Green Racing Project Blog Header Image

Archive for April, 2013

CLNA (Chaga Lovers Non-Anonymous)

15.Apr.2013 by Steve Whelpley

For all those who have not been bitten by the nutritional trend of chaga, here’s some quick online literature to catch you up to speed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaga_mushroom

Also, a very even keeled post found by our very own Amy Schulz:

http://oriveda.wordpress.com/chaga-the-facts/

If those weren’t short enough for you, here’s an even quicker synopsis.  Chaga is a very odd looking mushroom that grows predominantly on birch trees (yellow or white) in northern climates.  You can harvest it with a hatchet to then make a decoction out of it (ie tea made from fungus).  Why is this pertinent to our GRP blog?  Twofold.  First, it is a natural elixir.  While some say it is an elixir for virtually everything from cancer to cholera (not really cholera, but I wanted the alliteration), at the very least, it is full of antioxidants, balances the immune system, and has certain probiotic qualities.  Secondly, although it predominantly grows in northern environments like at our home in Vermont, it also just happens to grow in the hills of North and South Carolina for whatever reason as the wiki entry states.

Once an eye is trained to spot chaga, it can’t go without seeing it.  Until it is trained, you can’t find it for the life of you.  Speaking from personal experience here.  Needless to say, Emily and I are trained and spotted the same suspected chaga right around the corner from our house.  Odd thing is it’s not on a birch tree.  This can happen, but is rare and may not yield the same nutritional benefits as birch trees have some special traits.

IMG_20130414_140824IMG_20130414_140850

It really looks a lot like chaga.  The burnt looking outside and the reddish brown inside that you can see in some of its crevices.  I harvested a chunk of it and put it side by side with some dried out chaga I brought with me from Vermont.

IMG_20130414_174129

Real Vermont Chaga on the Left and Unknown Possible South Carolinian Chaga on the Right

Still, pretty darn similar.  However, the charred looking outside of the Vermont chaga had a slightly more crystalline formation to it.  Also, the reddish brown inside looked different in very subtle ways.  Either way, the main reason I’m not eating the South Carolinian impostor is because it wasn’t even on a birch AND more importantly there was an unknown gooey white substance under most of the chaga looking stuff that I saw as I harvested the small piece.

I’ll eat strange stuff from the woods, but only when I’m confident I’ll benefit from it.

2012-2013 GRPski Results Page

13.Apr.2013 by Gordon Vermeer

Hey everyone — All winter long, GRP skiing and biathlon results will be compiled in this post. As our racing takes us across the US and Europe, this will hopefully help you keep tabs on how we’re doing! Click through the links to see full results.

 

WEEK of NOV 12-NOV 18

Muonio, Finland (World Cup tune-ups: Ida)

Friday CL sprint: Ida 6th, 1st American

Saturday CL 5K: Ida 36th, 4th American

 

WEEK of NOV 19-NOV 25

West Yellowstone, Montana (SuperTour openers: Tim, Dylan, Pat, Bryan, Nils, Alex, Gordon, Caitlin, Clare, Amy, Maria)

Friday FR 9K Individual Men: Bryan 10th, Gordon 14th, Nils 16th, Tim 18th, Alex 27th, Dylan 35th, Pat 36th

Friday FR 9K Individual Women: Caitlin 3rd, Clare 13th, Maria 16th, Amy 41st

Saturday FR 1.6K Prologue Men: Dylan 7th, Gordon 11th, Pat 18th, Alex 19th, Tim 21st, Bryan 25th, Nils 34th

Saturday FR 1.6K Prologue Women: Caitlin 3rd, Maria 7th, Clare 16th, Amy 18th

Gaellivare, Sweden (World Cup openers: Ida)

Saturday FR 10K: Ida 53rd, 5th American

Craftsbury, Vermont (Craftsbury Opener: Hannah)

Saturday FR 5K: Hannah 1st

Ostersund, Sweden (IBU World Cup: Susan)

Sunday Mixed Relay: Americans (including Susan) 17th

 

WEEK of NOV 26-DEC 2

Bozeman, Montana (SuperTours: Tim, Dylan, Pat, Bryan, Nils, Alex, Gordon, Caitlin, Clare, Amy)

Thursday FR Sprint: Alex 4th (A Final), Pat 11th (Semifinals), Tim 17th, Dylan 26th, Gordon 28th, Nils 36th, Bryan 43rd; Caitlin 4th (A Final), Clare 13th, Amy 26th

Saturday CL Sprint: Caitlin 13th, Clare 17th, Amy 29th; Nils 2nd, Patrick 4th (A Final), Dylan 14th, Bryan 22nd, Gordon 25th, Alex 27th, Tim 33rd

Sunday CL 10/15K Mass: Caitlin 5th, Amy 14th, Clare 25th; Bryan 8th, Nils 15th, Dylan 21st, Gordon 24th, Patrick 25th, Tim 30th

Kuusamo, Finland (World Cup: Ida)

Friday CL Sprint: Ida 9th, 1st American

Saturday FR 5K: Ida 49th

Sunday CL 10K Pursuit: Ida 18th, 3rd American

Ostersund, Sweden (IBU World Cup: Susan)

Thursday 15K Individual: Susan 81st, 3rd American (1+1+3+2)

Saturday 7.5K Sprint: Susan 43rd, 1st American (2+2)

Sunday 10K Pursuit: Susan 39th, 1st (only to qualify) American (1+1+2+1)

 

WEEK of DEC 3-DEC 9

Quebec City, Quebec (World Cup: Ida, Patrick)

Friday Women’s FR Team Sprint: Ida (+Holly Brooks) 9th

Friday Men’s FR Team Sprint: Pat (+Reese Hanneman) 19th

Saturday Women’s FR Sprint: Ida 44th

Saturday Men’s FR Sprint: Pat 53rd

Hochfilzen, Austria (Biathlon World Cup: Susan)

Friday 7.5K Sprint: Susan 31st, 1st American (0+2)

Saturday 10K Pursuit: Susan 52nd, 2nd American (0+0+3+4)

Sunday 4x6K Relay: Americans 12th

 

WEEK of DEC 10-DEC 16

Canmore, Alberta (World Cup: Ida, Patrick, Caitlin, Nils)

Thursday CL Men’s 15K, Women’s 10K: Nils 57th; Ida 31st, Caitlin 50th

Saturday FR Sprint Men, Women: Patrick 67th; Ida 10th, Caitlin 66th

Sunday Skiathlon Men’s 30K, Women’s 15K: Nils 57th; Ida 14th, Caitlin 44th

Craftsbury, Vermont (Eastern Cup Openers: Amy, Clare, Maria, Tim, Bryan, Dylan, Gordon, Alex)

Saturday CL Sprint Men, Women: Alex 1st, Tim 2nd, Gordon 4th, Dylan 5th, Bryan 6th; Clare 4th, Amy 5th, Maria 9th

Sunday FR Men’s 12K, Women’s 9K: Bryan 1st, Gordon 2nd, Tim 9th, Alex 11th, Dylan 14th; Clare 2nd, Maria 4th, Amy 7th

Pokljuka, Slovenia (Biathlon World Cup: Susan)

Friday 7.5K Sprint: Susan 14th, 1st American (0+1)

Saturday 10K Pursuit: Susan 38th (1+2+2+3)

Grand Rapids, Minnesota (IBU Cup Trials: Hannah)

Saturday 7.5K Sprint: Hannah 2nd (2+2)

Sunday 10K Pursuit: Hannah 1st (0+1+2+1)

Monday Mass Start: Hannah 1st (1+0+1+1)

 

WEEK of DEC 17-DEC 23

(none)

 

WEEK of DEC 24-DEC 30

Gelsenkirchen, Germany (Biathlon exhibition race: Susan)

“Shoot-out”/Mass start/Pursuit: see FS writeup

 

WEEK of DEC 31-JAN 6

Park City, Utah (US Nationals: Tim, Pat, Dylan, Bryan, Alex, Nils, Gordon; Caitlin, Clare, Maria)

Wednesday CL Sprint: Alex 6th, Tim 25th, Gordon 30th, Pat 35th, Nils 36th, Bryan 49th, Dylan 58th; Caitlin 16th, Clare 18th

Friday FR Women’s 10K, Men’s 15K: Caitlin 5th, Clare 11th, Maria 14th; Dylan + Bryan 7th (tie), Alex 33rd, Gordon 42nd, Pat 44th, Nils 51st, Tim 83rd

Sunday CL Women’s 20K Mass, Men’s 30K Mass: Nils 24th, Bryan 32nd, Gordon 39th, Dylan 46th, Pat 51st; Caitlin 5th, Maria 25th, Clare 29th

Otepaa, Estonia (IBU Cup Biathlon: Hannah)

Saturday 15K Individual: Hannah 24th (0+4+0+3)

Sunday 7.5K Sprint: Hannah 67th (3+5)

 

WEEK of JAN 7-JAN 13

Ostrov, Russia (IBU Cup Biathlon: Hannah)

Wednesday Mixed Relay: USA 7th

Friday 7.5K Sprint: Hannah 18th (1+2)

Saturday 10K Pursuit: Hannah 16th (1+0+1+3)

Ruhpolding, Germany (Biathlon World Cup: Susan)

Wednesday 4x6K Relay: USA Women 13th

Friday 7.5K Sprint: Susan 53rd (1+1)

Park City, Utah (US Nationals: Tim, Pat, Dylan, Bryan, Alex, Nils, Gordon; Caitlin, Clare, Maria)

Tuesday FR Sprint: Alex 3rd, Tim 9th, Dylan 18th, Gordon 23rd, Bryan 29th, Pat 32nd, Nils 37th; Caitlin 10th, Clare 21st, Maria 27th

Liberec, Czech Republic (World Cup: Ida)

Saturday CL Sprint: Ida 42nd

Sunday FR Team Sprint: Ida (and Sadie Bjornsen) 7th

 

WEEK of JAN 14-JAN 20

Minneapolis, MN (SuperTour: Pat, Dylan, Bryan, Alex, Nils, Gordon; Clare, Maria)

Saturday FR Women’s 5K, Men’s 10K Individual: Clare 5th, Maria 11th; Nils 5th, Bryan 8th, Dylan 10th, Alex 14th, Gordon 21st, Pat 24th

Sunday CL Men’s 20K, Women’s 15K Mass Start: Nils 10th, Bryan 11th, Pat 13th, Dylan 17th, Gordon 29th, Alex 44th; Clare 6th, Maria 13th

Antholz-Anterselva, Italy (Biathlon World Cup: Susan, Hannah)

Thursday 7.5K Sprint: Susan 49th (2+1), Hannah 81st (0+4)

Saturday 10K Pursuit: Susan 44th (1+2+1+3)

Sunday 4x6K Relay: USA Women 10th (Hannah and Susan competed)

La Clusaz, France (World Cup: Ida)

Saturday 10K CL Mass Start: Ida 29th

 

WEEK of JAN 21-JAN 27

Minneapolis, MN (SuperTour: Pat, Dylan, Bryan, Alex, Nils, Gordon; Clare, Maria)

Friday CL Sprint: Pat 4th, Alex 7th, Dylan 9th, Nils 16th, Bryan 17th, Gordon 20th; Clare 6th

Saturday CL Individual 5/10K: Bryan 8th, Pat 10th, Nils 11th, Dylan 12th, Gordon 16th, Alex 20th

Sunday FR 10/15K Pursuit: Clare 4th, Maria 8th; Pat 4th, Nils 6th, Dylan 9th, Bryan 10th, Gordon 13th, Alex 15th

Marquette, Michigan (Noquemanon Ski Marathon: Maria)

Saturday 50K CL: Maria 2nd

Liberec, Czech Republic (U23 World Champs: Caitlin)

Tuesday CL Sprint: Caitlin 38th

Thursday 10K FR Individual: Caitlin 14th (top American)

Saturday 15K Skiathlon: Caitlin 19th (top American)

 

WEEK of JAN 28-FEB 3

Craftsbury, VT (Craftsbury Marathon: Nils, Bryan, Dylan, Gordon, Patrick, Alex)

Saturday 50K CL: Nils 2nd, Bryan 3rd, Dylan 4th, Patrick 5th, Alex 6th, Gordon 7th

Stowe, VT (Eastern Cups: Clare, Maria, Tim)

Saturday Women’s 5K, Men’s 10K Individual FR: Tim 6th, Maria 11th

Sunday 10K Individual CL: Clare 11th

Sochi, Russia (World Cup: Ida)

Friday FR Sprint: Ida 6th

Saturday 15K Skiathlon: Ida 37th

Sunday CL Team Sprint: Ida (+ Sadie Bjornsen) 5th

 

WEEK of FEB 4-FEB 10

Craftsbury, VT (Dartmouth Carnival: Nils, Bryan)

Friday 10K CL Individual:

Nove Mesto, Czech Republic (Biathlon World Championships: Susan, Hannah) — results here

Thursday Mixed Relay: USA (inc. Susan) 8th

Saturday 7.5K Sprint: Susan 49th (2+2), Hannah 71st (0+3)

Sunday 10K Pursuit: Susan 47th (top American; 1+1+2+1)

Madona, Latvia (Scando Cup: Caitlin)

Wednesday 5K CL: Caitlin 10th

Thursday 10K FR Mass: Caitlin 9th

Estonia (Scando Cup: Caitlin)

Saturday CL Sprint: Caitlin 22nd

Sunday FR Sprint: Caitlin 22nd

 

WEEK of FEB 11-17

Madison, WI (SuperTour: Pat, Tim, Dylan, Gordon, Bryan; Maria, Clare, Caitlin)

Saturday CL Sprint Men, Women: Caitlin 5th, Clare 6th, Maria 7th; Dylan 4th, Pat 6th, Tim 7th, Gordon 9th, Bryan 17th

Sunday FR Sprint: Tim 6th, Dylan 9th, Bryan 11th, Pat 12th, Gordon 14th; Caitlin 3rd, Clare 4th, Maria 7th

Davos, Switzerland (World Cup: Nils, Ida)

Saturday CL Sprint: Ida 18th

Sunday Men’s 15K FR: Nils 72nd

Nove Mesto, Czech Republic (Biathlon World Championships: Susan, Hannah) — results here

Wednesday 15K Individual: Susan 15th (1+0+1+0), Hannah 56th (1+1+1+2)

Friday 4x6K Relay: USA 11th

 

WEEK of FEB 18-24

Hayward, WI (American Birkebeiner: Tim, Dylan, Pat, Bryan, Gordon; Maria, Clare, Caitlin)

Saturday FR 50K: Bryan 15th, Patrick 20th, Gordon 25th, Dylan 29th, Tim 37th; Caitlin 3rd, Clare 8th

Val di Fiemme, Italy (World Championships: Ida, Nils)

Thursday CL Sprint Women, Men: Ida 33rd, Nils 61st

Saturday Skiathlon Ladies 15K, Men 30K: Ida 38th, Nils 59th

Sunday FR Team Sprint: Nils 21st

 

WEEK of FEB 25-MAR 3

Val di Fiemme, Italy (World Championships: Ida, Nils)

Wednesday 15K FR Ind: Nils 69th

Saturday CL Mass Start 30K Ladies: Ida 25th

Sunday CL Mass Start 50K Men: Nils 55th

Oslo, Norway (World Cup Biathlon: Susan, Hannah)

Friday 7.5K Sprint: Hannah 61st, Susan 70th

 

WEEK of MAR 4-10

Samedan, Switzerland (Engadin Ski Marathon: Nils, Hannah)

Sunday42K FR Men, Women: Nils 51st; Hannah 25th

Lahti, Finland (World Cup: Ida)

Saturday FR Sprint: Ida 38th

Sunday 10K CL Individual: Ida 44th

Campo Carlomagno, Italy (Alpen Cup: Caitlin)

Saturday 5K CL: Caitlin 13th

Sunday 15K FR Mass: Caitlin 19th

Sochi, Russia (World Cup Biathlon: Susan)

Thursday 15K Individual: Susan 7th

Saturday 7.5K Sprint: Susan 25th

Bretton Woods, NH (Bretton Woods Marathon: Alex)

Saturday 50K CL: Alex 1st

Fort Kent, ME (Biathlon Nationals: Clare)

See results here.

Friday 7.5K Sprint: Clare 2nd

Saturday 10K Individual: Clare 2nd

Sunday 12.5K Mass Start: Clare 1st

 

WEEK of MAR 11-17

Sugarloaf, ME (Sugarloaf Marathon: Patrick)

Saturday 50K FR: Patrick 2nd

Drammen, Norway (World Cup: Ida)

Wednesday CL Sprint: Ida 48th

 

WEEK of MAR 18-24

Craftsbury, VT (GRP Spring Tour: Pat, Tim, Dylan, Gordon, Alex, Nils; Caitlin, Clare, Hannah)

Friday 3.5K CL Prologue Men, Women: Pat 1st, Nils 5th, Tim 9th, Alex 11th, Dylan 13th, Gordon 19th; Hannah 7th, Clare 10th

Saturday FR Sprint Men, Women: Pat 3rd, Dylan 9th, Alex 11th, Tim 12th, Gordon 26th, Nils 28th; Caitlin 2nd, Hannah 7th, Clare 8th

Sunday CL Pursuit Women 10K, Men 15K: Pat 3rd, Alex 5th, Dylan 10th, Tim 13th, Nils 14th; Hannah 2nd, Clare 5th

Stockholm + Falun, Sweden (World Cup Finals: Ida)

Wednesday CL Sprint: Ida 20th

Friday FR Prologue: Ida 38th

Saturday CL 10K Mass: Ida 29th

Sunday FR 10K Pursuit: Ida 37th

 

WEEK of MAR 25-31

(none)

 

WEEK of APR 1-7

Truckee, California (SuperTour Finals/Distance Nats: Tim, Bryan, Pat, Dylan, Nils, Alex; Hannah, Ida, Susan, Caitlin, Clare)

Thursday 3.3K FR Prologue Women, Men: Susan 5th, Caitlin 9th, Ida 13th, Hannah 17th, Clare 21st; Patrick 5th, Nils 8th, Tim 10th, Dylan 13th, Bryan 14th, Alex 56th

Friday CL Mass Start 15K Men, 10K Women: Patrick 8th, Dylan 14th, Bryan 19th, Tim 23rd, Nils 24th; Ida 6th, Hannah 11th, Susan 12th, Caitlin 15th, Clare 27th

Saturday CL Sprint Men, Women: Pat 2nd, Tim 4th, Dylan 21st, Alex 31st, Bryan 32nd, Nils 36th; Ida 2nd, Susan 6th, Hannah 12th, Caitlin 17th, Clare 32nd

 

WEEK of APR 8-14

Truckee, California (SuperTour Finals/Distance Nats: Tim, Bryan, Pat, Dylan, Nils, Alex; Hannah, Ida, Susan, Caitlin, Clare)

Monday FR 6K Hill Climb WomenMen: Susan 8th, Caitlin 12th, Hannah 16th, Clare 23rd; Pat 6th, Dylan 20th, Nils 21st

Wednesday Women’s 30K Classic Mass: Susan 17th, Caitlin 18th, Clare 32nd

Thursday Men’s 50K Classic Mass: Pat 8th, Tim 19th, Dylan 29th, Nils 31st, Alex 39th

 

A Tour of Lake Hartwell

12.Apr.2013 by Emily Dreissigacker

hartwellmap2

1. “The Course”: This is Clemson University’s course. It’s a full six lane, buoyed course that ends right at their boathouse (where we launch). Luckily for us, all the college crews are off the water by the time we get on so most mornings we have the course all to ourselves. Unluckily for us, prevailing wind seems to be a 10-15mph cross wind. Still, “The Course” is a favorite for both race pieces and steady state, especially on the calmer mornings.
2. “The L”: This refers to the stretch of water that hugs the shore along the last 500m of the course and veers away from it in an “L” shape. It has frequently been some of the only flat water to be found due to the allegedly abnormal windiness. “The L” is not particularly enjoyable to row and is usually a last resort.
3. “The Neighborhood”: This stretch of water got it’s name because it leads to our GRP home(s) away from home. While this tantalizingly flat water may be just a stone’s throw from our front deck, it is a solid 8k row from the boathouse thus lending itself only to longer excursions.
4. “Past the Neighborhood”: Not the most original name, but this is actually the main body of water. The majority of Lake Hartwell is off this map past “The Neighborhood”. It is commonly used for excursing (Coach Roock’s new favorite word) and one could in fact row to Georgia from here. That being said the motorboat traffic can be heavy at times, especially as the weather is starting to get up into the 70s.
5. “The Middle Finger”: Undoubtedly the most creatively named area of the lake, the middle finger is a favorite location for an easy swing row on a moderately windy afternoon. It is usually pretty sheltered and doesn’t have a lot of boat traffic. The only downside is that it’s just over 2k long.
6. “The Crossing”: I’m not sure that anyone else actually calls this area the crossing but that’s what I always think of it as. It is a very open and pretty short stretch just past the railroad bridge. Though short, it can be a very treacherous piece of water when the crosswind picks up. However, on many windy days one must attempt to cross this section in hopes of reaching the more protected waters of “The City Course” or “The Wakeboarding Spot”.
7. “The City Course”: The second buoyed racecourse is owned by the city of Clemson, which hosts many college crews during their spring breaks. Though only three lanes wide, “The City Course” is much more protected than “The Course” and is thus a go-to for afternoon pieces or technique work.
8. “The Wakeboarding Spot”: While it doesn’t seem quite wide enough to be ideal for wakeboarding it does boast an actual wakeboarding jump. (AKA: the mystery UFO). Pretty much guaranteed to be flat, this area of water has great potential other than the increasing likelihood of wake boarders due to the sunny weather.
9. “The S Curves”: A rare spot for us GRPers, the S Curves were actually named by Clemson Rowers. The few times we have ventured up them I was lucky enough to be sitting stroke seat of a double and therefore had little responsibility as far as steering. It is another good location for long excursing, but perhaps not as good as “The Neighborhood” or “Past the Neighborhood” for mindless rows due to the winding nature of it.

And that’s the season!

12.Apr.2013 by Ida Sargent

Five and a half months is a long season and a long time to stay mentally and physically sharp.  Now as the season comes to a close, I’m feeling quite exhausted and secretly hoping the rest of the snow will melt so we can say a final goodbye to winter.  Luckily the season ended with as much excitement as it began so underneath many layers of fatigue I’m more inspired than ever for a new year and the challenges and adventures ahead.

Here are some belated stories and reports from the final races of the year.

The XC World Cup season ended with World Cup finals in Sweden.  The top 50 in the World Cup overall standings compete in finals.  Qualifying for these races was a “reach” goal for me so it was exciting to make it happen and experience the progress.  Last year the USST had three women  and two men qualify for finals and this year we had six ladies and four men racing in Sweden which showed our team improvements.

World Cup finals is a four race mini tour which begins with a city sprint in Stockholm.

finals5

It was my first visit to Stockholm and it was fun exploring the old city, running on the cobblestone streets with the other girls.

finals2

finals1

RAWR!!

 

finals16

A city square I ran through during my race warmup

 

finals15

Not a bad race venue backdrop

 

finals13

XC skiing is a big deal in Sweden so it was really exciting to sprint in the old city around the palace in front of huge crowds.

After having had a few rough races in a row, I used the energy and excitement for a really good last World Cup sprint of the year.  I qualified in 11th which was a personal best qualification for me.  I used some poor tactics in the heat, attempting to take advantage of the draft on the windy track next to the harbor but let myself get boxed in and ultimately finished 4th in my heat and 20th overall.  It was still a very fun day and re-energized me for the last few races of year.

finals17

The biggest hill on the course climbed over the palace steps.

 

finals18

A guard watching over the palace steps. I said hi to him every time I passed on the training day and it only took a couple laps before he responded with a hello.

 

finals20

It was very windy with a cold breeze whipping off the water

 

finals19

The finishing stretch

 

finals14

Kikkan won the sprint globe for the second year in a row and was third in the World Cup overall. Hearing the national anthem played on the Stockholm palace steps in front of a huge crowd was incredibly inspiring.

From Stockholm we drove three hours northwest to Falun for the last three stages of the mini tour, including a 2.5km skate prologue, a 10km classic mass start, and a 10km skate pursuit.  Falun will be hosting the World Championships in 2015 and built some new trails for the event.  The trail designers wanted to showcase the infamous Morderbacken hill and push the limits with huge uphills and technical descents.  Unfortunately they went a bit over the top and after the downhill had been skied a few times everyone was wishing they had metal edges to tackle the icy slope.  It was steep, fast, and narrow but didn’t ski well with sharp off camber finishes to the turns which combined with ice pushed you into the fencing and trees.  Skiing it alone in an individual start race would get your heart racing and in a mass start would be just dangerous.   Skiercross on cross country skis on a narrow trail through the woods which was steeper than adjacent the ski jumping landing strip? Serious injuries and maybe career ending collisions and falls were deemed a possibility in Saturday’s classic mass start race so the athletes worked together to propose course changes.  At first we were met with an absolute no since the TV cameras and timing had already been setup.  With athlete safety on the line, we met multiple times the day before the race and threatened to boycott the first race of the mini tour if the course wasn’t changed.  It became a very heated issue with lots of media involved.  We made the Norwegian tabloids:

http://sport.adressa.no/sport/langrenn/article273510.ece

After several more meetings and a high proportion of athletes signing a petition to boycott the weekend if the course wasn’t changed, a compromise was reached on the morning of the first race.  A new course was set which used only the bottom of the downhill and cut out some of the sketchier turns so everyone agreed to start.

finals10

Democracy in action!

 

finals11

Sure it was World Cup Finals but with nice weather and a fun ligher atmosphere, it felt like spring!

 

finals7

Racing the 2.5km Prologue (Salomon Nordic photo)

finals6

I had a slow start in the 10km classic but came back on the final two laps to score distance points with a top 30 finish.  Here I am tired and spent after the last day of racing!

 

finals9

Immediately following the last race we had to pack and after spending five months on the road, this was quite the process. Here is Noah’s ski bag with 30+ pairs of skis in it.  After we finished packing, we got to relax and celebrate the season with the rest of the World Cup field.  It was a fun and laid back way to meet other athletes.

We were all very ready to head back to the US but after months on the road what is one more day?  We stayed to participate in the first Fast and Female event held outside of North America.  It was cool to share this program with our Swedish friends and to meet some enthusiastic young Swedish skiers.

finals8

Sixty girls attended the inaugural event and after an afternoon of skiing, dancing, and talks they lined up to get their pink tshirts.

From Sweden I flew to California where I met up with the rest of the GRP.  After having been separated across the globe competing in lots of different races, it was really fun to reunite with everyone and ski together as a team for the last races of the year.

601629_621844374496563_598290919_n

The GRP (missing Gordon who was sick and Maria who was working)

While we had a lot of sun, we also had some other “less typical California” weather but our awesome wax team conquered all the conditions.  The sloppy April conditions combined with 7200′ of altitude made for some hard racing!  I’ve never seen the entire field walking in a race but when you’re herringboning up a big wall through knee deep sugar at high elevation in April, sometimes there isn’t another choice.

Here's Pat leading the guys with a 5th place finish.  We battled the sloppy conditions and had a great day as a team with five top 10 finishes.

The 3km prologue was rainy, snowy, and wet.  We battled the sloppy conditions and had a great day as a team with five top 10 finishes.  Here’s Pat leading the guys with a top 5 finish.

 

The women's field at the start of the 10km mass start race.  Can you find all the green suits? (Ryan Scott photo)

The women’s field at the start of the 10km mass start race. Can you find all the green suits? (Ryan Scott photo)

The start of the men's final  for the classic sprints.  We had two people in both the men's and the women's finals.

The start of the men’s final for the classic sprints. We had two people in both the men’s and the women’s finals.

2nd place buddies!

2nd place buddies!

After the sprint, I decided to give my hacking lungs a rest and fly home a few days early, skipping the hill climb and the marathon.  These last couple races sounded very epic but someone who actually survived them will have to post a report.

It was a long but AWESOME winter and now I’m loving being home where spring is trying to arrive.

The sweet taste of spring!

The sweet taste of spring!

 

One of the best welcome home presents, especially since maple syrup is a rarity in Europe.

Two buckets of sap is one of the best welcome home presents, especially since maple syrup is a rarity in Europe.

This morning I awoke to a few more inches of fresh snow and there is still great skiing on the trails at Craftsbury so I don’t know if I’ll be putting the boards away for good yet but it’s also nice to be able to sleep in my own bed, explore some backcountry and alpine trails, and have the time to put up my feet and rest after a really fun winter.

Thanks for reading and thanks for all the support along the way!