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Archive for the ‘Upcoming Races’ Category

#fueledbyjustin Pre Camp

3.Jan.2017 by Kaitlynn Miller

Mary checking in here with an update from our “Justin Bieber” Pre Camp!!

With US Nationals being held at Solider Hollow in Heber City, UT this year, most of the “sea level” team searched for ways to get some extra early time at altitude before the races. We are very fortunate to have a teammate, Liz Guiney (nick-named lizguine after the long, lean pasta) who lives in Park City. Her mom, Julie, and mom’s boyfriend, Dave, graciously opened their home to us for a pre camp. It was a great opportunity to train on the courses, adjust to the altitude, and get in our holiday social fix. Oh and eat some amazing food!

Dave happens to be a culinary expert and was the personal chef for Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner in early December (no jokes here). So Dave took home all the left over food that Justin (yes, first name basis) didn’t use. It was pretty fun to be eating Bieb’s preferred items. We are fully confident that we now are sponsored by him #fueledbyjustin. Our pancake breakfast would have been nothing without the Bieber Buttermilk, Bieber Vanilla, or Bieber Maple Syrup (Vermonter approved). Snack time was made even greater with Bieber Hot Chips and Bieber Ritz Crackers. Plus, Dave was able to tell us lots of Bieber stories. Next to arrive will be Taylor Swift, so we will probably return for a post camp 🙂

#fueledbyjustin New Year’s Day pancake breakfast, with buttermilk pancakes, berries, smoothies, and good friends. Photo cred: Heather

While in Park City, we had a fun filled, yet very packed social schedule. But don’t worry, we made plenty of time for recovery as well, knowing some of our more important races were right around the corner. Liz’s Dad, RJ, and step Mom, Deann, hosted us for a delicious dinner of burgers, salad, potatoes, and yummy toffee dessert bars. We enjoyed a very relaxed game of ping pong and decided that we should definitely stick to skiing. The next night, we tagged along to an Eve before the Eve party. I feel as if party doesn’t even cut it – gala may be more appropriate. The event was hosted at a beautiful house in Deer Valley, with amenities such as valet parking and a coat check. The attire was anywhere from jeans and blouses, to beautiful gowns, and sparkling bell bottom pants. And the decorations, sheer size, and set up of the house was anything but incredible. We debated between making friends and exploring while there, and went with the exploring option. We enjoyed yummy finger foods (but had our hand sanitizer in our pockets) that seemed to be endless, and took over the chocolate fountain for dessert. The gala made for amazing people watching, and we certainly enjoyed our very spoiled evening. We also made time for shopping at the outlet malls and seeing the new Star Wars movie. Our final social event was a nice dinner prepared by Julie and Dave with Liz’s childhood friend.

Getting all dressed up for the Eve before the Eve party. We almost fit in!! Photo cred: Dave

We are so so grateful to them for hosting us and letting us take over their kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. These past 5 days have been great preparation for us, and we are looking forward to a few more days of resting, speed practice, and ski/course testing before the races.

A beautiful day to practice some high speed skiing at the White Pine trails! Photo cred: Heather

Walking through the parking garage to access the skiing. We were feeling pretty spoiled to park in an underground garage! And were thinking back to our fast laps in Slovenia with very similar scenery. Photo cred: Heather

Thanks to Skida for our new head gear!! We were getting crafty at Liz’s sewing on our new GRP and SkiErg patches.

Our last day at Liz’s house, we enjoyed an urban ski tour right from her front door!! This was right before the 24hr blizzard hit. Photo cred: Heather

We’ll kick things off Saturday with a 10K skate followed by a Classic Sprint on Sunday, the Mass Start classic races on Tuesday, and finally a Skate Sprint prelim on Thursday. You can check the results here:

Stay tuned for more!


A Week with the International Biathlon Team

28.Jul.2015 by Susan Dunklee

Tonstad isn’t a very big town. Tucked against rocky cliffs in southern Norway, it has a grocery store, a bakery, a peaceful lake, narrow twisty roads, sheep ranging through bucolic pastureland, and a 30 point biathlon range. It also has some very talented visitors.

The French biathlon and xc ski teams have become a familiar presence at the Sirdal sports school every July leading up to the Blink Rollerski Festival. This year another group of international visitors has joined them, a group I am grateful to be part of. We have been calling ourselves the International Biathlon Team.

Organized by the Canadians and Norwegian shooting coach Joar Himle, our small group has athletes from four different countries, including 3 world championship medalists. We are united by our desire to become the best biathletes we can be. We are here to learn as much as we can from the staff as well as from each other. Along the way we’ve been able to do some training with the French team and Norwegian women’s team. Tomorrow everyone will travel to Sandnes together to compete at the Blink Festival.

Our International Biathlon Team, L to R: Matthias Ahrens (Canadian coach from Germany), Brendan Green (Canada), Nathan Smith (Canada), Katja Yurlova (Russia), Kaisa Mäkäräinen (Finland), myself, Rosanna Crawford (Canada), Joar Himle (shooting coach, Norway). Not pictured, Megan Tandy (Canada). Several pictures courtesy of Matthias Ahrens.

An afternoon ski with Katja and Rosanna

Running back to town from the shooting range

Team relay drills together with the Norwegian ladies

Agility and coordination drills

Rollerskiing with Megan and the Norwegians

Katja enjoying the scenery

Rosanna hiking toward the famous Kjeragbolten rock

The Kjeragbolten, suspended between cliffs 1000 m directly above the Lysebotn Fjord. This picture is actually from last year. After climbing out on this rock once and getting shaky legs, I resolved I’d never to do it again.

Exploring the roads above Lysebotn with Katja and Kaisa. We saw patches of snow.

An outing with the French to our host Frode’s farm

The French men enjoying a volleyball match in their spare time


View from the sports school where we are staying

Men’s Double Sculls Racing Report

11.Jul.2015 by Ben Dann

Hey There Sports Fans,


Ben here to update those interested in progress of the Men’s Double Sculls event at the 3rd World Cup in Lucerne.

I last wrote in the beginning of this week, touching upon our positive feelings of progress and excitement to race. In the present moment, I feel the same way I did last Sunday, but this past week has been a puzzling and rocky ride.  John and I tend to feel quite comfortable rowing together, but since the first time the boat touched water on the Rotsee, we have had the roughest time negotiating the boat’s stability.

Once crews start to arrive at the course, opportunities to practice in flat water rapidly disappear. If a boat is not going well or something feels off, the problems only amplify with increasingly challenging and unpredictable water.  Bless the Rotsee for being the best rowing course in the world, but curse it for the tempest it becomes during race week.  You have to love rowing for throwing you those extra hurdles.

That being said, John and I have been fighting tooth and nail to prove ourselves a relevant crew, and with some success.  Our 3rd quarter of the race has improved undoubtedly, which I couldn’t have said earlier this season.  However, we are learning our lessons the hard way, and our inability to create a stable platform has cost us a lot of speed overall.  We have kept a good attitude, which I see as one of our strengths, and I feel confident we will work through this problem and come out as better rowers. Part of the benefit of rowing in World Cups is figuring out how to correct kinks so as not to encounter them when it counts the most at World Championships.

Going forward, John and I will race the B final tomorrow, giving us one more chance at qualifying for Worlds through the World Cup by finishing top 7.  A.k.a. we have to win tomorrow to forgo trials.

We will kick of 9:30 am Swiss time.

Lane 5

Competing against: Serbia, France, Latvia, Norway, and Denmark.

Over and Out,



Week Until Rowing World Cup III

5.Jul.2015 by Ben Dann
Johnny squaring up for a swim

Johnny squaring up for a swim in the Rotsee

Hi Everyone!

It’s Ben here from the Senior Men’s Double Sculls.  Today is Sunday, July 5th, meaning social media back in the States is a bit sluggish following the turmoil of Independence Day festivities.  I’m taking advantage of this ebb to update those interested in the progress John and I have made in the past week.

Yesterday, John and I along with our recent training partners, Julie Nichols and Ken Jurkowski, left our Sarnen training setup to move to the Rotsee lake, home of 3rd World Cup.  Our apartment is a stone’s throw from the water, reminding me of the common theme for this trip: finding paths of least distraction and logistical hassle.  Swiss National Championships are taking place as I type, an interesting spectacle to behold as juniors, national team members, and masters crews compete all at once. We strolled down this morning to watch our Swiss friend, Peter Guggenbach, compete in his masters race (third place).  Good news, the water is as gorgeous as ever, as is the brand new 8-lane course installed last week.  It seems almost surreal wandering the path following the course; bleach-white bouys dot a placid glass surface where the world’s best flock to compete.  This lake will be our temple and our altar on which we will have to offer our best next weekend to take the next step – qualifying the double for World Championships (7th or better).

The trip has been productive so far.  Replete with video analysis, tests of speed on flat water and rigging refinement, John and I feel like we have made progress and cut some of the inefficiencies we have been humping around.  It has been a valuable experience changing settings and absorbing wisdom from two of the most experienced Olympic scullers our country has known, Julie and Ken.  Both have been to two Olympic games in the lightweight woman’s double sculls (once as an alternate) and the heavyweight men’s single scull respectively.  They have seen everything happen during an Olympic cycle, and through ups and downs, retained self-sufficiency and resourcefulness (not surprised MacGyver is a popular choice on our TV).  Julie is acting as coach for Ken in the single and honorary coach for John and I in the double.  We are a week away and already Julie is asking for our race day schedules and other race day protocol.  Like woah, I’m not used to this sort of planning at all!  Her approach to racing is a healthy reminder to think ahead and be prepared, making sure nothing gets in the way of performing to your full potential on race day.  I have thought of this whole trip as an exercise in carefully preparing and making informed decisions regarding racing, and I am hoping to come out with more maturity as an elite racer.

I am sorry to hear that it’s been so rainy in Vermont, especially since Switzerland has been experiencing a country-wide heat wave.  The water in Sarnen read 30C yesterday, just a few degrees cooler than the air.  Swimming is the only respite from the heat, and daily swims have become part of our recovery.  Typing about swimming makes it hard not to go now so I’ll wrap up.

I can speak for everyone here expressing our excitement to race against the world’s best this weekend.  Our boats get in on the Swiss trailer tomorrow, and then it’s time to ‘hone our blades’ and get to work.