Green Racing Project Blog Header Image
  • Craftsbury Outdoor Center Logo
  • Concept2 SkiErg Logo
  • Podiumwear
  • Start Skiwaxes
  • Rudy Project
  • Ibex Outdoor Clothing
  • Mammut
  • Caldwell Sport
  • Sauce Headwear Logo

Archive for February, 2012

Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland

24.Feb.2012 by Ida Sargent

The past couple weeks have been a whirlwind of racing and travelling.  From Russia we flew to Germany, drove to Austria for a few days of training, drove to Czech Republic for a weekend of races, drove to Poland for three more days of racing and then drove back across Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany to Davos, Switzerland where we are currently calling home.  There is a weekend off from World Cup racing so we have a week and a half training camp in Davos and time to settle, unpack, fight off the stomach bugs that have been plaguing or team, and maybe even do some laundry.  Looking back I realized since the Muonio races way back in the beginning of November, I have only had one weekend without a race and that was Christmas!  The alpine sunshine is going  to be just the ticket to recharge the batteries and get fired up for the last month of racing!  Here are some pictures from the last couple weeks.

Nove Mesto, Czech Republic is the site of next year's Biathlon World Championships and was a great venue, one of my favorites this year.  The trails were super fun with some big hills and fast twisty downhills.  I'm always surprised with how poorly many of the World Cup women ski downhills and there were some sketchy descents in the mass start races and snow plows and non-snow plowers converged.

Nove Mesto, Czech Republic is the site of next year's Biathlon World Championships and was a great venue, one of my favorites this year. The trails were super fun with some big hills and fast twisty downhills. I'm always surprised with how poorly many of the World Cup women ski downhills and there were some sketchy descents in the mass start races and snow plows and non-snow plowers converged.

Parts of the Czech Republic reminded me a lot of Vermont with big fields and rolling hills.

Parts of the Czech Republic reminded me a lot of Vermont with big fields and rolling hills.

I was pleasantly surprised with the Scandinavianesque ski trails which linked all the towns in the region.  It wasn't something that I expected to find in Eastern Europe.  Hopefully next time I'll have a few more days to explore the double classic tracks snaking through the woods.

I was pleasantly surprised with the Scandinavianesque ski trails which linked all the towns in the region. It wasn't something that I expected to find in Eastern Europe. Hopefully next time I'll have a few more days to explore the double classic tracks snaking through the woods.

The first day of racing in Czech was a 15km mass start and it was a pretty tough day for the team.  We were all feeling worked over after the hard day of racing but we have an awesome atmosphere on our team right now and we were easily able to put that race behind us and get fired up for RELAY DAY!  Glitter, face paint, knee high striped socks, and lots of energy for Sunday's race!

The first day of racing in Czech was a 15km mass start and it was a pretty tough day for the team. We were all feeling worked over after the hard day of racing but we have an awesome atmosphere on our team right now and we were easily able to put that race behind us and get fired up for RELAY DAY! Glitter, face paint, knee high striped socks, and lots of energy for Sunday's race!

Relays are the most fun races but I also get incredibly nervous for them!  All my butterflies came out with a vengeance as I tried to focus on skiing a smart race.

Relays are the most fun races but I also get incredibly nervous for them! All my butterflies came out with a vengeance as I tried to focus on skiing a smart race. Here I am skiing with Germany and Sweden. Andy Newell photo

Holly skied a really strong scramble leg and tagged off to me for the second lap.  I skied with a pack for the first lap of the race and then moved up a few places on the second lap trying to gain every second I could before tagging Liz. Pete Vordenberg/NNF photo

Holly skied a really strong scramble leg and tagged off to me for the second lap. I skied with a pack for the first lap of the race and then moved up a few places on the second lap trying to gain every second I could before tagging Liz. Pete Vordenberg/NNF photo

Liz and Jessie both hammered out awesome skate legs.

Liz and Jessie both hammered out awesome skate legs. We all got lots of TV time thanks to our socks!

Jessie skied the whole race with Charlotte Kalla, the Olympic champion from Sweden.  There was a very exciting sprint finish for fourth place but after the photo analysis we ended up in 5th place.  If you take out Norway's second team which was also on the podium, that would have been a sprint finish for third!  Watch out Sochi!

Jessie skied the whole race with Charlotte Kalla, the Olympic champion from Sweden. There was a very exciting sprint finish for fourth place but after the photo analysis we ended up in 5th place. If you take out Norway's second team which was also on the podium, that would have been a sprint finish for third! Watch out Sochi!

We were ecstatic finishing area and were way more excite than the winning teams.  Vibeke Skofterud who skied on Norway's winning team even asked if she could take a picture of us while we were celebrating.

We were ecstatic finishing area and were way more excite than the winning teams. Vibeke Skofterud who skied on Norway's winning team even asked if she could take a picture of us while we were celebrating.

The next stop was Szklarzka Poreba, Poland.

The next stop was Szklarzka Poreba, Poland.

Kowalczyk is queen in Poland.  They didn't even televise the men's sprint heats preferring instead to do a race analysis of Kowalczyk's sprint during that time.  The cheering was insane from the very enthusiastic fans, some of which even hiked 10km up a twisty, snowy mountain road from the town to the race venue.ng 10

Kowalczyk is queen in Poland. They didn't even televise the men's sprint heats preferring instead to do a race analysis of Kowalczyk's sprint during that time. The cheering was insane from the very enthusiastic fans, some of which even hiked 10km up a twisty, snowy mountain road from the town to the race venue.ng 10

The stadium and finishing area

The stadium and finishing area

The first day was a skate sprint.  I struggled to even stay on my feet in the qualifier and didn't make the heats.  It was an exciting day of racing though especially for Kikkan who fell in the final, was off the back of the heat but caught back up and still ended up on the podium!

The first day was a skate sprint. The snow was super squirrelly and slippery and trying to stay on my feet was enough of a challenge so I failed to qualify for the heats. The fast snow made for an exciting day of racing though. Kikkan fell in the final, was off the back of the heat, but caught back up and still ended up on the podium! So impressive!

The President of the Polish Radio was amazed by her "bravery" and gave her this giant rock to show his admiration for getting back up and keeping going.  It weighs close to 50lbs and is going to be lots of fun for her to bring home to Alaska

The President of the Polish Radio was amazed by her "bravery" and gave her this giant rock to show his admiration for getting back up and keeping going. It weighs close to 50lbs and is going to be lots of fun for her to bring home to Alaska

The next day was a 10km classic and rain, snow and zero degree weather made for super tricky waxing conditions and a lot of herringboning at the end of the race. It was a good day for me though and I scored my first World Cup distance points

The next day was a 10km classic and rain, snow and zero degree weather made for super tricky waxing conditions and a lot of herringboning at the end of the race. It was a good day for me though and I scored my first World Cup distance points. Vordenberg/NNF photo

The last day of racing in Poland was the World Uphill Trophy.  I was feeling pretty tired from the day before so I skipped racing but still skied to the top to cheer on the team.  It was an insane race up an alpine area with 500 meters of elevation gain.  The trail was so steep that I was considering even doing some side stepping to make it to the top.  Mother Nature didn't make it any easier with huge snowdrifts, wind, snow, and all the other elements.  The conditions were so crazy on top that I accidentally skied off the course without realizing it.

The last day of racing in Poland was the World Uphill Trophy. I was feeling pretty tired from the day before so I skipped racing but still skied to the top to cheer on the team. It was an insane race up an alpine area with 500 meters of elevation gain. The trail was so steep that I was considering even doing some side stepping to make it to the top. Mother Nature didn't make it any easier with huge snowdrifts, wind, snow, and all the other elements. The conditions were so crazy on top that I accidentally skied off the course without realizing it.

Liz was the first to the top but the race was up and down so she lost a few places with her tuck snowplow.  Andy and Tad both really went for it on the downhill and made up a lot of time until they each had to dig themselves out of the fences.  I was very impressed with all of them though in this insane race!

Liz was the first to the top but the race was up and down so she lost a few places with her tuck snowplow. Andy and Tad both really went for it on the downhill and made up a lot of time until they each had to dig themselves out of the fences. I was very impressed with all of them though in this insane race!

And now we are in Davos with lots of sun, snow, and stinky cheese.  I wish I could send some of this snow to Craftsbury!  Andy Newell photo

And now we are in Davos with lots of sun, snow, and stinky cheese. I wish I could send some of this snow to Craftsbury! Andy Newell photo

Staying Warm in Kontiolahti

15.Feb.2012 by Susan Dunklee

It’s only mid February, but most of the season’s biathlon races are over. 8 World Cups are already done.  Most recently, we were racing in Kontiolahti, Finland.  In spite of the brutal cold, the team had some of its best results ever with a 6th place mixed relay and 5 athletes in the top 16 of the sprint.  Unfortunately, I had one of my most challenging weeks of the season trapped in my hotel room with a cold.  I only raced the sprint and it was not pretty.  However, I still think Kontiolahti will be one of the most memorable World Cups of the year.

Best of luck to Ethan, Tara and the rest of the World Junior biathlon team as they prepare to compete next in Kontiolahti!

Kontiolahti, Finland was pretty darn cold with temperatures barely legal for racing. In spite of that, in the nearby town of Joensuu where we stayed about 1/4 of pedestrians traveled by bike. Brrrrrrr!

Finland was pretty darn cold with temperatures barely legal for racing. In spite of that, in the nearby town of Joensuu where we stayed about 1/4 of pedestrians traveled by bike. Brrrrrrr!

Walking to the race start (l to r: Annelies Cook, Sara Studebaker, Canadian Zina Kocher). The athlete shuttle bus got stuck in traffic and most teams had to walk almost 2 km to arrive at the venue with an hour to race start. Temps were below -16 degrees celsius, hence the protective tape many athletes wore on their faces. (photo: Zina Kocher)

Walking to the race start (l to r: Annelies Cook, Sara Studebaker, Canadian Zina Kocher). The athlete shuttle bus got stuck in traffic and most teams had to walk almost 2 km to arrive at the venue with an hour to race start. Temps were below -16 degrees celsius, hence the protective physio tape many athletes wore on their faces. (photo: Zina Kocher)

Following the races, the family of Mari Laukkanen, one of the Finnish athletes invited our team to their lakeside cabin where they have 3 saunas. They fired up the traditional smoke sauna for us (pictured above) and cut a hole in the ice of a nearby stream for us to jump into. (photo: Annelies Cook)

Following the races, the family of Mari Laukkanen, one of the Finnish athletes invited our team to their lakeside cabin where they have 3 saunas. They fired up the traditional smoke sauna for us (pictured above) and cut a hole in the ice of a nearby stream for us to jump into. (photo: Annelies Cook)

Our hotel in Joensuu

Our hotel in Joensuu

Our hotel in Joensuu

The crazy Finn who coaches us: Jonne Kahkonen (photo: Sara Studebaker)

Jonne's family (who now live in Lake Placid) returned to Finland for a visit during the Kontiolahti World Cup. His wife, Erika and son Elmo made up an awesome cheering section. (photo: Annelies Cook)

Jonne's family (who now live in Lake Placid) returned to Finland for a visit during the Kontiolahti World Cup. His wife, Erika and son Elmo made up an awesome cheering section. (photo: Annelies Cook)

Next up: We just arrived in Italy where we will spend a couple weeks preparing for World Championships.  They will be held in Ruhpolding, Germany.

A Blog about Mo the crazy grouse

11.Feb.2012 by Hannah Dreissigacker

So…once again I’m finding time to write about Craftsbury only when I’m not in Craftsbury…right now I’m in the Calgary Airport, en route to Canmore for some more IBU cup racing!

But luckily for all of you blog-readers, I spent perhaps too much time when I was home for a week documenting the life of Mo, our celebrity “pet” ruffed grouse!   But first things first–I want to take this opportunity to officially correct my previous determination of Mo’s gender.  Our best guess is now that Mo is in fact a male grouse, though he has yet to get puffed up into full male display form.  Maybe thats for lack of a lady grouse in the vicinity, time of year, etc.  But thanks to Rick Halling for his advice about Mo’s gender.

Make sure to scroll down to the videos!  They’re the best part!

Mo modeling his best angle.   Mo can look very slender if he wants to, or he can puff up his feathers and look very fat.

Mo modeling his best angle. Mo can look very slender if he wants to, or he can puff up his feathers and look very fat.

First, let me tell you how Mo seems to spend his day–I suppose he must to some foraging for food at some point, but when we’re around, he generally likes to be as close to us as possible.  If we’re in the living room, he sits at the living room window looking in on us, occasionally pecking at the window.  If we’re in the dining room, he sits at that window.

Often, I’ll walk out the door to go skiing to find Mo sitting right by the door, as if he knew I was about to come out.  Then he scurries up next to me, and follows me over to the trail, where I put my skis on and he pokes around.  Once or twice he’s actually tried to scurry along while I ski, but I’m too fast for him!

Mo did his best to help Maria, Brian and I wax our skis.

Maria and Mo waxing. Mo did his best to help Maria, Brian and I wax our skis.

Mo tried to perch on my poles, but they weren't grippy enough, and he kept sliding off.

Mo tried to perch on my poles, but they weren't grippy enough, and he kept sliding off.

Mo and Bryan demonstrate Mo’s fearlessness (video)

Mo eats bread crumbs. I’m a nerd. (video)

Also, by the way, the skiing in Craftsbury for the last week was unreal!  We actually had about 7 bluebird days in a row, the grooming was superb, and the snow was FAST.  The rest of NE may be having a terrible snow winter, but Craftsbury has somehow avoided it!

Crust skiing in early February!

Crust skiing in early February!

Bluebird Sunshine

9.Feb.2012 by Dylan McGuffin

Since leaving the Midwest, things have really changed for the GRP boys. Now I am not saying I don’t miss the land of hot dish, the Packers, “ho-dee-doh” and “you bet your bippy”, but the west has a slightly different flavor. Our first weekend of racing, west of the Rockies brought us to Ketchum, home of elk, bluebird skies, about 6 feet of beautiful, perfect, fluffy powder, the best burrito I have ever had and the Boulder Mountain Tour.

IMG_0623

Sun Valley Sunshine

After arriving in Sun Valley, we went for the first ski of the year consisting of entirely natural snow. What a nice change! Skiing for 10, 20, 30+ Km without crossing your tracks of making a loop was pretty sweet! The snow was basically perfect everyday, as was the weather, consistently 30 degrees and bluebird, EVERY-SINGLE-DAY.

IMG_0609

A taste of that western climate and trails

For those of you in the east unfamiliar with phenomenon, we occasionally will experience this in March or April for a few awesome days. Out here the Sun Gods have really been following us and it is NICE. But as a die-hard easterner, I still maintain that I would definitly, eventually, most-likely get sick of perfect weather every day, at least I think that I would….