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Author Archive

Three Weeks at Home

28.Feb.2017 by Hallie Grossman

So far this winter, I have split time on the road racing in Canada, the midwest, and Europe and being in Craftsbury. Alex, Emily, and myself took a three week break from the IBU cup and were fortunate enough to have real winter to play in when we returned home. This is the first year that I have raced in Europe, and I can see why people are so excited to spend time across the pond, but also excited to be at home. Though much of January was bleak in Vermont snow-wise, we were greeted with perfect skiing upon our return in early February.

Hard to beat having this out our door.

Last winter, my first living in Craftsbury, was pretty grim in terms of snowfall, and the skiing was confined to the snowmaking loop for much of the time. This made it so I had tons of new trails to explore this year! I think I succeeded in skiing most of our trails, with the final one being a ski to the Common which I finally checked off the list the day before leaving.

A snowy Max’s Pond.

I don’t think a ski or day went by that I was home that I didn’t remark “It’s so pretty!” and feel quite lucky to be able to enjoy perfect skiing every day.

All smiles skiing with Mary!

It was great to see so many people out enjoying and skiing.

A very happy Amy because she didn’t have to be back at work till 10:30!

Hard not to be happy when this is the backdrop to our workouts.

Sun and snow.

Sparkly snow.

We did do some racing as well! We had back-to-back NorAm/ trials weekends in Lake Placid and Jericho.

Emily, myself, and Kait in Jericho (Deb Miller photo).

Lots of snow also means lots of snow removal. We got to do some shoveling that involved playing (carefully) on roofs.

Mary on the Hosmer Point dining hall roof.

Mike and Ethan on the Elinor’s roof. That snow pile was transformed into a snow fortress.

At the beginning of last week, the temperatures began to rise, which brought tons of melting snow and spring skiing conditions (and a thunder storm in February…).

The beginning of the melt. Fast skiing in the morning and slush in the afternoon.

Being at home also means time to spend coaching, both kids and adults. The Catamount crew is always a blast!

Catamounts playing stones. In Tshirts!

After a lovely three weeks in Craftsbury, now it’s off to Finland for me, Emily, and Alex!

13 Hours with the Biathletes in Northern Minnesota

15.Dec.2016 by Hallie Grossman

The biathletes have been in Northern Minnesota for the last week, gearing up the IBU Cup Trials race which started today. The temperature rarely gets above 0 and the wind is often howling. Race times have all been moved to the afternoon to allow for the highest temperatures, which leads to lots of time spent hanging around the house and going on some shopping excursions to Fleet Supply, Target, and Cub Foods.

Yesterday was a prerace today, but official training wasn’t until noon, so we had plenty of time to spend in our lovely rental house on Lake Pokegama.

8am: -7 degrees. Breakfast.

9am: Still -7. Drone flying time. Sam bought two drones when we were in Canmore. They have provided endless hours of entertainment (mostly for the boys). They started having races around a course in the house.

10am: -5 degrees. Visitor! A lady came to appraise the house. I only took a picture of her leaving because it may have been weird otherwise. She told us that we shouldn’t go outside and should remain next to the fire all day. She also told us the internet was slow everywhere in northern Minnesota.

11am: -2 degrees. After a few too many hours inside, it was time to go for a walk or a jog. Though it’s cold, it is really pretty outside. I found these insulated coveralls in the basement and they have become my go-to for all non-skiing outdoor activities.


12pm: -4 degrees. Time to leave to ski! On the way, we saw this guy securing his hay bales  on the side of the road. 

1pm: (probably still -4). Getting bundled. Important to keep being goofy when preparing to ski and shoot in subzero temps.

2pm: (my guess is still -4). The amount of toe warmers and duct tape we go through on a daily basis to try to stay warm is a little ridiculous.

3pm: Warmest point of the day. 0 degrees. Still trying to get warm after skiing.


4pm: -2 degrees. Coloring time. And TV watching and Instagram scrolling time.

5pm: -4 degrees. Watching the Wizard of Oz. Grand Rapids, the town we are staying in, is Judy Garland’s hometown. So a very fitting movie!

6pm: -6 degrees. Waxing for tomorrow’s race.

7pm: (Forgot to take a thermometer picture. My guess is -7). Dinner time.

8pm: -9 degrees. TV watching and phone scrolling.

9pm: -9 degrees. Final drone flight of the night. Plus more TV watching and phone scrolling.

Biathletes Take on Slovenian Biathlon National Championships

21.Sep.2016 by Hallie Grossman

By Ethan.

Just over a week ago as we sat in the airport on our way to Slovenia for GRPski’s annual fall training trip, we got word that the Slovenian summer biathlon national championships were happening in Pokljuka, SLO the following weekend. We were headed to a training center in Planica, SLO, only an hour drive from Pokljuka. It seemed like a no-brainer to try to jump into the races, and gain some valuable biathlon race experience.


The Olympic Sport Center in Planica, Slovenia where we were based out of for the week.

Coaches Pepa and Sam got in touch with the organizers, and they were happy to have us join in on the event. With some shuffling of our training plan to accommodate, we all got psyched to go mix it up with Jakov Fak, Teja Gregorin, and the rest of Slovenia’s world class athletes.


Coaches (and Mary) documenting their training.

The races consisted of a sprint race on Saturday and a mass start on Sunday. Pokljuka is Slovenia’s premier biathlon venue, often hosting world cup level racing in the winter. The venue also features a nice, but not super long (only 1.5km) rollerski loop that made up the course for these summer races. To get adequate distances for the races we did a few double loops, making two laps before coming in to shoot.  The course was mostly rolling terrain with one steeper climb and short, steep descent right onto the range, making for a pretty interesting range approach. All in all it was a super fast and fun course.


Alex on the steep descent into the range.

Saturday started off with pouring rain that delayed the start 30 minutes. Despite sporadic showers and big puddles throughout the race, I think everyone finished smiling.


A very wet range.


Saturday afternoon recovery jog. To Italy!

On Sunday, the rain held off and there was even a little sun! Mass start races are generally pretty exciting and this one was no exception.  We started the men’s race strong, with Alex taking the lead on the first loop, charging past the field to lead into the range. Things got interesting from there… IBU rules for mass start races state that on the first shooting you’re supposed to go to the point that matches your bib number. In the US, for some reason, we generally file into the range in the order that you arrive, starting at point one… So, Alex went to point one, and a bunch of people got all mixed up. Luckily we didn’t let it get to us, and both Alex and I cleaned the stage and were back out on course. Mike was close behind with two penalties. It progressed into an awesome race with some good shooting, and I think we all got a chance to ski and shoot next to some of the best biathletes in the world. Luckily after some talk amongst the coaches our hosts decided to take pity on the poor Americans and not disqualify us.


Lapping through the stadium on the first lap of the mass start.



Alex and Ethan on the range with Jakov Fak (in black).

Needless to say, the correct mass start procedure was explained to Emily and Hallie no less than 3 times in multiple languages before the women’s start. The women’s field was much smaller, but no less exciting, with 50% of the competitors being Olympians. With a small women’s field, the junior boys started at the same time, which lead to quite a quick start. Emily cleaned both her prone stages, and Hallie had only one penalty in each of her’s. This allowed the girls to work together for the middle part of the race, before things spread out a little more with the standing shootings. 


Emily and Hallie skiing together on one of the middle loops in the mass. start.


Emily and Hallie on the range. Note the junior boys in the mix!


Boys all matching in Craft


And the girls too!

The race organizers were nice enough to make a non- Slovenian podium and even gave us “diplomas” instead of medals!


Emily was third both days and first non-Slovenian


In the mass start, Ethan was third overall and the second non-Slovenian.



Post race coffee…


..and ice cream!



Tuesday Night Race Series

30.Aug.2016 by Hallie Grossman

Last week marked the conclusion of the annual Tuesday Night Race series, a weekly summer tradition at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center (COC). This year brought record turnout to the event- some weeks we had more than eighty participants! Both a bike and run options were offered each week, on alternating single track courses. Most weeks the races were held at the COC, but Hosmer Point hosted three times for added variety. All of the courses were approximately 5k, though newcomers to the races were often surprised when their times were a bit slower on the single track than they expected. The races attracted a diverse crowd, ranging from Craftsbury junior skiers, GRP’ers, staff, and locals, as well as campers and general guests.

Throughout the year, results were tabulated to create a complex points system, which named year end winners in six categories: mens and womens run, mens and womens 5k bike, and mens and womens 10k bike. At the end of the series, these champions received an entry to the Craftsbury marathon, held in February each year. Age group winners were awarded a plethora of baked goods at the concluding pizza party.


The series started off with a bang!


Participants of all ages got to run together. Here we have 80 year old George and elementary schooler Adelina.


Friendship: biking together, smiling together, posing for pictures together.


Emlyn put together a summer of speedy races to take home the mens 5k run title.


Guest Sammy and junior athlete Sy hammer to the finish line.


Craftsbury junior Jack shows how to properly display a number on a bicycle.


Axel on the speedy Hosmer Point course.


Computer whiz Liz, race organizer Kait, and number caller Ben.


Pizza party for all after the last race!