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Archive for November, 2010

Turkey Trotting

29.Nov.2010 by Chelsea Little
Me and Jess getting psyched on the start line. Not sure why everyone is wearing pink...

Me and Jess getting psyched on the start line. Not sure why everyone is wearing pink...

I’m psyched to be back in Vermont and skiing on snow (although that might not last long), but I had a really wonderful Thanksgiving with my family, and I miss them, too. I traveled to Irvington, Virginia to see my aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandparents. I hadn’t seen my dad’s family in a couple of years and my grandmother isn’t getting any younger, so it was good that I went. Also, I love my cousins, they are completely awesome.

But anyway. The day before Thanksgiving we were taking the dog for a walk and ran into one of the neighbors. “Are you doing the Turkey Trot?” she asked.

“What Turkey Trot?” we replied.

“Oh, the whole town does the Turkey Trot every year. There’s 400 people, which is practically everyone who lives here!”

Without missing a beat, my parents and uncle asked, “How do you sign up? I’m sure Jess and Chelsea want to do it!”

Wait a minute. I wasn’t at all sure I wanted to do another race. After all, I had just completed five races in ten days over in Finland and I wasn’t feeling my most spritely. Also, Jess was taking a nap, so we certainly didn’t have her approval. Nonetheless, my family hurried off to the town office to sign up me, my cousin, and my dad.

Jess has always hated running, but this year she discovered that if you run with a friend, it’s actually kind of fun. It was her first race ever, and she was super nervous. Luckily, it was only two miles, and I promised her she’d be okay. We’d run together the day before and on a training run, she pretty much tired me out.

Well, the next morning, off we went. The course was a one-mile out and back, pretty much completely flat. The field was not particularly competitive, I’d say, and I won the women’s race. Jess won her age division and so did my dad, which was kind of hilarious. My aunt was so so so excited and proud of us. They have just moved to Irvington and don’t know many people, so she kept saying, “People are going to be wondering who those Littles are! Now they’ll know us!”

Anyway, it was pretty fun, and much less serious than my racing experiences in Finland. A good confidence-booster – I was completely surprised to be able to run at all! Now, back to the stuff that matters…. skiing!

Bringing home the hardware. I repped the GRP but of course nobody knew what it was or really cared.

Bringing home the hardware. I repped the GRP but of course nobody knew what it was or really cared.

Me, Jess, and Emily. Bestest cousins ever!

Me, Jess, and Emily. Bestest cousins ever!

Skiing the Notch

29.Nov.2010 by Patrick O'Brien

We may not have much snow in Vermont right  now but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have access to great skiing! Early this morning we loaded up the van and headed to Stowe to ski the Notch road which is now closed for winter. The freezing rain that hit the area on Friday helped create a solid base over the asphalt and with just a  few inches of snow and skillful grooming by Dick Dreissigacker we were able ski for several hours without even scratching our skis!

Dryland on Saturday

Roller-skiing on Saturday

And skiing on Monday??

And skiing on Monday??

It was really cool to see how many people were out on the Notch road today skiing or walking their dogs on a beautiful day. With the sun shining and hardly a cloud in the sky it felt more like Spring conditions than late November! Unfortunately it looks like warm temps and rain in the forecast will bring an abrupt end to what little skiing we have in Northern VT for a little while. Already today the ice base was beginning to melt in sections where the darker asphalt was exposed to the sun. Tomorrow we might be racing to finish our ski before sections of the trail melt away completely!

Great skiing on only a few inches of snow

Great skiing on only a few inches of snow

It doesn't get any nicer than this!

It doesn't get any nicer than this!

Onward to Sverige.

29.Nov.2010 by Tim Reynolds
Boys Team.  Thumbs Up.

Boys Team. Thumbs Up.

While the rest of the GRP took off early Monday morning last week, I managed to grab an extra hour or so of sleep before embarking on a marathon of bus rides to Aare, Sweden.  In fact, my teammates made it back to Craftsbury on Monday before I made it to my friend’s house in Sweden.

16 hours on a bus actually turned out to be not as bad as it might have been.  I caught the last bit of Sherlock Holmes, found the wireless connection for the 42 minutes my battery lasts, and managed to take a few hot laps from the upper deck to the lower deck to ward off the kankles I tend to get on long trips- long legs do have their drawbacks.

I arrived in Östersund late Monday night after a taxi and 6 different buses to meet the Swedish version of my real mother.  She gave me a ride the last hour into Aare, a small ski town where I spent 9 months after I graduated from high school 5 long years ago.  I spent a lot of time with Karin (mom) and her family while I lived here, and while I had seen her and her husband at my college graduation, I hadn’t seen their three little kids in 5 years.  They’re much bigger now- but that hasn’t stopped them from hanging off any vacant part of my body when I move around the house.  It’s quite lovely to be back here to catch up with old friends and family alike.

I’ve also managed to train quite a bit aside from lugging small children around.  It’s been snowing every day since I arrived, and mediocre tracks have improved to mid-winter perfection.  It’s been great to be able to keep this streak of on-snow days rolling, as the forecast in Vermont calls for rain, rain and a little more rain.  This coming weekend I’ll make the hour long trek across the border to Meraaker, Norway for a weekend of Norway Cup racing.  A 30km individual skate and 10km individual classic are on the schedule and I’m looking forward to both- they’ve got some really tough courses over there that suit me well and it will be fun to get some more high level FIS racing in before heading back stateside.

All in all it’s been a great tour in Finland and now Sweden, and soon to be Norway.  Here’s some pics from the Finland days and Aare.

Snowy Åre at sundown.

Snowy Åre at sundown.

Don't mess with Big Dilly.

Don't mess with Big Dilly.

IMG_5404
Pepa chases Reindeer.

First VT Ski!!

27.Nov.2010 by Hannah Dreissigacker

Although we’ve been on snow in Finland for the last month, there’s still nothing quite like that hard-earned first Vermont ski.  Like most of my First Skis and many of my Last Skis growing up, this one was on the “secret trail.”  Not that  its really much of a secret, but it doesn’t get much traffic.  Probably because you have to hike up Mt. Mansfield for 30-40 minutes to get there, and its not even 1k of skiing.  Located in a shady little shelf under the cliffs, the “secret trail” has a remarkable ability to collect and retain snow, and its actually relatively flat and skiable.  It had a pretty good crusty base under the fresh snow, which was nice. I didn’t have too much time to ski, since I didn’t bring my skis up the first time (a mistake! always bring the skis up Mansfield!) and had to make a second trip with skis, but really the hiking was the workout, and the 15 minutes of skiing was just for fun!

IMG_4083

Trina and Dave Hosmer were there skiing laps too!

Trina and Dave Hosmer were there skiing laps too!