Archive for the ‘Upcoming Races’ Category
As mentioned in the previous post, we spent quite a while in Gainesville, GA preparing for NSR I. We learned a ton by racing each other in singles, and doubles (with the ARION scullers), and overall, the trip was a huge success. Before we left, Lucas’ aunt invited the team over to ride horses at Bearfoot Ranch followed by an incredible BBQ put on by his aunt and the staff at the ranch. We learned that in addition to being a horse rescue ranch, Bearfoot provides equine-assisted activities and therapies for children and adults with special needs, regardless of ability. Thank you for taking us riding, we had an awesome time bonding with the horses! (pictures courtesy of Bearfoot Ranch)
After a month of focused training at Lake Lanier Olympic Park, the time came for us to pack up and head North for our first racing series of the 2018 season. We made one quick pit stop before our final destination (Princeton, NJ), in Charlottesville, VA to the home of the Hoos for a mini GRP training camp!
Thanks to UVA’s Frank Biller (Head Coach for the men’s team), we were able to break up our trip from GA to NJ with a few days spent on the Riviana River. UVA Men & Women shared their house with us, and we are grateful for their generosity. One of the big reminders taken from our visit, was this simple sentence written on the exterior of the boathouse: “Entitled to Nothing. Grateful for Everything.” As GRP athletes, we have the privilege of following our pursuit of excellence in the sport of rowing; and, we have the responsibility of leaving every thing we are a part of, better than how we found it. In the words of former GRP coach, Larry Gluckman “practice makes permanent”, we know that in order to achieve greatness in all aspects of life, we need to practice being the best version of ourselves at all times. Doing the right thing, being kind, trustworthy, accountable, on-time, supportive, humble, and hungry are all things we are striving to do every day- things that start away from the water and the gym, and that do not have a stopping point, but that rather facilitate our evolution into better people and athletes.
On the water, Steve ran us through a supercomp series in order to help us both recover and prepare our muscles for a week of racing. Off the water, we had three days of transition to help our mental preparedness, as there was an opportunity to run through race course trailer loading, rigging, boat preparation, and visualization one more time before arriving in Princeton.
Racing ran April 17-19, though, it was originally scheduled to be a four day event, ending on Friday- race officials compressed the schedule due to severe weather conditions. To see a detailed race write up, go to the Craftsbury Outdoor Center news feed.
We would be remiss if we did not discuss weather conditions in this blog post – which were very challenging given wind and wake; however, the results uncovered the strength of the GRP which is performing in adverse conditions with exceptional focus on the task at hand while simultaneously acknowledging the big picture.
Due to extremely difficult and rough water, Nate flipped in the warmup area. He was having trouble getting out of his shoes and keeping his head above water, a task made harder by the combination of rough & cold wind and water conditions. Luckily, Will Daly (USRowing National Team Athlete Services Coordinator, Olympian and 12-time National Team Lightweight) was operating a USRowing safety launch when he saw Nate go in the water. Will removed his outer layers, and went in to the water to save Nate. Any one of the athletes racing at NSR could have flipped – it could have been any one of us in the water. Will did what he knew was the best decision at the time, and that was to help someone in need. Unfortunately, Nate was not in a good enough condition temperature-wise to accept the re-row that USRowing offered to him; and, as a result, he was no longer in contention to progress in the week’s racing series. We are happy that Nate was unharmed, no amount of thanks could express our gratitude properly to Will- but, thank you all the same.
As far as the rest of the GRP’s performance went, John, Wes, and Frank ranked 2nd, 10th and 14th, respectively, in the 1900 meter time trial giving them a pass to the next round, while Lucas (17th) just missed making the top 16 and progressed immediately to the D Final. Jen posted 4th fastest time, and Jenny 11th- both progressed to Wednesday morning heats.
All GRPers that raced in Wednesday morning heats advanced to semifinals later in the evening- a schedule compression that race officials felt would give athletes racing in the finals (now set for Thursday instead of Friday) the best possible water conditions, as Friday’s weather forecast looked poor. Jenny’s lightweight heat was postponed for Wednesday evening, and all D+ finals were cancelled due to deteriorating course conditions. As a result, Lucas’ overall result at his first NSR remained 17th.
Because of the augmented schedule, GRP prioritized recovery between races. As soon as we came off the water, we either erged or biked for 40 minutes, and ate or drank a snack to help replenish our glycogen stores ASAP. When we got back to our house, we ate a good breakfast and utilized NormaTec Recovery pants to help aid with flushing out residual lactic acid and prepping our legs for the semifinals. We all got about 8 hours between races, the latest race started at 7:26 pm.
Conditions for Wednesday evening’s races were markedly calmer. Admittedly, it was one of the most visually stunning races we’ve ever had. Tearing down the course, racing to the finish line before the with bright red-orange sun disappeared behind the westward trees, competing against five amazing athletes – some Olympians, some world champions, and some (including two of our own) still novice scullers – was a truly unique and fun experience. Thanks to Julbo Eyewear – our eyes stayed happy for the duration of that gorgeous sunset, as the course runs nearly exactly West to East. Vear took 4th in Semifinal 1, while John and Frank took 2nd and 6th, respectively, in Semifinal 2. Jen took 4th in Semifinal 1, while Jenny took 3rd in her heat.
In order to progress to the A Final, GRP needed to be in the top 3, any other result meant racing in the B final. Because of the shift in the lightweight’s schedule, the top 2 finishers in the evening heats would progress to A final, and everyone else to the B final. John progressed to the A final, while Wes, Frank, Jen, and Jenny progressed to the B final Thursday morning.
John won the A final with a time of 7:21.41 at 88.6% of the World’s Best Time or “Gold Standard”. Wes placed 3rd in the B final with a time of 7:19.80 at 88.9% GS- taking 9th overall. Frank placed 5th in the B final with a time of 7:27.99 at 87.3% GS- taking 11th overall. Jen placed 3rd in the B final with a time of 8:03.21 at 88.4% GS – taking 9th overall. Jenny placed 3rd in the B final with a time of 8:29.70 at 87.1% GS- taking 9th overall.
We left Mercer feeling good about this first week of racing, but hungry and excited to get back to training.
So, whats next for us?!
Jen made a speedy U-turn this past Sunday from Craftsbury to the Mid-Atlantic. Just 36-hours after getting home from Princeton, she drove down to Washington, D.C to join in on Potomac Boat Club’s 2xs selection matrix. There, she joins five other women (Margy Bertasi, Maggie Fellows, Mickey Fili, Emily Huelskamp, and Julia Lonchar) for the opportunity to make a 2x that will race at NSR II / SSO II against other top lineups in the country, which will also be a precursor for 4x selettion. NSR I/SSO II runs May 17-20.
NSR Events: M2-, W2-, LM2x, LW2x, PR3M2-, PR3W2-
Speed Order Events: M2x, W2x, PR2M1x, PR2W1x
The rest of the GRP remains in Vermont, for now, and are training on the Lamoille River, thanks to the help of UVM Crew.
Stay tuned for more updates!
As always, thank you to Craftsbury Outdoor Center & Concept2 for supporting us in the pursuit of our Olympic dreams both at home and on the go; to JLRacing for outfitting our team with high-quality racing and training apparel; Julbo Eyewear, for your generous donation of racing sunglasses; and, to NormaTec Reovery – having recovery tools like yours helps immensely especially when we have same day races!
This entry is a continuation of a previous post: catch up here GRP ROW- 2018 Season Update (Part 2)
Part III: GAINESVILLE, GA TRAINING CAMP
The GRP rowers have been training in Gainesville, GA at Lake Lanier Olympic Park for a little over two weeks. When we arrived in Atlanta on the evening of March 14th, we were greeted by a familiar face – Joe Ledvina – a recently retired elite sculler – who, while competing, trained at Potomac Boat Club after his four years as an oarsman at Georgetown University. Joe graciously picked us up from the airport and made us a hearty pasta dinner. Thanks to Joe, we had a place to store our boat trailer and passenger van (Moby) when we left Florida to train in Craftsbury for a few weeks. Thank you Joe!
Since arriving, we’ve been getting in productive and focused training – mostly in singles – in preparation for NSR I; but, occasionally, we’ve had a few rows in the 2x and 4x as well. The weather and water in Gainseville are cooperating nicely. We’ve had some flat water days, and some rough water days; and, ultimately, both are helping us become better scullers. We’re now only two weeks away from racing at National Selection Regatta I (NSR I) on April 17 – 20.
NSR I is a USRowing Senior Team selection event for the heavyweights (M1x and W1x) and a speed order for lightweights (LW1x) which means that the winner of each heavyweight/openweight event will be qualified to race at any FISA World Cup I, II, or III, and the Speed Order events will have the opportunity to petition to go to a World Cup, depending on their finish order. In order to be named to the 2018 Senior National Team, and go to World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, however, the athlete must place in the top 6 at a World Cup. If there are fewer than 12 entries in the event, however, a finish in the top 50% of the field is required.
Other than thinking about racing, the team has been forming good relationships with the Gainesville Rowing community. For one of our group community service projects, we helped install and remove starting platforms for the 6-lane race course under the direction of John Ferris – coach & assistant Executive Director at LLRC, and a lifelong contributor to the sport of rowing – for the John Hunter Regatta. We had a GRP-led yoga classes for the Saratoga and LLRC juniors this week; and, plan on having at least one more class for them before heading north next week. Collectively, we’ve been working on fixing the ergs at the boathouse and YMCA, taking on recycling efforts, and organizing plans to revive the beehives at the COC.
We’ve been getting in solid strength-training sessions at the local YMCA – focusing on movements and anti-movements aimed to increasing power output on the water. We’ve been making new friends – like Mario – a LLRC member who, in 1961, got to row for the first time in an eight-person shell in his home country of Cuba. Since then, he’s been hooked; and, now has a single of his own in which he rows as much as he can out on Lake Lanier. Mario is just one of the many people that have enriched our training camp experience with his kind smile, and hunger for competition.
On Easter Sunday, Bob and Julie Mudd – two of the amazing junior parents at LLRC – invited the Saratoga juniors, ARION rowers and us, to lunch at their Adventures in Missions business not too far from the boat house. We felt the love, and the southern hospitality, as soon as we arrived on the 40-acre property where rows of outdoor tables were prepared for a feast fit for rowers. Pastel-colored cups, DIY sweet tea and lemonade in large glass drink dispensers were set outside, while inside waiting for us were troughs of sliced salty ham, deviled eggs, strawberry salad, cheesy potatoes, homemade rolls, and green beans – all prepared by the Mudd family. Feeding a group of 70 + people is no small task. Thank you for your generosity – everything was amazing!
Following lunch, we held an Easter egg hunt for the juniors. It was up to them to find the 250 candy-filled eggs we hid moments before their arrival. We went high, low, and everywhere in between by utilizing tree branches, tail pipes, storm drains, and on top of door-frames. At the end of the hunt, participants counted their eggy cachés – some stashed the eggs in pockets or scarves, while others removed their shoes in order to hold their egg treasures. One lucky junior girl found the prized golden egg – kudos! From the bottom of our hearts and happy bellies – thank you again to the Mudd family, LLRC Juniors, and Saratoga Rowing for inviting the GRP to join in on your Easter lunch. We had a great time.
Our week ended with speed-work in singles. Friday morning we simulated race day with a 1900 m time trial; two hours later, we lined up in two heats for an all- out 2000-meter piece. As we take steps forward in our training, we humbly take time to thank the people that have so graciously helped us so far this year.
Special shout-out this week goes out to The Mudd Family, The LLRC Junior Team (plus Coach Tracy!), The Saratoga Juniors & The ARION Scullers (don’t forget Coach Eric Catalano), and to our own hard-working coaches Steve Whelpley and Troy Howell. As always, thank you to our amazing team of supporters : Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Concept2, JL Racing, and Julbo Eyewear.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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: http://summittiming.com/races/race_results.php
Stay tuned for more!