Green Racing Project Blog Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Craftsbury’

SuperTour Finals Week

31.Mar.2016 by Kaitlynn Miller

Despite the dismal winter we’ve had, SuperTour Finals was a resounding success and a fun end to the 2015/16 race season for the GRP skiers. It’s always great to race at home with friends and family lining the course! The groomers did an impressive job farming snow and we were able to race on a hilly and challenging 3.5k loop composed entirely of manmade snow. The weather cooperated, freezing overnight, and the many enthusiastic volunteers made the whole event run incredibly smoothly. Here’s a smattering of photos from the week. You can read, in more detail, about the first two races here (the individual skate and classic sprint) and the second two races here (the relay and the 30/50k classic). Also, you can view results here.

photo: Caitlin Patterson

Prior to the races, we hosted a Fast and Female event at the Center. We had over 80 girls in attendance! It was awesome to have so many women from other elite teams (as well as the U.S. Ski Team) help out as ambassadors. (photo: Caitlin Patterson)

photo: Reese Brown

Heather leading some of the Fast and Female participants up teaching hill (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Caitlin Patterson

Hallie and Katrina Howe heading up the “biathlon” station (photo: Caitlin Patterson)

photo: Caitlin Patterson

It was great to have so many Craftsbury juniors participating in the event! (photo: Caitlin Patterson)

photo: Reese Brown

Group shot! (photo: Reese Brown)


Some of the elite team (and U.S. Ski Team) men hosted an afternoon speed camp for both boys and girls. Here are some participants heading through the snow tunnel in the upper soccer field.

photo: Reese Brown

Also prior the “real” races, was another fun event – the Dash for Cash. Here are Kait, Heather, and Quincy (Craftsbury BKLer) in their quartfinal heat. (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

And Caitlin and Hallie (in the fancy red one-piece) during their quarterfinal (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

Caitlin avoiding some chaos around the cone (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

Ida sending it through the snow tunnel (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

Both Ida and Heather made the final with Ida taking the win and Heather placing fourth (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

SuperTour Finals kicked off with a 10/15k individual skate race. Here’s Caitlin sporting the overall leader bib. (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

The skate race was followed by a classic sprint the next day. Here’s Liz striding up Moss Run in her semifinal (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

Here’s Ida in her semifinal followed by Caitlin and Kait (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

Ida crossing the line in second! (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

So much excitement! (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

Classic sprint podium (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

After a day off, racing action resumed with the team relay. With all the GRP men racing at Biathlon Nationals (which you can read about here), the GRP women had to compete on mixed relay teams.  Liz and Hallie formed the Green Buffalos with Colorado University skiers Petter Reistad and Mads Stroem. Here’s Liz tagging off to Mads. (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

Hallie skied a very strong anchor leg crossing the line in fourth. (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

Ida and Caitlin formed the Vailbury Green Team with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail skiers Noah Hoffman and Tad Elliot. Here’s Caitlin heading out on her anchor leg after being tagged by Tad. They finished second behind APU! (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

SuperTour Finals wrapped up with the 30/50k classic. Here’s the start of the women’s 30k. (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

Heather getting off to a good start (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Deb Miller

Lots of green suits in the chase pack! (photo: Deb Miller)

photo: Reese Brown

Liz leading Erika Flowers (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

Hallie striding up Screaming Mimi (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

In a 9-lap race, there are many opportunities to feed! (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Reese Brown

Craftsbury junior Phoebe Sweet raced the 15k and finished 5th! (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Deb Miller

Heather and Hallie skiing together mid-race (photo: Deb Miller)

photo: Deb Miller

Kait, Ida, and Caitlin at the top of Screaming Mimi (photo: Deb Miller)

photo: Deb Miller

Jumping for joy in the finish corral! (photo: Deb Miller)

photo: Reese Brown

Jessie Diggins won the 30k with Ida finishing second and Caitlin third!! (photo: Reese Brown)

photo: Deb Miller

One last team photo to finish out the season. Thanks to Pepa and Nick (as well as Ruth, Jake, and Anna – not pictured) for their support! Our skis were fantastic all week. Also thanks to Susan for coming out to cheer despite feeling under-the-weather. (photo: Deb Miller)

Summer for a Skier

10.Jul.2015 by Susan Dunklee

Spring is the time for recovery, summer is the time to put in the work, fall is for fine tuning and winter is racing. People are often surprised when we tell them that we do the bulk of our training hours in the summer months. We build a solid foundation of aerobic fitness and strength with long hours of rollerskiing, running, biking, hiking, and lifting. We work hard and we keep it fun.

For over five years, I have spent my summers split between training in Lake Placid, New York with the National Biathlon Team and in Craftsbury, Vermont with the Green Racing Project, my home ski club and a place I love dearly. Since they are only three and a half hours apart I can go back and forth often during the year.

Training with the National Team
Exploring the New York Adirondack mountains early summer with the team and Andrea

Normally we travel to Bend, Oregon in May to get in some skiing but we stayed east this year due to lack of snow. Instead we did a road biking camp near Middlebury

Lunch break, post bike ride

One major benefit of Lake Placid is training at a shooting range attached to a rollerski loop

Training with the Craftsbury Green Racing Project


Alright, maybe we should rollerski longer if we have this much energy post workout


Helping out with an introductory kids’ biathlon camp

On the road in Greensboro


Does anybody else out there still love animal crackers?

We normally shoot only biathlon rifles, but for 4th of July celebrations Craftsbury biathletes have a tradition of cross training by shooting a wider variety of rifles, shot guns and pistols.

Adventures Elsewhere

June was a busy month for weddings. Two former Craftsbury teammates got married in Wisconsin and two former biathlon teammates got married in Idaho. (Congrats to the happy couples!) Hannah and I spent a week in Idaho doing a high volume block of training between the weddings. Many thanks to Mikey Sinnott and his family, the Sun Valley ski team, and the folks at Elephant’s Perch for welcoming us!

Skiing with the Sun Valley team

Everyone told us Sun Valley’s wildflowers were the best they’d seen in years. I might have been so distracted that I flipped over the handlebars. Twice. (credits for these last pics: Hannah)

Time in the mountains is good for the soul

Han and I on the summit of Hyndman Peak

Craftsbury Critters

18.May.2012 by Susan Dunklee

Although the new training year is well underway, I’d like to take little time to look back on the month of April.   For a professional ski racer, it is our vacation month, the one time of year when we can stop thinking about training or racing for more than a couple days at a time.  Most athletes will travel somewhere exciting or find a part time job.  After four months in Europe this winter, I wanted to stay close to home.

April in Craftsbury was extremely quiet.  With the ski trails melting and the lake not yet ready for rowing camps, the Outdoor Center shut down for a month.  The parking lots emptied, the dinning hall closed up, and the residents of our team house at Elinor’s dispersed. I felt like the entire trail network, the lake, the dirt roads, and all of the local plants and animals were my own private world.

My favorite part of living at the Outdoor Center in the spring off-season is seeing lots of wildlife.  For example, every morning at breakfast, I would hear the unearthly gobble of a big old tom turkey from the bottom of our field.  (He conveniently vacated the neighborhood, of course, just days before hunting season opened on May 1st).  Wondering what other wildlife might be out and about, I began taking early morning and late evening “wildlife” walks around the trails. I startled deer who took off bounding with white tails blazing high.  From the Black River swamp, I flushed prehistoric-looking great blue herons.  I heard barred owls hooting from the cedar trees, the courtship drumming of ruffed grouse, and coyotes yipping far away.  On warmer days, a mighty chorus of spring peepers cried out from wooded vernal pools, where they left globs of gelatinous egg masses.  On my excursions, I sometimes stopped by patches of edible wild ramps and fiddleheads and picked a few for dinner.

My biggest fear walking around the woods at night is not bear or moose, but that I’ll literally run into a porcupine.  They can’t see, hear or smell, at least not very well.  One evening, I stood 15 feet away watching one obliviously gnawing on some sticks at the forest edge.  He slowly foraged towards me, not sensing a human in the vicinity.  He would have bumped into me I think, had I not backed away from the threat of his quills.

Following the last Spring Series races, I continued to ski the 1.5 km loop and only gave up when the trail’s mud sections outnumbered the skiable slush sections.  I stopped to take a picture of the melting ski trails and inadvertently captured a rare creature on camera, one I never had a good glimpse of before:

By the time I realized that the bobcat was there, he was disappearing into the woods.  

One day Eric Hanson, a ski trail groomer at Craftsbury and the Vermont state loon biologist, invited me to help install nesting platforms on a couple of local lakes.  These platforms can facilitate higher rates of loon reproductive success, especially in lakes that have little natural hummocky habitat or in lakes with high water level fluctuations.   The platforms are basically floating log rafts tethered to cinder block anchors.  Decomposing cattails, muck, and low shrubs are added on top to provide nest building materials and protective shelter.   Transporting the rafts to their chosen site was a challenge; it involved balancing them over a canoe’s gunwales or towing them though the water at a snail’s pace. 


After installing one nesting platform, we encountered a trio of loons.  We watched them for awhile and saw some wing beating, an aggressive territorial behavior.  Loons will fight other loons of the same gender for the right to breed on a lake.


As I write this, I am once again far away from Craftsbury in pursuit of my ski dreams.  This time I am in Bend, Oregon, another beautiful and wild place, where there is still plenty of snow for skiing.  The US and Canadian national ski and biathlon teams are all here, as are many other athletes, including some Craftsbury GRPers.  We are putting in lots of on-snow hours which will serve as foundation for the rest of the year’s training.  Stay tuned for future updates and pictures.