CNSC Juniors at Rikert Eastern Cup Gallery

This gallery contains 22 photos.

Last weekend, many of the Craftsbury juniors went to Ripton, VT for the third weekend of Eastern Cup racing at the Rikert Nordic Center. Craftsbury racer Claire Ellis shared a number of pictures with us and they do a wonderful job … Continue reading

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Craftsbury Marathon Training Plan: The Taper

It’s Marathon Monday again, which means that we’re bringing you another race related blog, this time focused on tapering! It’s only five days from the Craftsbury Marathon, and while training is important, at this point one thing you can do to significantly improve your performance is rest. Going into a big event well rested with a bit of speed can be the magic ticket to feeling good in that race.

In general, you want to lower your total volume in the week before a big race so that you’ll feel fresh come race day. Adjust this volume depending on how much training you did the week before, and how you feel energy wise on a day to day basis. Make sure to keep some intensity in your plan, as you want to feel rested, but not flat!

Try this Marathon race week plan from Green Racing Project ski coach Pepa Miloucheva:
Monday: OFF
Tuesday: Easy distance with accelerations (60-90 min total)
Wednesday: 30-40 min of speedplay (L2-L3). Speedplay is similar to natural intervals in that you will pick up the pace to Level 3 on the uphills, and then relax to Level 2 on the flats and downhills. Do a short L1 warm-up and cool-down before and after.
Thursday: Easy distance
Friday: Easy day- this could be 30 min of skiing/testing skis/or even a full day off
Saturday: Marathon Race day!
Sunday: Go for a nice ski, or enjoy the company of your recliner for the day. But you’ll feel better if you’re able to get out and move around a bit, even if it’s just a walk.


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Callie’s take on an eventful Nationals in Utah

For the past week, Alex, Phoebe, and I have been in Utah for US Nationals. As a side effect of not needing to qualify to attend, it is a great chance to compete against a huge field (including a lot of Canadians). After landing in Salt Lake City, Phoebe and I headed to the rental house, while Alex who had been out for longer rejoined us the next night. Our rental house was quite entertaining with a lot of great decorations!

One of the great decorations in our house. It can be worn as a mask!

Our first race of the week was a 10k skate on a challenging 5k course. When we woke up in the morning it was so cold that the race directors pushed back start times by an hour in the hopes that the temperature would rise above the legal racing temp. It was an individual start with Alex starting first, then Phoebe, then Callie. The course had two major climbs as well as some fast descents making for a tough race. Since Soldier Hollow’s base elevation is around 5,463 ft the altitude can make for hard conditions for those who aren’t used to it so all three of us skied the race very conservatively in the hopes that we would have something left in the tank for the finish. Though this made for a slower race pace than any of us are used to everyone finished satisfied with their effort. Overall Alex finished in 104th, Phoebe in 160th and Callie in 169th. In the end this race was a great experience for learning how to pace and race at altitude. It was also very helpful in determining how hard we would be able to push in the classic sprint the next day.

The classic sprint on Sunday was a great experience and a lot of fun but none of us felt like we had an awesome day, and we did not make it past the qualifier. Alex placed in 121st, Phoebe in 168th, and Callie in 174th overall.

On Monday we enjoyed an easy ski and preview of the 2.5k and 3.75k race course in the rain – a drastic weather transformation from last week. While the courses were not nearly as hilly as the previous distance race, they still contained a considerable amount of climbing and some very technical downhills. Later that day we found out that the distance of the mass start had been increased from 5k to 7.5k meaning that we would use the 3.75k course, which we were all pleased about at the time.

Later we embarked on an epic journey to Park City where we ate some ice cream and perused a cowboy store, sock store, and a fur store (with a jacket at the low price of $140,000). As the snow began to pick up, we realized that it was time to leave. But on the way home we decided to pick up some ice-cream, inspired by the amazing ice-cream we had eaten earlier in the day. This, however, proved to be a terrible mistake.

As we attempted to leave Smith’s we realized that the pavement had turned to a sheet of ice, something that our box van from California was not equipped to handle. As we sat in our van we feared that our ice cream, the whole reason for our extra excursion, would melt. But after watching other cars skid around the road, some direction of traffic around us, and some discussion, we decided it would be best to wait out the storm. We backed the van back into the parking lot, and decided it would be best to stow the ice cream under the van for safe keeping and refrigeration. Since it appeared the end of the storm was not in sight, we walked over to a nearby pizza shop to get some dinner.

After a heated game of UNO (that never ended), and some great pizza, we glanced outside to notice that the snow had slowed. We decided to embark on the journey back home (luckily our race wasn’t until 3:00 the next day). Returning to the house after this epic adventure we enjoyed some very soft ice cream.

Enjoying our never ending game of Uno while stranded in Park City

On our last day, we geared up for an epic mass start 7.5K with 150 other racers! For all of us, it was the biggest mass start we had ever been in and were all really excited. We didn’t start until 3:00, so we got to sleep in, then determined not to be lazy, took a few walks and did mobility exercises and watched the live timing as Ben won!!! We got to the race venue and completed our warm ups while testing race skis then entered the chaos of the start pen. When the gun went off, all 150 of us were off. On the very first downhill, there was already a crash causing several people to go down. With so many people and squirrel-y snow, there were crashes everywhere and it was hard to figure out the right mix of being aggressive, and not plowing into the girls that had fallen in front of us. In the end, I (Callie) had my best race of the week in 52nd, and Phoebe and Alex  were happy with their downhill aggressiveness, but didn’t have great races overall finishing 71st and 76th.

Cabin Fever sets in as Callie chases Phoebe around with a bug found in the garage

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Craftsbury Marathon Nutrition Tips: To Carbo-Load or Not to Carbo-Load?

Welcome to Marathon Monday! Here we’ll be posting weekly content relating to the 2017 Craftsbury Marathon, whether it’s nutrition advice, waxing tips, race day essentials, or training plans from Green Racing Project coach Pepa Miloucheva. We’re fired up about the race and want you to be too!
This week, we delve into nutrition with a topic that concerns a lot of marathoners- carbo-loading. Pre-race nutrition can really make or break your race day experience, so don’t go into a big event under-fueled.
Psst: like this content and want to see more like it? Sign up for our monthly Marathon eNewsletter here.

From Olympic Rower and Nutritionist Carlie Geer
Inevitably the prospect of a marathon event brings up this question. The answer is, if done “properly”, carb loading can result in a 2-3% improvement in performance. This means that for a ~3 hour event you could improve you time by as much as 3-5 minutes!
The goal with carb loading is to make sure your glycogen stores (energy stored in both the liver and muscles) are maximized. This is important because glycogen is the body’s preferred fuel for moderate to intense endurance exercise. The more glycogen you have stored, the less you will need to rely on exogenous carbohydrates (“feeds”) during the event to keep your blood sugar levels up and maintain your race pace. Even with carb loading, the amount of glycogen you can store will not be enough to get you to the finish line feeling strong if the event lasts longer than ~90 minutes, so even if you do a great job carb loading you will also want to have a tried and true plan for carbo feeds (energy drink, gels or bars can all work) every 30-40 minutes after the first 60-75 minutes.

So how to carbo load “properly”? Carb loading has gone through various phases and lots of studying since its inception in the 1960s. The current recommendations involve not just increasing the amount of carbohydrate(CHO) in your diet for 2-3 days prior to the event, but also, and this is important, cutting way back on your training volume and intensity for those 2-3 days leading up to the event.
While a typical daily training diet might contain 300-500 gm CHO per day (or 50-55% of your daily calories)– depending on your gender, weight and energy expenditure, for CHO loading you will need to increase to more like 400-700 gm CHO per day (7-10 g/kg body weight).
When adding extra CHO, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  1. Avoid too many high fiber CHO’s (legumes, whole grains, fruit) in order to avoid the GI distress associated with a sudden increase of fiber.
  2. Try to decrease your fat intake some, so that your overall calorie intake is not excessive.
  3. Expect a 2-4 pound weight gain because water is stored with glycogen. This is a temporary weight gain.
  4. Just gorging on pasta the night before the race (without the recommended exercise taper and increased CHO intake over several days) will not get the kind of benefits you are looking for. In addition, overeating the night before will likely mean you will wake up feeling too full and sluggish to eat a good high CHO meal and hydrate the morning of the race, both of which are important.

Suggested ways to add CHO (without too much extra fiber):

  • Be liberal with syrup on pancakes/waffles or yogurt, and be liberal with jam on toast or pb/jelly sandwiches.
  • Eat sweetened/fruit added yogurts instead of plain yogurt
  • Increase your portion of CHO at each meal (more of the oatmeal/cereal, bread, rice or other grains, potatoes, pasta).
  • Add a glass of fruit juice if you don’t usually drink juice
  • Snack on CHOs like a baked sweet potato, a banana, pretzels or crackers.

Lastly, don’t forget to plan ahead for those CHO “feeds” during the race. Stick by the rule “never try something new on race day”!

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Craftsbury Conversations: Audrey Mangan

JR coach Audrey Mangan riding bikes with the kids of the Albany Elementary School.

JR coach Audrey Mangan riding bikes with Naomi of the Albany Elementary School MTB School Group.

Glad to share this interview of Craftsbury JR Coach, Audrey Mangan  from GRP Rower Liz Vogt.

Audrey’s unmistakable ever-present smile and friendly hello are a welcome addition to the Craftsbury community. Audrey joined the junior coaching crew this spring and currently lives at the new coaches residence of Ruthie’s. Audrey hails from Honeoye Falls, New York and is a graduate of Harvard University. After college, Audrey coached skiing for the Boulder Nordic Junior Race Team while working as a saleswoman for Boulder Nordic Sport. She then took a break from coaching, and spent time writing for FasterSkier. She realized she missed coaching and when the assistant coach position at Harvard opened up, she jumped on the opportunity to coach again. Though she found the collegiate scene awesome and familiar, she was excited for the move to Craftsbury to gain experience in being part of a more comprehensive program with a wide range of abilities. Audrey said that college coaching is “cushy,” because kids already know how to ski and the teams are generally pretty small. This is quite different than the Craftsbury junior program, which has more than one hundred kids, many who are just learning how to ski. Looking at the bigger picture, Audrey was excited to move to Craftsbury for the community that it offers: a slower pace of life than Cambridge, a woodsier environment, and greater accessibility to the outdoors. Audrey loves being outside and Craftsbury is the perfect location for such a place.

Audrey fits in seamlessly with the Center and the way of life around here. Her favorite part about working at the Center is that “everyone here is deeply invested in the mission of the Center and is willing to go all in and pitch in whenever help is needed.” She loves supporting kids in pursuit of their goals, especially the younger ones, who are “so stoked” and exhibit “unbridled enthusiasm,” because “they don’t know to be self-conscious yet.” Audrey is often seen running around with the little ones, playing games, teaching rollerskiing, and just having a good chat. After a summer and fall of training, she is excited to see what the kids can do once the snow flies (and sticks!). She admits that it can be scary not knowing that the winter holds, but it is always something to look forward to. Her idea of “having fun” is pretty similar to what she does for work. She likes to explore new trails and go on adventures with friends. She started mountain biking this summer and was thrown right in to instructing as well, which was a fun new challenge.

Coaching in Craftsbury is certainly not what she thought she’d be doing ten years ago, but also is not very surprised. She said all the components were there, but this is not the path she was expecting. And in ten years? Audrey doesn’t know, but she wants to still be involved in skiing, whether for work or for fun. She is “psyched” that she has “no idea.” Ski coaching is a notoriously awesome and rewarding, but tiring job, where off days are rare. But the day I interviewed Audrey, she didn’t go over to the Center all day! She went for a wonderful run, built a fire in the new woodstove, and sat in front of it drinking kombucha and writing training plans with Anna.

When asked what the biggest challenge in her life was, Audrey replied “leaving the house in the morning not accidentally dressed in the same outfit as Anna.”

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2016 West Hill #3 – An Uphill Battle for the CNSC Masters

The CNSC masters group gathered at the base of West Hill Road Sunday morning ready for another assault on the road’s unrelentingly steep pitches. 1.1 miles of road stood between the masters and the finish. The weather was perfect for running, cool and calm.

Congrats to Patrick Kane, Ken Walker, and Anne Galloway on their new PRs and to George Hall for tackling the 1.1mi course for the first time. Everyone posted solid times that were either better or close to their previous marks.

Runner .6mi Time 1.1mi Time
Peter Harris (self timed) n/a 11:43
Patrick Kane 7:22 12:49*
Trina Hosmer 7:40 13:47
Ken Walker 8:12 14:01*
Anne Galloway 9:11 15:26*
Dave Hosmer 9:51 17:12
George Hall 9:59 17:22*
Elinor Osborn 11:00 19:14

* indicates a PR

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Hardwick Bike Festival

On the first Sunday of October, a big crew of COC staff headed down to Hardwick for an afternoon Bike Festival. Held at Atkin’s Field, the site of Hardwick’s newly built biking pump track, the Festival was primarily a kids’ biking skills clinic. The coaches and participants had a great time riding around the skills features and pump track, before heading out for a brief trail ride at the end. Check out the gallery below for images from the day.

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Craftsbury Conversations: Nick Brown

Nick with Caitlin in Falun, Sweden after Caitlin's best World Cup finish

Nick with Caitlin Patterson in Falun, Sweden after Caitlin’s best World Cup finish

Meet Nick Brown,  the GRP wax tech/ski guru for the Nordic ski and Biathlon teams. The interview and article was written by Hallie Grossman and photos were taken by Caitlin Patterson, both members of the GRP ski team

Nick Brown is the GRP ski team’s wax tech and ski guru. Nick has been working with the skiers full time for four years now, and on-and- off before that. When the team is on the road, Nick is there too, whether to local Eastern Cup races or to World Cups. Last year he split his time between domestic races and World Cups, including going to Europe to support Caitlin and to Canada with Kait. Nick is a waxing extraordinaire and has the ability to make really good skis for us regardless of the conditions, which is a huge part of a successful ski race.

Nick and Pepa testing skis.

Nick and Pepa testing skis.

Nick grew up in New Hampshire and attended the University of New Hampshire, before moving West. He currently spends a substantial part of the year in Colorado, but is constantly working on GRP projects. Keeping up with suppliers, placing equipment orders, and planning logistics is a year round task. He also helps his partner, Sara, with her garden design and maintenance business. When not engaged in GRP or garden duties, or waxing skis, Nick likes “picking skis. Or testing wax.” Or putting that all aside, he likes to cook, fly fish and explore in the mountains. When we go to Europe for our annual fall training trip, he is sure to have his via ferrata-ing gear with him, showing how game he is for all adventures.

Before coming to Craftsbury, where “Pepa,” was the reason for his return East, Nick worked at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School. He was part of the math department and lived in the dorms, while spending time outdoors leading backpacking trips and coaching cycling and skiing. Along this vein, Nick noted that he isn’t certain what unites the various work that he done and continues to do, but that he likes “working to remove barriers so people can excel and/ or find open doors.” This fits nicely with what Nick likes most about his job with the GRP: “work hard to help people be their best.” This is evident in everything that Nick does. He constantly strives to make us better athletes and people in general, always lending a hand with skis and a listening ear to whatever we are talking about, whether skiing related or not.

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Wine cap or King Stropharia (Stropharia rugosoannulata for the mycophiles among us) emerging from the bed of chips and straw at HP.

Last May, a bunch of GRP ladies helped with two mushroom projects. One was constructing a bed of hardwood chips, mushroom sawdust spawn, and straw for the King Stropharia also known as wine cap. Last week, the bed produced a few mushrooms. Very exciting!

The logs inoculated in May that have been hiding out in a damp spot at HP. Notice the mycelium pattern that corresponds to the 4” pattern drilled in the logs and filled with sawdust spawn.

The other project was inoculating logs with spawn of shitake, mahogany and oyster mushrooms. The logs at HP are definitely full of mycelium, but not fruiting yet. Amy/Eric and Pam/Bill also inoculated many logs at their places in Johnson and mushrooms are sprouting. We check the logs at HP almost every day…

And this what we were hoping for. Shrooms!

The mushrooms a day later! The big one is about 5” across!

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BIG Squash Harvest

Big truck of gourds

Pam, Andrea, and Katie happy with the first truckloads of harvest while enjoying the rain

It’s Harvest season at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center! Amy Schulz and Pam Japsersohn, the Center’s Farm and Garden Gurus, have been assisted by Katie Black and Andrea Carpentier at this busy time of the year. Winter squash, kale, zucchini, tomatoes, melons, eggplants, and many other vegetables are all grown at the Center and feed its guests year-round. This year, Pam and Amy also experimented with growing mushrooms at Hosmer Point early last spring. Excerpts below are from Amy Schulz:


Pumpkins for decoration and winter soup.

“Friday, September 23rd, a few of the staff did a cross fit session at Ruthie’s. The forecast was for freezing temps on Saturday. So, rain or shine, the million pounds of winter squash and pumpkins had to be harvested! To say nothing of the peppers, and the last of the melons.”

Harvesting 40-50 lbs of pumpkins Amy, Pam, and Andrea.

Harvesting 40-50 lbs of pumpkins Amy, Pam, and Andrea.

How many miles of carrying a 40 lb bin of squash did Andrea do? That would be 4 miles. Yes, 4 miles. Pam, Katie and Amy had to work hard to keep up!

Amy giving notice that we will be eating lots of spaghetti squash...Katie’s truck full to the brim.

Amy giving notice that we will be eating lots of spaghetti squash…Katie’s truck full to the brim.

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