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Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Behind the Scenes at the Birkie

3.Mar.2015 by Caitlin Patterson

 

The GRP Birkie crew, from left - Gordon, Andrew, Maggie, Phil, Caitlin, Kaitlynn (missing Steve)

The GRP Birkie crew, from left – Gordon, Andrew, Maggie, Phil, Caitlin, Kaitlynn (missing Steve)

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since the American Birkie (and believe me, that time has flown by!). Before it gets too late and irrelevant though, I wanted to share a few behind-the-scenes photos from our GRP Birkie trip this year.  Four skiers made the trip, three GRP rowers, and coaches Pepa and Nick.  Most of us drove to Hayward, WI from Craftsbury, VT, a relatively unmemorable 2 day drive that actually passed fairly quickly, at least for me.  Maybe that had something to do with enjoying my reading and knitting projects, and also with the fact that I knew I would be flying out of the midwest afterwards, not having to repeat the drive in a few days going the other direction like many of my teammates did.  We did have a few issues during the trip…most notably related to the plumbing in our rental house and a brief “run in with the law” – but we grinned and groaned and laughed our way through that, in addition to the 51k race, and it was overall successful and a great trip!

I led the way results-wise with a 5th place finish in the Elite Women’s race, very happy to be back on the podium of top-6 and in the prize money! My teammates did impressive things behind the scenes in at the Birkie too — Kait fought back from a massive bonk early in the race, able to finish strong and pass people by the end.  Maggie, Phil, and Steve completed the astounding feat of racing 51k in their non-primary sport, and racing it quite fast at that, with Phil and Steve finishing within 40 seconds of each other after skiing the race separately!  Andrew successfully did everything he could to avoid muscle cramps during the race, then threw in a big finishing sprint and lunge, passed several people, and cramped about 5 feet after the finish line – perfect timing! (He did in fact have to be physically carried beyond the finish, as he could not move his legs for a few minutes.) And Gordon was a great teammate in addition to racing fast – when the pack he and Andrew were with caught me on the lake, he let me into the drafting line in front of him – and he kept our Birkie spirits (and fever) high and outlook positive in the days before the race.  And thanks to Pepa and Nick too for all their work testing and preparing skis, giving advice and encouragement, and then feeding and cheering along the course during the race!  Be sure you’ve read the news recap of the Birkie week here with full results details for the GRP, and enjoy the pictures.

Kait and Maggie in front of the bridge, complete with face tape that protected our skin on a cold ski

Kait and Maggie in front of the bridge, complete with face tape that protected our skin on a cold ski

Previewing the bridge that we would need to climb on Birkie day

Previewing the bridge that we would need to climb on Birkie day

Looking down towards the finish, 2 days before the Birkie, from the top of the new bridge

Looking down towards the finish, 2 days before the Birkie, from the top of the new bridge

Shadows on the bridge

Shadows on the bridge

GRP guys enjoying a pre-race ski

GRP guys enjoying a pre-race ski

Delicious spread of burrito fillings, complete with homemade tortillas - thank you Maggie and Phil!

Delicious spread of burrito fillings, complete with homemade tortillas – thank you Maggie and Phil!

This policeman looks kind of angry here, but he was actually very nice, and we got off with a warning... (Friday morning, fortunately not Saturday)

This policeman looks kind of angry here, but he was actually very nice, and we got off with a warning… (Friday morning, fortunately not Saturday)

Andrew shows off his physio tape before the Birkie - it helped him prevent arm cramps during the race!

Andrew shows off his physio tape before the Birkie – it helped him prevent arm cramps during the race!

Birkie morning

Birkie morning

Kait and I tied strings to our GUs, taped the strings to our bibs, and put the gel packets down our sports bras.  Keeps the GU warm, and the string made it easy to pull out - successful feeding strategy that i'll be using again!

Kait and I tied strings to our GUs, taped the strings to our bibs, and put the gel packets down our sports bras. Keeps the GU warm, and the string made it easy to pull out – successful feeding strategy that I’ll be using again!

Take your enthusiasm to the fields and write it out...

Take your enthusiasm to the fields and write it out…

Thank you cake from the rowers - thanks for joining us, and for the cake!

Thank you cake from the rowers – thanks for joining us, and for the cake!

Knockout World Championships

2.Mar.2015 by Ida Sargent

We skied for the last time this morning in Falun.  The fans were gone, the stadium was empty, the banners taken down, and us orphan Americans without a home to easily return to, were the only skiers out on the trails.  Another World Champs is finished and it was an incredible knockout week for the US Ski Team.  There were strong perfomances in almost every race and then having two American flags raised above the podium was unbelievable and a testament to all the hard work we have put down as a team! Congrats to Jessie and Caitlin for very inspiring races!

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PODIUM!!

A well deserved champagne toast after an incredible day!

A well deserved champagne toast after an incredible day!

I had the opportunity to literally open the World Championships, starting bib number one in the first race!  The eruption of the crowd when I tripped the wand is a moment I'll never forget!

I had the opportunity to literally open the World Championships, starting bib number one in the first race! The eruption of the crowd when I tripped the wand is a moment I’ll never forget!

The race didn't go as well as I had hoped or planned but that's ski racing.  There are some things that you can't control but I gave everything I could in the tricky conditions and kept fighting all the way to the finish as my pain face shows!

The race didn’t go as well as I had hoped or planned but that’s ski racing. There are some things that you can’t control but I gave everything I could in the tricky conditions and kept fighting all the way to the finish as my pain face shows!

photo (2)

A TV screen shot before my quarterfinal heat

Sophie and I cheering with our awesome PTs Ana and Zuzana on the relay day.  A huge thanks to all the coaches, techs, and volunteers that helped the team this week!

Sophie and I cheering with our awesome PTs Ana and Zuzana on the relay day. A huge thanks to all the coaches, techs, and volunteers that helped the team this week!

Early last week I had my own knockout experience but of a slightly different kind.  I was finishing a workout with a few short speeds.  The snow was icy and fast and at the end of one speed, I poled between my legs and faceplanted on the snow.  The crash knocked the wind out of me but I was initially most concerned whether anyone had witnessed it or if I could pick up my broken glasses, watch, and other pieces of the yard sale fall without anyone noticing.  I finished the ski feeling a little shook up but nothing too concerning.  But as the day progressed a nagging headache refused to go away so I mentioned it to the team doctor mostly just hoping to get some Tylenol from the med kit.  I had an early flight the next morning to go to Slovenia for OPA cup races the following weekend and I didn’t want a headache to keep me awake.  Our doctor immediately ran me through a concussion test (which I thought I passed with flying colors but apparently not) and the coaches and doctor decided to cancel my travel plans.  Initially I thought they were overreacting as it was just a little headache and I was very much looking forward to seeing my US friends and teammates racing on the OPA circuit as well as some fun and sunny racing in Slovenia that weekend!  But within a few hours I was very thankful that our doctor had recognized the early concussion symptoms and the next day was grateful to be curled up in my bed in a dark room rather than trying to navigate airports and travel amidst waves of nausea, dizziness, and throbbing headaches.

A week has now past and I’m slowly emerging from the concussion haze and returning to some very easy training.  It has been extremely challenging to go from the feelings of peak fitness to feeling worn out or dizzy after only a short walk.  Hours and hours spent hanging out in a hotel room in the middle of World Championships and at first not even being able to read, watch tv, or surf the web have been equally painful.  My mom always says, “everything happens for a reason” and I repeat this to myself as I knit, color, or partake in other mindless activities to pass the time.  Each day I feel a little more like my normal self and am excited to return to racing.  Tomorrow our team is travelling to Lahti, Finland for World Cups on Saturday and Sunday!

Putting Oslo Behind, Moving On to World Championships

17.Feb.2015 by Clare Egan

I just wrapped up a week in Oslo, Norway, competing at Biathlon World Cup 8. I am working my way up from the very bottom, which gives me an exceptional opportunity to improve. I did a 15k individual format race with 4 shooting stages, a 7.5k sprint format race with two shooting stages, and a 4x6k women’s relay, with Annelies Cook and the GRP’s Susan Dunklee and Hannah Dreissigacker.

In the individual, I was 82nd with six misses [1p, 1s, 1p, 3s]. I was disappointed with the last stage but otherwise content. Then in the sprint, I narrowly avoided getting last place, finishing 91st with six misses! Six misses out of ten targets is not good. I am trying to focus on what was good, which was the work I did on the course and on the range; I did everything on my checklist as far as skiing technique and shooting process, and stayed in control the whole time. My misses were really close so I just have to be a tiny bit more precise. Then I had one more opportunity to race today in the women’s relay.

But Sunday proved to be another rough day for me in Oslo. Our team started off well, with Susan using only two spare rounds and skiing the fastest course time for the first leg to tag off in 6th place. But that was the closest we ever made it to the front of the race. Hannah, Annelies and I each had two penalty laps. As I skied my second penalty lap, the winning team from the Czech Republic lapped us and crossed the finish line, so I was pulled from the course and was not allowed to finish. With the exception of Susan’s race, this was not the kind of performance that any of us aspired to as we prepare for World Championships. (See US Biathlon’s race recap of the relay, here, and World Championships roster announcement, here.)

I am trying to focus on the few good things that I did this weekend, even if they were very few. My prone shooting is consistently solid and my ski times are getting faster as I race more. The third component of biathlon, my standing shooting, needs major improvement, but I did hit four out of five targets in one stage of the individual race, so I know the skills are there. We have a few weeks now to practice before World Championships begin in Kantiolahti, Finland on March 4th. I am grateful for the example of my more-experienced teammates and the guidance of US Biathlon’s world-class staff, for helping me keep my head above water. Onto World Championships!

 

Craftsbury SuperTour in Photos

10.Feb.2015 by Liz Guiney

Jake just posted a great blog wrapping up the SuperTour and thanking all the Center staff, volunteers, and coaches for all their hard work the past two weeks in pulling off the big races here in Craftsbury. He pretty much hit the nail on the head, so no need to expand more on that. Instead of words, I’ll just leave everyone with a story in photos from the two weekends. Thanks to photographer John Lazenby for coming to Craftsbury and graciously providing us with high quality images from the races! All images from this blog are from him, so if you want to repost anywhere, please credit him. Alright, here we go, starting at the very beginning:

20k/30k Mass Start Classic on January 30th-

All focus at the start

All focus at the start

 

Andrew Dougherty even looks good running to his start!

Andrew Dougherty looking good, even running to his start!

 

Alex Howe climbing Moss Run

Alex Howe climbing Moss Run

 

Jake Barton leading out Alex Schulz

Jake Barton leading out Alex Schulz

 

Early on in the women's 20k mass start

Early on in the women’s 20k mass start

 

Coming up Screaming Mimi the first time

Coming up Screaming Mimi the first time

 

Chelsea Holmes of APU leads out the pain train

Chelsea Holmes of APU leads out the pain train

 

Erika Flowers of SMS-T2 charging

Erika Flowers of SMS-T2 charging

 

Caitlin Patterson gets a congratulatory birthday/victory hug from Kaitlynn Miller

Caitlin Patterson gets a congratulatory birthday/victory hug from Kaitlynn Miller

 

The new wax room got some serious use this weekend

The new wax room got some serious use this weekend

 

Classic Sprint, February 1st-

GRP rower Emily Dreissigacker finding her stride in the classic sprint

GRP rower Emily Dreissigacker finding her stride in the classic sprint

 

Me skiing with Kaitlynn Miller in the quarterfinal

Me skiing with Kaitlynn Miller in the quarterfinal

 

Women's semifinal

Women’s semifinal

 

Gordon demonstrating a proper lane change in the men's semis

Gordon demonstrating a proper lane change in the men’s semis

 

Start of the women's A Final

Start of the women’s A Final

 

Congratulating Anja Gruber on her 3rd place finish

Congratulating Anja Gruber on her 3rd place finish

 

Emily all smiles after placing 6th in the sprint

Emily all smiles after placing 6th in the sprint

 

Groomer extraordinaire Keith Woodward in his element. Thanks Keith!

Groomer extraordinaire Keith Woodward in his element. Thanks Keith!

 

Race debris..

Race debris..

 

Sheldon prepping the volunteer army. Thanks for all the hard work guys!

Sheldon prepping the volunteer army. Thanks for all the hard work guys!

 

Skate Sprint, February 6th

Jake Barton in qualifying

Jake Barton in qualifying

 

Caitlin P. racing in the Bane mask

Caitlin P. racing in the Bane mask

 

Kaitlynn laying down a fast qualifier

Kaitlynn laying down a fast qualifier

 

Alex Schulz tucked in close during heats

Alex Schulz tucked in close during heats

 

Caitlin P. in semis

Caitlin P. in semis

 

Kaitlynn staying loose between heats

Kaitlynn staying loose between heats

 

Spotted: volunteer Lindy Sargent working harder than anyone out there!

Spotted: volunteer Lindy Sargent working harder than anyone out there!

 

10k/15k Classic Mass Start, February 8th

GRP guys Gordon and Andrew at the front of the lead pack in the 15k

GRP guys Gordon and Andrew at the front of the lead pack in the 15k

 

Andrew's signature red hat at the front of the pack

Andrew’s signature red hat at the front of the pack

 

 

Andrew following a move from Kris Freeman

Andrew following a move from Kris Freeman

 

More volunteers working hard and staying warm, that's Carol van Dyke under all those layers!

More volunteers working hard and staying warm, that’s Carol van Dyke under all those layers!

 

Thanks for reading everyone! If you want to find results and stories from the weekend, make sure to check the news section of the GRP Homepage, or find full results at the Craftsbury SuperTour webpage.