The girls awoke at 7am to the arrival of the boys from their house down the road. After a few grumbles from the boys concerning the girls’ later wake up time, we met around the breakfast table for none other than the beloved JNT oatmeal and eggs. A brave few began the meal with a dose of fire cider – a delicious concoction with enough frightening ingredients (including apple cider vinegar, onions, horseradish, garlic, tumeric, and habanero pepper) to thwart even the most aggressive illnesses.
At 8:15 – right on schedule (although behind the schedule we’d anticipated the week before due to a 2 hour delay in start times) – we piled into the two vans. Dennis and Jennie navigated safely despite the One Direction at max volume (courtesy of the fabulous JNT playlist) and a chorus of tone-deaf skiers (who luckily have chosen to pursue athletics and not singing).
With ears ringing from the uplifting hit-song “What Makes You Beautiful,” we pulled into the Rikert parking lot and unloaded the vans.
It was not long before we set out to preview the course, taking note of the fresh snow. After a double pole start, the sprint loop curved sharply to the left and then set off down a brief descent. “Work the transitions!” the coaches reminded us as we began a steep climb from the bottom of the downhill. The course soon leveled off to a more gradual incline then curved back down the hill to end with one last ascent before the finish.
The girls moved right from the course preview into their warm up while the boys returned to the barn to get another hour or two off their feet before their races.
After testing my race skis, I transitioned to running in order to fit enough intensity into my warm up. Soon, however, it was time to race, and the girls all found themselves approaching the start line for the sprint qualifier. Perrin started first of the Ford Sayre girls, and I began my race a few minutes later. After crossing the finish line, I turned around to see both Kennedy and Greta double poling the last stretch.
We all returned our skis to the ski rack, and then Kennedy and I grabbed our sneakers to cool down and cheer for Emily, Catherine, Hannah, Lucy, and Eloise in their qualifiers.
After the girls had finished, we wished the boys – who were at that point mid-warm up – good luck in their races, then headed inside to rest before the heats.