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Author Archive

Another Weekend in the Books

9.Feb.2015 by Jake Barton

Well after two long weekends of racing the GRP athletes and the Craftsbury Outdoor Center staff can take a moment to relax and celebrate what they have accomplished. The GRP had a great showing last weekend, ending with Gordon Vermeer’s 2nd place in the mass start classic race on Sunday. Clearly he is peaking just in time for the Birkie. Congrats Gordon on a truly impressive finish in an extremely competitive field.

More importantly, I wanted to write this post in order to congratulate all the Craftsbury Outdoor Center staff on pulling off a couple of incredible weekends of racing. I doubt that many people think about the kind of preparation and work that goes into hosting events such as these. Especially race weekends that combine EISA college carnivals with Super Tours with Eastern Cups with Marathon Series….that is a monumental task and requires an immense amount of work.

First off I want to send a huge thank you to Dick and Judy who are behind the scenes in just about everything that happens at the outdoor center and with planning and executing these events. I’m not sure how there is enough time in the day for these two to do as much work as they do but somehow they pull it off.

Secondly, I want to thank everyone who helped with setting up the race course and stadium for the past two weekends. Especially the grooming crew (Lucas Schulz) who laid out some amazing race courses. Had to have been the best conditions I’ve skied all year anywhere in the country.

I can’t forget to thank the kitchen staff who never cease to impress with their quality of food even when they are attempting to serve hundreds of people a day. One race day I heard that they made 60 gallons of Chili…. yes that is not a type-o. SIXTY. Unbelievable. The amazing food at the center is constantly receiving praise and it has to be one of the main reasons people come back year after year. Keep up the good work kitchen staff, we all appreciate it so much.

Finally, I want to send a big thank you to all the volunteers over the last couple of weeks. There’s no way these races could’ve happened without all of your help. It always amazes me how many people are willing to spend there day standing out in the cold helping out in any way that they can. It’s hard work and all the staff and especially the athletes appreciate everything that the volunteers do during these big race weekends. Thanks again.

This raps up the climax of the racing season at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center this year and I think it is safe to say that many people are ready for a break. It has been a crazy, hectic couple of weekends but everything went off extremely smoothly and the events were a huge success. Again, I can’t stress how much work this takes and how easy it is for one little thing to go wrong and ruin the whole day. I have only heard positive feedback about the racing these past weekends and that is all due to the hard work of the staff and the volunteers.

Thank You

Craftsbury Super Tour 2015 part 2

7.Feb.2015 by Jake Barton

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With the start of the second consecutive super tour weekend being held at Craftsbury Outdoor Center came a whole lot of athletes, excitement and cutting edge spectating up here in the kingdom. Wicked sweet dude. The racing began friday morning with the freestyle sprint qualifier and it was a perfect storm of eastern racing circuits, with the Dartmouth College Carnival, Eastern Cup and the Supertour all converging into one massive event with hundreds of athletes entered to race. The mobs of athletes and fans combined with the new webcasting system created an exciting atmosphere for the skate sprint that would happen later in the afternoon.

 

The grueling 3 minute long sprint qualifier was fast and furious and put most of the GRP athletes into the top 30 that would race in the heats. The most impressive of the crew was Alex Howe, throwing down a 3rd place qualifier and reminding us all of his days as the faster junior in the world, if not the universe. Howe would hope to match his qualifier performance in the heats, but with a stacked field of some of the fastest skiers in the country along with the fastest college skiers in the east anything could happen.

The boys quarterfinals went off first. Many of the big names were knocked out early, including Alex Schulz and Gordon Vermeer. Pete Hegman and Mike Gibson also couldn’t move out of their competitive quarterfinals past world class athletes like Kris Freeman and Reese Hanneman. This left all the GRP fans rooting for Alex Howe and the fast and furiously female GRP women. Howe cruised in to win his quarterfinal heat and looked poised for his semifinal round.

Howe’s Quarters finish

Howe would now have a quick break while the girls quarters took place. Many of the girls team had been struggling with sickness through the week and it left them feeling a bit run down coming into the long race weekend. But their toughness and competitive spirit pushed them to race…and race well. Caitlin Patterson powered through her cold and skied past her fellow athletes in her heat to move onto the semis. Kate Miller would also comfortably move onto her next heat and would confirm any ideas that floated around of her becoming a natural sprint dawg and a force to be reckoned with on the Super Tour circuit.

C-Pats Quarters finish

Howe’s semifinal matchup was next and there was a palpable tension in the air as 6 titans of skiing took to the line. There would be no cruising across the line to victory in this heat. Howe would have to pull out all the stops in order to move on to the A final.

Howe’s Semi Start

Sadly Alex couldn’t muster the juice needed in order to move on to the finals. This left him unsatisfied but still with a great result. He would use this as motivation for tomorrow in the 10k freestlye.

This left all our hopes on the girls. The K(C)aitli(y)n(n)s. Both of their semi finals were incredibly close and it came down to whose time was faster. For those who are not familiar with how the sprint brackets work: top 2 in each heat move on and after that there are 2 “lucky losers” who are chosen by the 2 fastest times in all of the heats. Kate was one of those lucky losers.

Kate’s Semis finish

Unfortunately, it was not in the cards today for a recovering Caitlin Patterson who would be forced to ski home and try to get healthy again for the next 2 days of racing. Because, as we all know, a healthy Caitlin Patterson is virtually unbeatable.

Kate’s final was a who’s who of United States skiing and she  finished the day in a very respectable 6th place and 100 dollar payday. Congrats Kate. And get healthy Caitlin and Liz! Also happy birthday shout out to Liz Guiney.

The next 2 days will be more jammed pack action with another stacked interval start race Saturday and the always exciting mass start classic race on Sunday. Good luck to all the athletes and if you want to join the action either come up to Craftsbury Outdoor Center or watch the online webcast thats being provided by fasterskier.

Go Green

The Incredibly Humble Beginnings of a Few Professional Skiers

6.Feb.2014 by Jake Barton

Everyone knows how glamorous and luxurious the life of a professional skier is, but what people don’t realize is that we were not always this amazing and inspirational. Most of us had very simple and rather embarrassing beginnings to our ski careers. Some started as toddlers, barely able to walk, forced onto their skis to train until their lungs started to bleed. Some had the genes of Olympians, born and raised for a single purpose. Others had to fight their way to the pinnacle of Nordic Skiing and rival these other titans of the sport.

Without further rambling, here are some pictures to prove how everything that I just said is completely inaccurate.

Titans of the Bill Koch Festival

Titans of the Bill Koch Festival

Pete Fro Chill

Pete Fro Chill

 

OLYMPIAN

OLYMPIAN

 

Flawless Technique and Style

Flawless Technique and Style

 

....and Equipment

….and Equipment

 

First day of Olympic Training for Ida

First day of Olympic Training for Ida

 

Andrew is now a little more capable on skis....just a bit

Andrew is now a little more capable on skis….just a bit

 

Schulz swagger

Schulz swagger

 

Powerful legs are key to becoming a good skier....

Powerful legs are key to becoming a good skier….

 

VT Legends once again reunited as teammates

VT Legends once again reunited as teammates

 

The few surviving smallboys

The few surviving smallboys

GRP rowing team....i believe that is world class rower Steve Whelpley on the left

GRP rowing team….i believe that is world class rower Steve Whelpley on the left

 

OLYMPIAN

OLYMPIAN

Still fierce competitors

Still fierce competitors

Hopefully, we can all continue to grow and improve on our ski careers. Whether it be here at Craftsbury for the Super Tour weekend, off in Europe for Biathlon races or at the Olympics. GO Susan, Ida and Hannah!

IntoThe Wild

1.Dec.2013 by Jake Barton

Our team finished up the first Super Tour races with some encouraging individual finishes. Caitlin Patterson closed out the weekend with 2 top 5 finishes and mo money in her pocket. Gordon Vermeer had a blistering fast sprint qualifier on Friday that put him in 8th place for the heats. Alex Schulz finished in 7th place after the heats on Friday, out-stretching some notable figures in the ski community. Andrew Dougherty finished the brutal 15k skate in 14th place in a stacked men’s field. It appears that some are already in race form coming into these first races of the year and others haven’t quite hit their stride, but the season is still young and there is plenty of racing yet to be done. Today we had an easy day in West Yellowstone and some took advantage of the easy workout and checked out the local park only minutes from our house. Cruising around the scenic park was a great way to unwind from the stress that comes from a race weekend and begin to prepare for our next week in Bozeman, Montana.

River Trail heading into the Park

River Trail heading into the Park

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Single track through the woods...totally sweet

Single track through the woods…totally sweet

Skiing from state....

Skiing from state….

...to state

…to state

Crazy system of boardwalks through the woods

Crazy system of boardwalks through the woods

Somehow met up with the girls out here in the barren wilderness

Somehow met up with the girls out here in the barren wilderness

Hey Jennie Bender....she's not on our team but she's pretty chill so we let her tag along

Hey Jennie Bender….she’s not on our team but she’s pretty chill so we let her tag along

The Grey

The Grey

Trail back home

Trail back home

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Pretty windy, snowy day here today but skiing into the park definitely added some excitement to an OD ski. Unfortunately, no bear, wolf or bison sightings. Next time. We are staying in West Yellowstone for one more day before we make the treacherous drive back to Bozeman and start prepping for our next weekend of racing.

Until then,

JB