Home for Christmas

It has been great to spend a couple days at home, relaxing, and kicking up the feet a bit with the family after a long racing block throughout november and december. Unlike last year, the snow in the methow right now is amazing! The first couple of days were great hardwax, cold days- whereas now it is a bit warmer. The good news is, this will probably be pretty similar to next weeks skiing in Maine!

Skiing with the family-minus Kaley, who couldn't make it home for Christmas :(

I hear there is a storm warning for the next couple of days in Rumford, where Nationals take place next week, so I may head east with my skis after all!

I will post again next week with schedule of races and report from the east coast!

Tour Day 2- 5k Skate

Today was the second day of the mini tour here in Rossland, a 5k skate. It was one RIPPIN course, a 12 minute 5k.!!! I pretty much went with the goal of going as hard as I could the entire time, knowing there was no time to conserve energy. As Erik Flora would say, "go like-a-hell". After 12 minutes of aggressive V2ing, some solid hop skating, some seriously gnarly corners, and one super steep climb- I crossed the line 5th place, only 3 seconds out of 2nd. What this means is tomorrow's handicap start is going to make for some exciting times. 

For tomorrows 10k classic, from what I have heard, Holly will go out first, I will head out second-7 seconds back, and Diggins will be close behind-12 seconds back from me. From there out, girls are packed in super tight. The first one to cross the line wins the overall tour. Should be some fun times!

Congrats to APU skiers H. Brooks and Lars for their wins!

Thanks to Rob Whitney for the pics from the race today.

Let the Tour begin- first NorAm Victory

Today was the first day of the three day mini tour in Rossland BC. After last weekends races in Silver Star, the APU team hit the road and headed the four hours east to our current venue called Black Jack for our final races before Nationals.

Leading out of the stadium

The mini tour consists of a sprint on friday, 5k skate on saturday, and a 10k classic on sunday. Throughout the three races, you get time bonuses for various results and then sunday's race is started handicap style so the first person across the line wins the whole shebang. 

Great to see last years teammate, Sam Naney, throwing down after recovering from mono earlier this fall.

Today's race was a skate sprint that offered a lot of entertainment for the cheering crowd. There were a couple gnarly corners that allowed for some crazy falls and some pretty damn fast skiing out there. In the mornings qualifier, I was able to cross the line first, only .05 seconds ahead of my teammate, Holly Brooks. As my mom told me tonight, by the hair on my chinny, chin, chin. 

APU boys getting after it. Congrats to Reese Hanneman for throwing down some impressive sprinting today- 3rd American!

The fun course made for some awesome heats. All throughout the quarters and semi's I was able to get out of the start first and control the pack. The first half of the course was a solid climb before some roller coaster turns down to the bottom, a quick hop skate hill, and then some technical turns into the finishing stretch. The final heat, I sat in behind Perianne for the majority of the course before throwing down hard into the finishing stretch- winning my first NorAm ever. FUN FUN!

H. Brooks, Perianne and I right after the finish- Perianne excited for her secured spot to World Champs!

Holly Brooks and Perianne tied for second place

Thanks to Casey and Erik for some SICK skis, and to the huge group of people out the cheering. It is always so much more fun to sprint with tons of yelling on the sidelines.

Tomorrows race is a 5k skate. Results should be posted on www.zone4.ca

Sovereign Lakes- 10k Skate

Yesterday was the 10k skate race to round off the NorAm weekend here in Sovereign Lakes. We woke up to about 10 inches of snow in the morning, so I knew it was going to be a lot of work. As I started warming up, I was feeling pretty wrecked from the hard sprinting effort day before, but tried to stay positive, knowing everyone else was in the same boat.

I have always considered Sovereign Lakes as one of the hardest skate courses I ski all year, so I was anxious to see how it would all pan out. With my new "liking" of hills, I actually had a lot more fun than I thought I would! Brook Gosling, a really strong distance skier started 30 seconds behind me, so my plan was to jump on her when she came by. Fortunately, she caught me on the second lap, right where I was beginning to struggle. For the next couple of kilometers of climbing, I set my mind on watching her boots and hammered on. Just as we started approaching the last couple of climbs, I got a second wind and made the pass, powering for the finish.

At the end of the day, I ended up 7th place, a little over a minute back from the winner, and team mate, Holly Brooks. A solid weekend for all of the APU athletes!
Results are on:

APU- Lars Flora and Holly Brooks take the win in mens and womans. Congrats to B. Gregg as well, taking 2nd.

We are now headed off to Rossland for the mini-tour next weekend. I have never been to Rossland, so I am anxious to see what its like.

APU Team after races

APU team helping break down the stadium after the races

Thanks to Erik and Casey for great skis all weekend. It is impressive to watch how two guys can take care of 18 athletes so efficiently... even when some athletes are traveling with about 30 pairs of skis each!

Rob Whitney pics- THANKS!

Sovereign NorAm Sprints-Day 1

Today was the first race of the Sovereign Lakes NorAms, a 1.5km classic sprint. The new course change Sovereign has been working on over the summer and fall was amazing. It was so much fun with the addition of hills and twisty turns! I went out, raced hard, and had a great time. In the qualifier round, I had my first NorAm victory ever, and then went on to take second in the finals, behind a Canadian skier. On the last hill, Holly Brooks and I ended up getting tangled and unfortunately lost contact with the Canadian- but then pulled it in pretty hard trying to catch back up with her.

boys charge off the line

APU Girls- 2nd, 4th, 6th- Morgan Smyth, Holly Brooks and I

The coaches gave me great skis which made it possible to really nail the hills when I needed to and hold my position on the downhills. It was awesome to have so many APU athletes lining up on the line with me for the heats throughout the day. The rest of the APU athletes were stretched across the courses cheering us on- so thanks to them!

A-Final Pics

The best part about todays race was the different game that I brought to the start line. Today was an ordinary interval workout in the life of an APU'er. With so many talented girls on this team, every workout I am constantly learning about tactics and how to ski within a group. This makes sprint racing a second nature, so I was able to conserve a lot of nervous energy- and have twice as much fun!

APU Girls representing 50% of the heat

Tomorrows race is 10k Skate. It is supposed to snow a bunch tonight... so tomorrow could be interesting! Results should be posted at www.zone4.ca

Super-star wax tech! Thanks Casey and Erik for the great skis!

Thanks to Rob Whitney for all the photos!

Winter Wonderland


The past week I have spent in the Canadian version of "Winter Wonderland"-otherwise known as Silver Star B.C. From the day we arrived, last tuesday, we have been lucky enough to have clear cold sunny days every single day. A sunny day in Silver Star is truly unbeatable! Following our first series of races in West Yellowstone, we decided to put in a a solid block of base training before entering into these next series of races. 


On top of Silver Star Mountain Resort

This down week has been really nice for me. Conveniently enough my semester of school ended this week, so I have been taking advantage of my spare time to hit the books and finish off my finals. In one of my classes I was required to give a presentation, so I got one of the girls on the team to video tape it and then I added it onto youtube so the class could watch it back in AK. My professors have been super awesome, letting me take tests and do presentations at my home away from home. My STATS professor even set up an online chat so that she could help me figure out what the heck chi-squared meant! I am constantly impressed with the APU education system.

Skiing in the sunset

One of the things that I did for school this year was write a marketing plan for a teammates headwear company, E'KLAAR Headwear. It was really fun to explore new possibilities around the city and try to find new markets for her stuff. The APU elite team has recently signed E'KLAAR Headwear as a  sponsor for our team- so it has been fun to see how fast the word has spread about her hats, headbands and sport scarves. So when you see those bright pink and blue colored hats we are wearing around all the time- those are the guys! You should go check out her website, she has lots of fun stuff! www.eklaar.com

During this off week between races, I have also gotten the chance to get to know my new skis. I have always had a small collection of skis I travel with, because I had one pair of "magic" skis that I would literally pull out for every condition, every race, EVERY time. Unfortunately I broke them last year in Europe, so I have been forced to move on. In doing so, I added four pairs of new "stranger" skis to my fleet that I have been playing around on with the coaches throughout the week. Maybe I didn't replace the "magic" ski yet, but I think I am getting damn well close:)

Testing w/ coach, Erik Flora

Races are coming soon, two more days! Sovereign Lakes did some work over the summer on their venue and trails and came up with a new sprint course. Luckily it is much more hilly, and a bit longer- so I am super pumped for that. Saturday will be the classic sprint, and then Sunday we have a 10km. skate distance race. Lots of fun to come!

Practicing my lunges for this weekend

Hammer on!

Results should be posted pretty quickly from the weekend races at http://www.zone4.ca/default.asp

Rock on!

Silver Star it IS!

All four vans keeping in contact with the radios along the trek

making the most of it!

The past two days we did the trek across the western US up to Silver Star B.C for a training block before our next period of races. The skiing is amazing!! We did a two hour ski from the mountain down to Sovereign Lakes and back up and around the trails near the village today. Not once did we hit the same trails, and we probably skied one fifth of the total kilometers groomed around the area. This is what I love so much about Silver Star- it is truly a little Winter Wonderland. 

For the next week we will hit some volume and build up before we do two weeks of racing.(Silver Star Norams and then Rossland Normams) Following that I will head home for a week of family time during Christmas and then fly over to Maine for Nationals. 

Here are a few pictures from our awesome ski today-

Womans team in the "Village"

Down in Sovereign checking out the race courses.

APU Pre-Race Attitude

A little morning pre-race peek into APU-




H Brooks



West Yellowstone Racing

We just finished our first series of racing in West Yellowstone, Montana this past week. APU threw down an amazing team performance as well as many amazing individual races. There wasn't a single race that APU didn't have a team member standing on the podium. It has been so fun to race as part of this group throughout the week!

As far as my week of racing went I came away very happy with the first series of racing. I got my first SuperTour podium in the Sprint races on the first day of racing. It was an interesting set up, as we had two prelims separated by only an hour. With temperatures down in the single digits, and little rest- it made for a very tough day. Regardless, it was fun to throw down and get the first couple of races under my belt. APU has had a few time trials already back home this month, and with so many competitive girls on the team, for once I wasn't stepping into these races with cold feet. 

My little cousins after the race- great little cheerers!

Friday and Saturday's distance skate and classic races had their high's and low's. I was pleased with the consistency over the week. One of the highlights was Saturday's classic race when APU took top five americans in the woman's race. It has been so nice to ski with a team with such depth- and then show up at the races and feel like any one of the girls on the team can pop an exceptional race and be standing on the top. A great example of this was Friday's distance skate race when Kate Fitzgerald won, finishing a second in front of Holly Brooks. Congrats to Fitz!

Fitz as the Distance Leader and excited coach Flora

Thanks to the coaches and wax tech's for all the work over the week. It is incredible, on this team the tech's know all 18 skiers fleets of skis and manage to pick the best ski for every skier. THANKS

Team after Racing- Cheering on the boys

We are now off to Silver Star, Canada for a week of training before we hit another serious of races next week.

Results from the week are posted here:


APU Group after hammering out some L3 (minus Katie and Holly)

Today was our first ski in West Yellowstone. The skiing is exception! There are tons and tons of skiers on the trails as always- SO FUN! Races begin Wednesday, so lots of race preparation and ski testing already beginning. Sounds like it may cool down a bit, but we got in a nice "western" sunny day today before the chill moves in. Lucky, LUCKY!

See you on the trails!!