2015 by Steve Whelpley

For the third year, we GRP Rowers have disappeared from Craftsbury. It’s not that we’re afraid of the two more months of winter we still might face in our homeland. Rather, it’s dictated by the fact that we’re a liquid based sport that really starts up in April. In order for us to be ready to go at the first National selection regattas of the year, we need to head south in search of unfrozen waters. We’ll try to write off our lack of posting on how confused our biological clocks are by manually switching seasons.

Our team is a little different looking this year. We have 2 open weight women, 3 lightweight men, and now 8 heavyweight men. I would say this shift was both partly coincidental and purposeful. Various people moved on to the wide, fruitful, green pastures of life, while others found new locations for their pursuit of rowing. At the same time, as the Olympics near, we’ve specialized a bit more in heavyweight men as it may be where we can have a greater impact. Only mention this because we have new faces and a new approach.

The new team coupled with a change to selection procedures this year has turned our time in Clemson from being predominantly in singles to more of a team boat selection process. I’ll curb my personal opinions on all this for now, but will at least say that I think last year was very productive for our boat moving skills.

Clemson like any home away from home has its pros and cons (or deltas if you’ve recently gone to business school).  Here’s a perk:

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The weight room at Clemson is unbelievable. Each year, it has been updated and upgraded. What was once a simple Gatorade buffet has expanded to smoothies, Pro Bars, Stinger Waffles, and much more.

Anyways, the pros are things like: 2 buoyed race courses, gracious access to the weight room, enough to do to not go totally crazy but not enough to be too entertained or distracted, a VERY hospitable host team, plenty of vacation rentals, and a nearby Smoothie King. The cons from my point of view are few but important. While there’s a lot of available water here, it is water that is frequently not that conducive to rowing. You face these issues most places. If you want miles and miles to row on, they typically won’t be reserved for rowers. However, compared to other places I have trained I think there are more pleasure boaters, bass fishers, and unprotected winds on this body of water.

I’m not going to lie though, we’ve had a couple 80 degree days already. Don’t worry though, today was not one of them. 40s and rainy. We’re broken down into the 2 houses we had rented last year. Most of us are paired with people we don’t live with back home, so we get to cook with some fresh faces around us. There’s a group of lightweight athletes from Boston training here as well that include our alumnus Josh Ka-nez-knee (or rather Konieczny). Unfortunately, we haven’t intermingled with them that much as our schedules seem a bit different in focus and emphasis. Some of our lightweights have tangoed with them from time to time though. For the next four days, we have former Danish lightweight rower and coach Thomas Poulsen, staying with us. Hope to pick his brain, but he is spread across a pretty large group here with us and the lightweight camp. Additionally, we should have a surprise visit from the one and only Troy Howell tonight as he drops off a new double for us on his way to spring training with Middlebury College, where he is coaching this spring.

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Chamonix OPA Cup

18.Mar.2015 by Liz Guiney

Last weekend was definitely a sweet one to be a skier or ski fan- with everything from Junior Nationals to the famed Holmenkollen, and biathlon World Championships and NCAA’s all happening at the same time. Honestly, it was tough to keep track of it all!

As for me, I was in Chamonix, France racing in Europa Cup Finals with a crew of 16 other US athletes from various clubs- APU, Stratton, and Sun Valley. OPA Cups are a really competitive version of the US SuperTour circuit. Like the SuperTour, they are a continental cup series that qualifies skiers to the World Cup for their home nations. Unlike the SuperTour, OPA Cups include skiers from at least 7 different countries instead of just one, and each and every one of the skiers has to qualify to even race there. Needless to say, the level of competition is quite high, and it’s a great opportunity for developing US skiers to get exposure to European racing, where everything is a bit different.

It was my first time in France, and Chamonix was one of the more incredible places I’ve ever raced. It’s tough to complain when you’re racing at the base of Mont Blanc and enjoying crepes, fondue, and croissants in the sunshine!

My best result from the mini-tour was in the 2.5k classic prologue, where I placed 25th. I generally like shorter classic races, and although this one included a long herringbone section, not generally one of my strengths, I was still ready to hammer. The course in Chamonix was barely holding on to the available snow and consisted of a nice mix of ice and sugary corn snow. By the final race, I wouldn’t say we were even really skiing on snow anymore, more like a frozen piece of ice over grass and dirt. But, the wax techs gave us great skis regardless!

I posted a longer blog with more pictures and stories from our week in Austria on my personal blog, so if you feel like checking that out, look here. Otherwise, here are a few random snapshots from Chamonix:

Exploring city streets in downtown (photo Annie P)

Exploring city streets in downtown Chamonix (photo Annie P)

 

APU women Rosie Frankowski and Chelsea Holmes at the venue

APU women Rosie Frankowski and Chelsea Holmes at the venue

 

Taking the tram to Aguille du Midi, where you can see the top of Mont Blanc

Taking the tram to l’Aguille du Midi, where you can see the top of Mont Blanc

 

Adventure tram crew- Reese Hanneman, Eric Packer, Anne Hart, Annie Pokorny, Ben Saxton

Adventure tram crew- Reese Hanneman and Eric Packer (APU), Anne Hart, Annie Pokorny, and Ben Saxton (SMS-T2)

 

The view from the top was breathtaking- here's looking towards the French Alps

The view from the top was breathtaking- here’s looking towards the French Alps

 

The peak to the right is Mont Blanc, the highest point in central Europe at 4,810 m

The peak to the right is Mont Blanc, the highest point in central Europe at 4,810 m

 

Repping the green team at 12,500 ft!

Repping the green team at 12,500 ft!

 

Danger danger

Danger! Brave skiers start their tour down the Mont Blanc valley from here. I decided to pass on using my nordie skis

 

I think that's Switzerland! Mont Blanc lies on the border between France and Italy, and is claimed by both countries.

I think that’s Switzerland! Mont Blanc lies on the border between France and Italy, and is claimed by both countries.

 

I loved getting to race on a US team with skiers from other clubs- here I am with Annie Hart and Annie Pokorny from Stratton. All season long we race against each other in the US, but in the end we're all part of the American team pushing each other to improve and reach the highest levels of our sport

I loved getting to race on a US team with skiers from other clubs- here I am with Annie Hart and Annie Pokorny from Stratton. All season long we race against each other in the US, but in the end we’re all part of the American team pushing each other to improve and reach the highest levels of our sport

 

Wanted to end with this shot from Reese- a reminder that we wouldn't be able to do these trips without the support of the National Nordic Foundation-big thanks to them!

Wanted to end with this shot from Reese- a reminder that we wouldn’t be able to do these trips without the support of the National Nordic Foundation-big thanks to them!

After a long day (or two) of travel, I’ve joined up with the rest of the green team in Sun Valley, ID for SuperTour Finals which start this Saturday with a 10/15k classic race. There isn’t much snow in the valley, but the skiing up at Galena Lodge where they’re holding the races is fantastic, so we can’t wait to race! Thanks for reading.