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Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

M2x in Sarnen

27.Jun.2015 by John Graves

Hey all,

Ben and I have been in Sarnen, SUI for the last week following WC 2 in Varese and we will be training here for one more week before we move over to Lucerne for World Cup 3. We have been enjoying the mountain scenery and glassy water while also taking some time to hike around the area. We hiked up to see the sunset on thursday night. Here are a couple of pics.

 

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Ben and I have enjoyed a fairly easy week this week recovering from racing the week before but will now begin to do a lot of hard work in the boat to prepare for WC 3. We were encouraged by our speed in Varese but were not quite able to finish out the regatta the way we wanted. We are eager to fine tune some things and show up Lucerne ready to have a great regatta. More to come as we get closer to racing!

 

John

Biathlon World Championships Behind the Scenes

13.Mar.2015 by Clare Egan

I finally made my way out of the teams’ area and into the spectator section. What a scene! Food stands advertising “Delicious Foods from Lapland,” small unattended camp fires surrounded by wooded planks on which fish are smoked, people of all shapes and sizes from Finland, Russia and all over Europe enjoying beers and biathlon.

Fur-covered stumps make great seats outside the Biathlon Taverna
Spectators heading into the stadium

The stadium usually fills up with fans several hours before the race starts. Yesterday fans and athletes alike enjoyed the Scandinavian sunset as the 6:15pm start time approached. The silver lining of being so far north that you have a low winter sun that takes forever to set, leaving you with lingering orange skies.

Sunset over the lake, as seen from the race course (photo: Annelies Cook)
(This is what it looked like during the sprint last Saturday.)
((WE ARE SO HAPPY THAT THE SUN CAME OUT))
(photo: Annelies Cook)
Stadium already filled with fans at dusk
Media tent in the stadium

Behind the scenes, the athletes are warming up and ski wax technicians are making sure the athletes’ skis are going to be as fast as possible. Our team has eight athletes here and four wax techs. Most athletes have at least 8-10 pairs of skis but some have more. Some teams have designated 18-wheeler trucks that carry their equipment around to all of the World Cups.

Norway, Russia and Sweden are a few of the teams with wax trucks.
Teams who don’t bring their own trucks can use one of these containers.
Where the magic happens

The magic also happens at this one funny place that every biathlon World Cup, World Championships and Olympic venue has: the “Family Club”, also known as the “Upsilon”, or the “Y.” It is a cafeteria that serves free food to athletes and staff all day long. Can you believe it???

The Biathlon Family Club

Here are a few more photos of other unexpected things you will find at every biathlon race:

A BMW parked on the course, of course!
And lit trails! We race at night so fans can watch live on prime-time TV.
This Bavarian man.

And here’s something you don’t see at every race, but wish you could: MY BROTHER GRAHAM. He flew in all the way from NYC to cheer for me. My other brother, Guy, was scheduled to come on the same flight, but was not allowed to get on the plane because his passport expires in one month. (Apparently it needs to be valid for three months from your date of arrival in Finland.) BUT, nothing would stop him!!! He went to the NYC passport office the next morning at 7:30am and by 3:30pm had a new passport, and then sped to JFK in time for next flight to Helsinki. He is now here safe and sound.

World Championships- Anything Can Happen!

8.Mar.2015 by Clare Egan

Today was an “anything can happen” kind of day. There was a pre-race blizzard that left fresh powder all over the trail for the early starters to plow through, and we were once again faced with strong, gusting winds. Even some of the best shooters missed a bunch, which sort of evened the playing field for people like me, who might miss a bunch either way. By the time I started with bib 70, thirty-five minutes after the first person, the snow had stopped and the tracks were slick and skied-in.

I missed my first two shots in prone, but hit the last three. After the race, when my coach showed me a picture of where my shots landed, I realized I was lucky to have hit any of them: I had a tight group right on the very left edge of the target, caused by strong wind moving from right to left. I did check the wind flags before shooting, and I thought it was the same as when I zeroed my rifle before the race, but it was stronger, and I should have adjusted my site.

Skiing up “the wall”

Out on the course, the conditions were so much faster than they had been all week that I didn’t even know how to take some of the turns at high speed. The course here suits me because it has a few big hills, including one very long and steep one. I am not the strongest person out here (ha!) but I am light and I have a “big engine”. I also have been working with my coaches a lot this week on how to ski faster on the flats, and I think I did a good job of that today.

 When I came in for standing I chose a point beside someone else, hoping they would block the wind for me a little, and I think it helped. I also got lucky and didn’t have major gusts like some of my competitors. I missed my second and fifth shots and then got going again. I thought for sure that with four misses I would be in like 90th place, so I was shocked when I heard one of my coaches yell “55th place!” Knowing that the top 60 qualify for the pursuit, I really started hammering!

When another coach yelled “35th” place, I was sure either I had misheard him or we were having a language barrier problem. But it turns out that with fast conditions and fast skis, I managed a top-40 course time, and when I combined that with a top-40 range time and 4 misses, I finished in 40th place! I guess I misheard the first coach, who actually said 35th too. The top 40 finishers earn “World Cup Points,” so today I earned ONE World Cup Point and am now officially ranked (last) (…among the ranked people!!!) on the overall World Cup Standings.

After crossing the finishline
On the list!!!

This was my first top-60 World Cup finish and tomorrow will be my first pursuit. My teammate Susan finished 5 seconds behind me today, so she’ll start 5 seconds behind me tomorrow. I am looking forward to getting passed early on by her, and then hanging on for dear life!

I had lots of people watching back home, including those who sent me these screen shots of the live feed. THANKS FOR WATCHING!!! Tomorrow’s race is at 17:00 local time, which, if I am not mistaken, after daylight savings time kicks in, will be 11am EST on Sunday morning.

Behind the Scenes at the Birkie

3.Mar.2015 by Caitlin Patterson

 

The GRP Birkie crew, from left - Gordon, Andrew, Maggie, Phil, Caitlin, Kaitlynn (missing Steve)

The GRP Birkie crew, from left – Gordon, Andrew, Maggie, Phil, Caitlin, Kaitlynn (missing Steve)

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since the American Birkie (and believe me, that time has flown by!). Before it gets too late and irrelevant though, I wanted to share a few behind-the-scenes photos from our GRP Birkie trip this year.  Four skiers made the trip, three GRP rowers, and coaches Pepa and Nick.  Most of us drove to Hayward, WI from Craftsbury, VT, a relatively unmemorable 2 day drive that actually passed fairly quickly, at least for me.  Maybe that had something to do with enjoying my reading and knitting projects, and also with the fact that I knew I would be flying out of the midwest afterwards, not having to repeat the drive in a few days going the other direction like many of my teammates did.  We did have a few issues during the trip…most notably related to the plumbing in our rental house and a brief “run in with the law” – but we grinned and groaned and laughed our way through that, in addition to the 51k race, and it was overall successful and a great trip!

I led the way results-wise with a 5th place finish in the Elite Women’s race, very happy to be back on the podium of top-6 and in the prize money! My teammates did impressive things behind the scenes in at the Birkie too — Kait fought back from a massive bonk early in the race, able to finish strong and pass people by the end.  Maggie, Phil, and Steve completed the astounding feat of racing 51k in their non-primary sport, and racing it quite fast at that, with Phil and Steve finishing within 40 seconds of each other after skiing the race separately!  Andrew successfully did everything he could to avoid muscle cramps during the race, then threw in a big finishing sprint and lunge, passed several people, and cramped about 5 feet after the finish line – perfect timing! (He did in fact have to be physically carried beyond the finish, as he could not move his legs for a few minutes.) And Gordon was a great teammate in addition to racing fast – when the pack he and Andrew were with caught me on the lake, he let me into the drafting line in front of him – and he kept our Birkie spirits (and fever) high and outlook positive in the days before the race.  And thanks to Pepa and Nick too for all their work testing and preparing skis, giving advice and encouragement, and then feeding and cheering along the course during the race!  Be sure you’ve read the news recap of the Birkie week here with full results details for the GRP, and enjoy the pictures.

Kait and Maggie in front of the bridge, complete with face tape that protected our skin on a cold ski

Kait and Maggie in front of the bridge, complete with face tape that protected our skin on a cold ski

Previewing the bridge that we would need to climb on Birkie day

Previewing the bridge that we would need to climb on Birkie day

Looking down towards the finish, 2 days before the Birkie, from the top of the new bridge

Looking down towards the finish, 2 days before the Birkie, from the top of the new bridge

Shadows on the bridge

Shadows on the bridge

GRP guys enjoying a pre-race ski

GRP guys enjoying a pre-race ski

Delicious spread of burrito fillings, complete with homemade tortillas - thank you Maggie and Phil!

Delicious spread of burrito fillings, complete with homemade tortillas – thank you Maggie and Phil!

This policeman looks kind of angry here, but he was actually very nice, and we got off with a warning... (Friday morning, fortunately not Saturday)

This policeman looks kind of angry here, but he was actually very nice, and we got off with a warning… (Friday morning, fortunately not Saturday)

Andrew shows off his physio tape before the Birkie - it helped him prevent arm cramps during the race!

Andrew shows off his physio tape before the Birkie – it helped him prevent arm cramps during the race!

Birkie morning

Birkie morning

Kait and I tied strings to our GUs, taped the strings to our bibs, and put the gel packets down our sports bras.  Keeps the GU warm, and the string made it easy to pull out - successful feeding strategy that i'll be using again!

Kait and I tied strings to our GUs, taped the strings to our bibs, and put the gel packets down our sports bras. Keeps the GU warm, and the string made it easy to pull out – successful feeding strategy that I’ll be using again!

Take your enthusiasm to the fields and write it out...

Take your enthusiasm to the fields and write it out…

Thank you cake from the rowers - thanks for joining us, and for the cake!

Thank you cake from the rowers – thanks for joining us, and for the cake!