Green beginnings at the Supertours

12.Dec.2015 by Caitlin Patterson

If you’re among the curious ranks of friends and family, you’ve probably seen a few skiing race-recaps on our GRP news page – thanks for the interest! (And for those of you who haven’t found it, we post news updates for races by our athletes around the world here: http://greenracingproject.com/news/).  A combined report on the start of the season for skiing World Cups and Supertour is here, and results from weekend 2 are here.

Results never tell quite the whole story, so I’ll take a moment here to share photos and a bit more commentary on the start of the Supertour and domestic race season for Kaitlynn, Heather, Liz, Alex, and myself (Caitlin).  Most of these pictures will focus on the skiing part of our trip… we did do many other things besides ski, like eat nice meals including Thanksgiving dinner together, knit hats and scarves and mittens, read books, go on walks, visit with family and friends, and many other day-to-day small tasks, but most of the daily life escaped getting photographed.  It was great to get to West fairly early, acclimate and readjust to being on snow. But when the races hit, I know I certainly felt like it was a shock to the system, to be back in a bib and racing.  Overall we had some solid results and most especially signs of good things to come, but none of us were overwhelmingly happy with the start, merely content or dreaming of bigger things to come. Driving over to Sun Valley we were concerned about rumors of low snow, but otherwise quite excited for classic skiing and racing at a new and different venue.  We skied up high at Galena Pass once in training, but then due to the dedication and hard work of local volunteers, the race organizers were able to open the Lake Creek trails near town for the race weekend and a few days of preparation leading up to it!   Racing at Lake Creek was great, nice hilly courses and fast descents, and especially for the four of us GRP girls, we definitely hit our stride with classic racing!  We had 3 women in the top 10 each day, and all of us see even greater potential to improve our skiing in the future. The photos below are in a semblance of order from the trip and will walk you through some of the best moments and race days…

Heather, Liz and Kait out on an easy afternoon distance ski in West Yellowstone. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Heather, Liz and Kait out on an easy afternoon distance ski in West Yellowstone. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Synchronized skiing in West. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Synchronized skiing in West. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Heather with a backdrop of fiery sky. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Heather with a backdrop of fiery sky. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

In green on the far side, Caitlin and Heather start their quarterfinal heat. Photo: Margaret Hillhouse

In green on the far side, Caitlin and Heather start their quarterfinal heat. Photo: Margaret Hillhouse

Caitlin starting the semifinal of the skate sprint in West Yellowstone. Photo: Kaitlynn Miller

Caitlin starting the semifinal of the skate sprint in West Yellowstone. Photo: Kaitlynn Miller

Alex lining up to start a sprint heat. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Alex lining up to start a sprint heat. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

The start of Alex's quarterfinal heat - he finished 2nd in this one and ended the day 6th overall

The start of Alex’s quarterfinal heat – he finished 2nd in this one and ended the day 6th overall

Alex nearing the finish line in a heat of the skate sprint. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Alex nearing the finish line in a heat of the skate sprint. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Men's skate sprint podium, Alex in 6th

Men’s skate sprint podium, Alex in 6th

Women's skate distance podium, Caitlin in 6th

Women’s skate distance podium, Caitlin in 6th

Smiling if rather tired, after the skate distance race in West Yellowstone, left to right Kait, Heather, Caitlin, Liz. Photo: Margaret Hillhouse

Smiling if rather tired, after the skate distance race in West Yellowstone, left to right Kait, Heather, Caitlin, Liz. Photo: Margaret Hillhouse

Kaitlynn charging at the front of a classic sprint heat. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Kaitlynn charging at the front of a classic sprint heat. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Caitlin following Chelsea in the distance classic race. Photo: Fasterskier

Caitlin following Chelsea in the distance classic race. Photo: Fasterskier

Kaitlynn taking a corner during the Sun Valley distance race. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Kaitlynn taking a corner during the Sun Valley distance race. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Caitlin rounding a fast corner right on the heels of Chelsea Holmes during the Sun Valley distance classic. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Caitlin rounding a fast corner right on the heels of Chelsea Holmes during the Sun Valley distance classic. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Nick, Alex, Anna packing up after a race. Thanks a bunch Nick and Anna for all your hard work testing skis in Sun Valley, and Nick and Ollie in West Yellowstone!

Nick, Alex, Anna packing up after a race. Thanks a bunch Nick and Anna for all your hard work testing skis in Sun Valley, and Nick and Ollie in West Yellowstone!

Alex was really into this truck we saw after the race, and made me take a picture of it for him. I'll let you tell him what was so cool about it...

Alex was really into this truck we saw after the race, and made me take a picture of it for him. Nice truck, but I’ll let you tell him what was so cool about it…

Top 3 in the women's classic sprint, Kaitlynn and Caitlin putting Becca R in a green sandwich!

Top 3 in the women’s classic sprint, Kaitlynn and Caitlin putting Becca R of APU in a green sandwich!

Group hug with Pepa and the girls after a great day of classic sprinting. Photo: Alex Howe

Group hug with Pepa and the girls after a great day of classic sprinting. Photo: Alex Howe

Pepa, Alex, and Anna watching the men's distance race in Sun Valley. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Pepa, Alex, and Anna watching the men’s distance race in Sun Valley. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Women's classic sprint podium, Kaitlynn 2nd, Caitlin 3rd

Women’s classic sprint podium, Kaitlynn 2nd, Caitlin 3rd

Women's 10k classic podium in Sun Valley, Caitlin 3rd, Kait 6th

Women’s 10k classic podium in Sun Valley, Caitlin 3rd, Kait 6th

This weekend is off from racing for Liz, Heather, Kait, Hallie and I, as we navigate the crowded snowmaking loop back in Craftsbury, interspersing skiing chaos with running and strength.  Meanwhile, we eagerly await checking in on the results from our teammates who are racing elsewhere – World Cup biathletes Susan, Hannah, Clare in Austria; World Cup skier Ida in Switzerland; domestic biathletes Emily, Alex, Ethan, Mike and Casey in Canmore, Alberta – good luck team!