Eastern Cup #2 — Craftsbury Racing

An excellent weekend of racing! We’re so proud of the athletes that raced at Craftsbury this weekend. The American Nordic world converged on Northeastern Vermont for a combined Supertour, EISA Carnival, and Eastern Cup, which made for as deep and talented a field as any outside of US Nationals. 

Here’s what our skiers had to say about the weekend. Note that some athletes did not get a chance to chime in as they worked diligently on homework (or worked diligently on recovery and napped), but we’ll hear from them next time!

Justice: I was very pleased with my skate race. I think two takeaways that I did well was that I kept forward technique and I pushed hard over the hills. My classic race was not great but I still feel good about the weekend. The conditions were tough and unfortunately I broke a pole.

 

Victoria: Super tough week back into ski racing, but being apart of Ford Sayre for a weekend made it easier. Skate race wasn’t too bad, and I skied smart to finish with an okay result. Classic race was emotionally and physically taxing, but I’m glad I didn’t drop out like I considered and kept on shuffling (literally) forwards. It’s always hard to transition from the front of the pack in past years to the back and not compare yourself to a previous you. Just got to be patient going forwards and accept that coming back into this sport is going to be hard. I’m pleased that I faced my fear and raced this weekend, even though I hadn’t really been training. I just need to keep my eyes up and not allow my results to have power over me as I continue moving forwards. Looking forward to improving in the rest of the season.

 

Ann: I was a bit nervous going into a weekend of two distance races, but soon realized that I had it better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) off than some of my teammates, who would be racing a 5k and a 10k or a 10k and a 15k. My skate race was probably one of my best races ever. I was able to use the uphills to my advantage and get into a solid rhythm on the tough ones. It was a very hilly course, but a good course for me. It was the hardest race I have ever done but one of the best. The classic race was not as good, and I was very tired from Saturday. It took a while to be able to really “work” my wax, but when I did, it went well. All in all, a great weekend of racing.

Hannah: Saturday was a great race. I felt like I skied big and strong “like a monster,” which I told Hilary was my goal before my race. My warmup felt amazing, and during the race, I felt like I was going pretty consistently hard, to the point where I was struggling to breathe going up Screaming Mimi. I crossed the finish line, flopped in the snow, and inhaled large quantities of nice air. I didn’t know I could breathe that fast. Sunday was overall a big success, but not in conventional terms. Before the race, I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry, but I went to the start and started. During the race, kick was minimal, and life was rough. I was planning where to drop out, but I didn’t. Instead, I powered through, by a mixture of double-poling, stomp-running, and a little herringbone. I finished, and that was a huge success for the day.

Spencer: I did my first 15k! Ow. Definitely longer than a 10k. And a lot harder. Oh, and did I mention longer? Yeah. But also really fun. I think it was probably my best 15k yet! I felt pretty good, although I did crash. I caught a tip in the powder, and gave Nacio some quality entertainment! The crash made me angry though, so for the rest of my race, I felt good.

Dirk: Saturday’s individual start 10k skate went pretty well in general, but the course was very hard and I was tired especially in the legs, but also mentally. My skis were good but not amazing like they were on Sunday. The 15k classic was very fun and I felt good, energized and well fueled. The start was messy, and I did take a big tumble on a downhill in the first lap that set me back a long way, but I was able to come back from it. I found a good group to hang with for the race and my skis were much faster on the downhill. I did have to concentrate on my striding in order to get good kick, but it was probably good for me. Takeaways are not to give up hope when something goes wrong. The fall in the first lap put me back like 20 places but it also made me mad and I was able to catch back up throughout the race. Also don’t resort to herringbone as soon as you slip the first time, try to adjust your technique to make the wax work.

Jacob: It was wonderful to have so many parents and teammates out on the course cheering this weekend! That encouragement certainly made the five trips up Mimi’s a little easier. Although I didn’t have the races I was hoping for this weekend, I am proud of the way I attacked the uphills and stayed very focused even while skiing alone for long stretches of the formidable Craftsbury course.  Major props to all the parents who put together the food table and also to Victoria for jumping into her first races of the year! Outside of the tracks, highlights of the weekend include Hilary’s birthday party on Friday night, complete with cake, balloons, streamers, and party hats; and Nacio reading Dr. Seuss to the boys by firelight for our Friday night bedtime story (the boys’ house had neither Wi-Fi nor cell service). Above all else, this weekend was a reminder of the amazing chemistry and positive energy that this team has. I will miss all of you so much while racing across the pond in Norway for the rest of the season!


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