The month after US Nationals is a good time for skiers to recharge and refocus, at least the way the racing schedule was designed for domestic US racers this year. From the last day of Nationals, January 10th, there are not any “major” US races until the very end of January – instead, most skiers returned to their home regions for training, rest, or regional races. Coming right up at the end of this month, on Friday January 30th, the US Supertour circuit resumes with a series of races here at Craftsbury. We’re very lucky as members of the GRP that the US racing circuit is being brought to our doorstep, lucky that due to the amazing efforts of staff at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center as well as local race volunteers, we’re able to host two weekends worth of high level Supertour races. It’s actually a big week coming up at the Outdoor Center, more than just Supertours, with our schedule of:
Jan 29 – US Masters National Championship: 10km Freestyle
Jan 30 – USSA Supertour 20k / 30k Classic Mass Start
Jan 31 – US Masters National Championship / Craftsbury Marathon – 25km/50km
Feb 1 – USSA Supertour – Classic Sprint
Feb 6 – Dartmouth Carnival / USSA SuperTour – Freestyle Sprint
Feb 7 – NENSA Eastern Cup / Dartmouth Carnival / USSA Supertour – 10k/10k Freestyle Interval Start
Feb 8 – NENSA Eastern Cup / USSA SuperTour – 5k / 10k / 15km Classic Mass Start
Check out http://www.craftsburysupertour.com/ for more information, and come out to watch us if you’re in the area! GRP skiers will be racing on January 30th, February 1, 6, 7, and 8th, while most of the GRP rowers will be racing in the Marathon on Saturday the 31st.
A few steps out the door…
But back to this “in between” zone, since Nationals… Pepa has been attentive to our individual needs, and while we have had some group training sessions, there has also been plenty of flexibility for everyone to choose what will help them be best prepared for this next block of racing. For some people, like myself, this has meant racing just about as much as possible – and fortunately there are nearly always Eastern Cups or college races within driving distance at this time of year – while for other teammates a combination of racing and intervals has been best, or for others taking a mental step back and visiting family and friends while continuing to train.
We’ve had many spectacular days of skiing here at Craftsbury – blue skies, sun, and impeccable corduroy. Luckily for most of us our training plan involved lots of long easy skis, so we had hours to enjoy the trails. Liz, Kait and I have skied Grand Tour probably 5-6 times in the past few weeks, in addition to many loops around Ruthie’s and Sam’s Runs. One recent distance day I skied 52 kilometers over the course of a morning and afternoon session! The weather has been crisp, often bordering on frigid, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the skiing, although it sometimes has necessitated toe-warming stops.
Liz, Kait and I out for a classic distance ski… Captured on photo by Andrew.
Sunrise at Craftsbury
Overlooking Elinor’s house from the ski trails on a frosty morning
The weekend after returning from Nationals, six of us made the trip up to Rumford, ME for a combined Eastern Cup/carnival, racing a 5/10k skate on Saturday and a classic sprint on Sunday. We had a fun time racing, even though the snow coverage was rather thin, and our team took many spots on the podium – GRPers on the senior podium as well as Craftsbury juniors on the podium for the junior classes!
6 from the GRP racing in Rumford
All three guys skied together during part of the 15k skate
Pete and Gordon at Rumford
Alex Schulz in the 15k
Pete starting the classic sprint qualifier
Pete and Gordon got girled!! Just kidding… Sophie was picking up the medal for her teammate who didn’t make it to awards, and she hopped up on the podium too!
Last weekend, just for the classic mass start race of UVM carnival on January 24th, Andrew, Gordon and I took a day-trip to the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe. Although you wouldn’t know it from the coverage of the recent carnival races (http://fasterskier.com/article/taylor-caldwell-shine-at-uvm-carnival/), we three did actually race! (Keeping the focus on the college racers for their carnivals is great, but it seems like it would be worth mentioning that other racers were there, maybe?! Obviously I’m biased as one of those other racers…) Gordon was 4th, Andrew 6th, and I won the women’s race, ahead of Katharine Ogden and Anja Gruber, other non-carnival skiers. It brought back good memories of college racing days, sunny home carnivals at Trapps and the festive carnival scene.
Men’s mass start at Trapps
Gordon and Andrew early in the mass start
The lead pack lapping through, with Gordon tucked in behind Paddy Caldwell in the red bib
Thanks for reading! We hope you’ll join us for the Supertour action starting this Friday, either in person or check this blog and our Facebook page for updates!
Alex Howe and Pete Hegman powering through a recent interval session
Liz Guiney leads Kait Miller and Emily Dreissigacker in skate intervals