Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Craftsbury World Cup

Probably two years ago, Adrian and Ken got excited about hosting a World Cup for ski orienteering in the US. They got the IOF excited (which doesn't take much, considering that orienteering with a global distribution is one of the goals of IOF, so they're always ready to jump if North America wants to host something big), and somehow got us committed to the thing before exactly having all the key players placed. I'm a sucker, so I got roped into course setting with barely a fight. With hindsight, should I have pushed back more, and had them find a different course setter? I'm not being boastful when I say that I think we needed me in the roles I was filling to pull off this event to the level we did, so I'll stand behind my decision to be course setter. But this last week was not easy, especially for a gal who likes her sleep.

But, I got to talk on the radio! Here's a link to the piece by VPR: 

That sounds a little negative. This event was pretty awesome. We just needed four times as many competent volunteers with very specific and hard-to-acquire skillsets working on the event.

I won't bore you with the details leading up to the event. But consider it like planning a wedding, where nobody gets married. And if you screw up, the entire party will be upset at you. Particularly for the World Cup athletes, this is their livelihood. No pressure. 

Early on, Andy Hall had volunteered himself to help with course setting, and that was a lifesaver. We went a few times up to the venue to scout trails, and way too many hours on setting and redoing and redoing and redoing courses, and then redoing again on the night before the event when we finally understood how the map would look. 
Andy and Ollie, clearly in charge because they both have radios and coffee. Ollie was a little skeptical about this whole ski orienteering ordeal, but I think he came around by the time I saw him sharing beers with the Swiss "pirate" wax tech. 

The fun thing about ski orienteering is that the map will change on a daily basis, depending on the grooming. Our Senior Event Advisor, Antti Myllärinen, was a whiz with the snowmobile, and managed to get things groomed that we didn't think were possible. That was pretty great. COC staff currently refer to him as the "badass Finnish groomer," and rumor has it they're going to name a dog after him. 

Antti, our badass Finnish groomer. And everything else.
Our junior IOF Event Advisor, Staffan Tunis. This guy also won the World Cup back in 2012, so it was great to have him around to pick his brain.

Super thanks to Bill and the rest of the Outdoors Center staff for all their help this week. I think they were fairly entertained by the craziness of this sport, and enjoyed learning about something totally different than the usual slew of ski races they're so familiar with. John Lazenby photo.

So the order of events is that you have to redo the map, reset all the courses, place all the controls, and not screw any of that up in about 12 hours before every race. There's no way that's not crazy. Good thing ski-o is so much fun, or nobody would do it. The local kids (and grownups!) were all pretty excited with the narrow trails, too, and people were getting a real kick skiing around them. That made me happy. We had really good turnout for the Tuesday night open race.

Adrian, our fearless leader, in the opening ceremony parade. John Lazenby photo.

The Races
First race of the week was the sprint race for the World Cup, and Middle distance #1 for the masters. Conditions were thin, frozen corn snow that softened into slush for the masters, with a generous scattering of branches, dirt, rocks, and pine needles. It took a good skier to stay on your feet, and Tove Alexandersson, the women's champion, said that she felt like a pinball, bouncing off of trees the whole time. Lots of broken equipment, but that's part of the game in this sport. 

Not such great snow conditions. 

Next up was the middle distance for the World Cup, and the second middle distance for the masters. These were good courses, but the snow continued to be thin. I started to hear some complaints from the older skiers about how they didn't appreciate the thin snow conditions, but they were also complaining when I didn't send them into the small trails, so really, there's no way to win. The wide trails were still in excellent condition, because Craftsbury has one of the best grooming crews out there. Anyway, the World Cup racers all seemed to enjoy the middle distance courses, and that left a warm fuzzy inside for Andy and me. 
Men's middle distance map. Pretty great courses, and the athletes 
seemed to really enjoy them too. Humility has never been my strong suit.

Men's champions on the middle distance: Erik Rost, Linus Rapp, and Jorgen Madslien. Lazenby photo.

Estonian racing through the forest. Lazenby photo.

It happens. Lazenby photo.

Tove Alexandersson skiing aggressively, a style she's known for. Lazenby photo.

Beautiful weather for the sprint distance. Lazenby photo.


We got some snow finally on the "rest" day, Thursday. It was actually a reasonable dump, 8 inches or so, and that was good news except that it meant now we had to regroom and remap the entire area. Cool, no problem. We got behind on Thursday, and every step seemed to put us more behind, enough that we had barely finished printing all the maps by 5am when it was time to start getting the controls into the terrain. I still think it's a small miracle that our little team managed to get everything into the terrain and with the accuracy that we did - unfortunately, we did have one control mislabeled, and that caused some problems. There was no formal protest, but it leaves a really bad taste in your mouth to know that you've screwed up, and that it ruined somebody else's day. The mistake was in not having somebody who had actually slept review what we were doing. Live and learn, and hopefully never find ourselves in that position again. We also had a crucial gap in our information train, and some of the masters went out without knowing that they had a map exchange to do, which ruined more peoples' days.

On a related note, I don't remember my last all-nighter, but the experience has certainly not gotten any more pleasant with age. Kudos to Andy and Staffan for suffering through it with me.

Anyway, the final race was a sprint relay, mixed gender. This was good fun to watch, with the athletes going head to head for most of the race. The Swedish team of Erik Rost and Tove Alexandersson won the race, even though Tove broke her ski near the end of her last loop. I hopped into the open relay with Ari, just for kicks, and it was fun to race on my own courses. At this point I knew the trails so well that it's not like the navigation was a challenge, but it was a lot of fun anyway. 

Then on to the banquet (with a quick stop by Hill Farmstead). Some of the details for that had been left to the last minute, but we made it work, and the athletes all got their awards. 

Overall, a great week. It may be a lot of work, but it is rewarding to see something of this magnitude come together. Hopefully once I've caught up on sleep I can distill some of our lessons learned into something we can apply to our National Events.

Overall world cup winner Andrei Lamov

Flying ponytails! Salla Koskela, women's long distance winner.

Team USA - Ari and Jimmy! Next time we'll get them some team uniforms.

Race office before the chaos.

Boris was our announcer, and absolutely crushed it. And, he got to announce from the inside of John's sweet remodeled bus.

Not all manmade features are on the map. Probably better throw some snow on this one...

Very serious course setting team.

Office team, getting ready for the chaos

John and his bus

 The crush within the office when maps are announced as ready to return

Long distance medals

Jimmy on the start line. Photo by Greg Walker.

Pain faces. Greg Walker photos

Ed's timing hut. Greg Walker photo

Lamov coming to the finish. Greg Walker photo

Finnishing. Ha. Greg Walker photo.

Mass start - Greg Walker photo

Women's start. Greg Walker photo

Craftsbury breakfasts are my favorite part about going there. This week didn't disappoint. Somehow I didn't gain 5lb. Must have something to do with the 18 hours of skiing and 18 hours of sleeping that happened while there.

A huge thank you to everyone who made this week possible. It was a successful week in a great venue.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Planning for a World Cup

Y'all. Nobody said that hosting a World Cup for Ski Orienteering was going to be easy. But I clearly did not give it nearly enough respect. Supposedly I'm just setting courses, but we all know how that goes, and now I'm doing a whole lot of other jobs. So if you haven't heard from me in weeks, don't take it personally.

Next week is the big deal. Final round of World Cup for the season, and the World Masters Championships. It's gonna be awesome.

Adrian, event director and on-site coordinator

Andy, fellow course setter and excellent snow shoveler. We put in a pretty big work weekend last weekend, and Adrian's been doing that nonstop.

Spring skiing at its finest last weekend, beautiful crust skiing

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Final Eastern Cups

The last three Eastern Cups have gone by in a blur. We were at Rikert the weekend before Masters, and then Craftsbury the weekend after. I only did the skate race at Rikert, knowing I'd be needed for waxing at the classic sprint. Plus, conveniently, I don't really enjoy classic sprinting the way I enjoy skate sprinting. Fun to watch lots of my skiers qualify for the heats and move through them with aplomb. 

Sunday's individual start 10k was one of those races that's just sort of meh. I didn't have good energy, and made up a lot of my time on the downhills, which were icy and sketchy enough to scare other people. Really enjoyable and ripping fast skis. 

Ed on the wax team, at both Rikert and Craftsbury ECs.

I started third bib. I wanted the first lap to feel in control, so consciously backed off on some of the hills. I could definitely feel the accumulated fatigue from last week at work and yesterday's classic sprint insanity, and my quads didn't really like the idea of going up hill. The downhills were insanely awesome, I was carrying so much speed through the bottom of the hills it was just not fair. I had a pretty empty course through loop 1, my 15-s girl visible and slowly getting closer. I caught her on the long climb, and stayed behind for a bit before finally going around at the top, to give myself clear snow before the downhills. That worked and I opened a bit of a gap, passing my 30s girl too.

Second lap I sort of wished the race were over already. I let myself push harder on the uphills, and my legs protested harder. I came through just after a Mansfield gal was starting, and that was a nice motivation to catch her. Some traffic this lap, but I was still finding space on the downhills to do my thing with confidence. I was on a such a high, just knowing that everywhere I went, I was leading the race. Go me! But that didn't erase the fatigue.

Third lap I was totally done. Tried to keep moving but I was dropping seconds right and left. Skidded a little of the icy corner at the top of loop 1, but still came out of the hill with a ton of speed. Had to do a lot more V1 up the long hill on loop 2, just unable to keep the speed up in V2, arms and shoulders and quads and hips just totally trashed. I managed to put in a pathetic little surge over the top of the final hill and keep my space, avoiding taking out the girl who was on her butt on the next icy corner, and did what I could into the finish.

13th overall, which was a big improvement over my seed spot of 22, and met my goal of a top 15. Sweet!

The third weekend of Eastern Cups was supposed to be at the Trapp Family Lodge, but they didn't really have enough snow for that. So, the backup site was Craftsbury. 5k classic on Saturday, and 10k mass start.

I started 15s behind Lily K of Harvard, and my goal was just to enjoy the day and ski well, no shuffling. I felt pretty fresh in my warmup, which was also a welcome surprise - last week was crazy, and I was expecting a lot more accumulated fatigue. Skis were great, and I had closed a lot of ground to Lily over the first flattish km, and actually closed the gap on the first B climb after the sleeper hill. Sweet. Forced myself to stride the steep bit even though that took a lot of arm wax, and that was what got me ahead of her.

Skis were ripping down the long descent, and I recovered nicely. Up the A climb I kept it light and swingy, letting Lily pull ahead of me and pace me up the hill. Still not really digging deep, and I recovered well again on the long descent before Screamin' Mimi. Heading up, Lily attacked from the bottom, and I let her drift ahead again. I admit, I did a little shuffling through the striding zone. Then we turned the corner and I obeyed my directive I'd given the kids in the course tour, and really punched it over the top. Slid past Lily and my 30-second girl, and gave it some good hard double poling to gain momentum.

Some recovery down the gentle S-turns, and then remembered to properly stride past the cabins. That was really the only part that felt like real work; I probably left a good 15-30 seconds on course just through a lack of give-a-damns, but that was fine. That was fun, and skiing it at 10k pace instead of 5k pace greatly upped the fun factor.

Huh. The tracks aren't going that way... Guess I wanted the other side of the trail? 

Going forwards again. 

Sweet boards.

Fatigue caught up for Sunday's race. I did a few too many course tours, but that's my favorite part of race day, so I can't blame me. I love mass starts, so no way was I sitting this out, but two hours of warmup was a little on the long side.

I had a good start spot, in the third row, but as we went off I realized just how much of a hole I was in. It felt like the girls were all going so fast, and I was having to work so hard to keep up even on the flats and downhills. When we finally got to the first little hill, it was a relief to do some V1, and I realized I was at the back of a pack of around 20, already with a gap behind me. I stayed relaxed up the first real climb, just taking my time and keeping the tempo low, and that was enough to keep me in contact.

Down the long hill the first time I was behind Lillian from SMS. She skied it well, and I wasn't closing any distance. Damn. Things started to splinter a little heading up the A climb, and I was with Laura and Lillian and a couple girls peeling back from the main pack. I knew this was the decisive moment, and if I wanted a reasonable result, I'd have to pick up the pace and go with them. But I just couldn't do it, calves were exploding and quads were heavy and arms weren't working too well either, just feeling sore and heavy. Well, ok. I guess it really is the sort of day where even staying in a tuck feels like too much effort.

I stayed behind Lillian and Laura up Screamin' Mimi, did the slight push over the top, and then drafted them across the stadium. Chilled out up Chip Hill, even though there were some girls in sight. Up the first B climb I finally started to feel a little better, and noticed that the long strides were working for me. There were some GMVS girls straggling ahead of me, and I decided I wanted to catch them. I was with Lillian again down the hill, but then along the bottom of the course I started doing more V2, and that was both more efficient and faster than the GMVS kids.

I passed Lillian finally on the steepest point of the A climb, and started to hunt for real. There was a Ford Sayre girl closing on me, too, but I was mostly concerned with what was in front. I think what was happening was that my skis actually felt fastest on the uphills, which is why I was feeling good there, because the snow was chopped up into more of the granular stuff. Anyway, I reached the corner of Screamin' Mimi at the same time as the Ford Sayre girl, and didn't fight her for the position; I have no skin in this game. But we'd just closed on the GMVS girls, and I wanted to get by them, and now there wasn't space. Grr.

Into the next uphill I tried to get by, but the FS girl was flailing all over and totally blocked me out again. Now I was getting frustrated. Don't make me get aggressive, you won't like me when I'm aggressive. Tried for another pass just after the downhill, but she blocked again, I don't think intentionally, and one of the GMVS girls started a kick, and I was stuck behind the other two. Finally the FS girl completed her pass, and I took the long line around the corner to get past GMVS, but geezum that was annoying. I suppose this is why most people don't like mass starts. Anyway, cruised into the finish a few seconds back of the GMVS girl, for a reasonable race.

Could have done with a little more oomph and possibly a few more give-a-damns, but it was worth doing and I enjoyed myself.

Silver Fox Trot
The final weekend of Eastern Cups is always the Silver Fox Trot and the Cheri Walsh Memorial. The Silver Fox Trot coincided with the Dartmouth Carnival, which made for a really deep field, pretty awesome. It was another of those two-hour warmup sort of days, and I will admit I wasn't feeling super fresh on the start line. My calves were an issue today, really tight and started to explode on the final few km.

The race itself was pretty unremarkable. The snow conditions were glazing and icing, really difficult balance conditions that aggravated my strained calf, and I felt like I wasn't skiing particularly smoothly. I caught up to the UNH girl who'd started 30s before me by about the midway point, but struggled to generate much speed on the gradual stuff that comes in the final hills, lower legs in a lot of pain and not cooperating. I skied the S-turns well, but it was too little too late. Overall it was a fine points race, if I cared about those anymore, but the result was nothing to write home about.

I didn't race the Cheri Walsh; I love that course and I love classic skiing on that course, but with the predicted shitstorm of weather, I felt better working to get the right wax for our skiers. I'd say we nailed it, so that was effort well spent.

Pretty PRO way to watch your teammates race. This is from the Massachusetts State Qualifier race, where the snow was rapidly disappearing. We put nearly every CSU kid onto either the U16 championships team or the Eastern Highschool Team. 

So, the trick to winning the race, is that you have to get to the finish line before anybody else does it.

Coach mode.

This trail pass checker is asleep on the job. Also, ski race coaching days are hard.

When it's cold enough to double puff, you also need a puffy skirt. But boy is it nice to have an indoor waxing space!

Now we're into Championship season - U16 Champs, Junior Nationals, and Eastern HS Champs. First up, I'm the course setter for the Ski Orienteering World Masters Champs, at Craftsbury, so need to make sure that goes off smoothly. Woo!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Masters World Cup

Last summer, Kathy mentioned to Rob and me that the World Masters were going to be in Minneapolis, and thus we should go race there. Hey, why not? It's an easy trip, no time changes, and lots of support available from all the various people we know in this skiing world. Important to go on a skiing adventure every once in a while, even if it's a tame one.

Rob's connections with the Toko Tech Talk Team led us to Jerry Slater's house, in a comfortable suburb of Minneapolis with a garage dedicated to waxing. Perfect! Those Toko guys just like to hang out and tell stories about waxing, leading Kathy renaming them to the Toko Talk Team. To be fair, the classic waxing wasn't super straightforward, and conditions were likely to change on race day anyway, so there was much speculation to be done.
Candlelit dinner at Jerry and Kathlyn's house, courtesy of the Toko Talk Team's blowtorch.

The night before the first race, I wasn't remotely nervous, because I had no idea how I would fare. The younger classes at World Masters are generally sparsely attended, but I didn't know any of the names on the start list. It actually made things easy; I went into the race with the vague idea that I'd like to podium, and a slew of process goals mostly centered around getting my skis right.

Day 1: 15k classic
They combined the M1/M2 wave for women, to make a larger starting field (and, I imagine, to compress the start window). Some guys were lapping as we started, but it mostly wasn't too much of an issue. We started off at a reasonable pace, and soon an M2 (Josie Nelson) was moving at a slightly higher tempo, starting to pull ahead. The first 2.5k loop was pretty flat, some rollers but a lot of transitions and no long hills, so I decided to go with her and see what would happen. I quickly discovered that my skis were killer on the downhills, just flying past people. I closed the gap to Josie as we dropped back into the stadium, staying in a tuck for a looooong time. That always feels so good!

The second part of the course was hillier - basically one hill with a couple fingers that went down and back up. Josie's skis were kicking much better, and I think she's fitter, so she would drop me up the hills and I'd close it on the downhills. I thought maybe she'd got away for good on the final climb, which was also the most psychologically difficult, but I closed the gap back down and passed her on the downhill to the lap. I love courses that finish with a downhill.

The second lap we were passing many more M9 men, and then we started to run into the back of some of the older women. I led most of the first 2.5k, and thought Josie would come back around me, but she stayed behind, getting close on the uphills and then dropping back a bit on the flats. It started to warm up significantly at this point, and my skis weren't kicking as well, but they were also a little slower, probably picking up some of the gunk in the tracks. Uh oh.

Up the hill into the second part of the lap and Josie caught up and passed me. She was super friendly and talkative, and very encouraging, which actually ends up being discouraging, because when you're tired and out of breath the last thing you want is a friendly person vocally cheering. You want them to be hurting, too. I suppose we weren't technically racing each other, but I've never been an extroverted racer (unless it's to yell at people in my way. Then I get loud). I came back around on the first-finger downhill, and then she opened much more of a gap on the steeper climb back to the middle hill, striding to my herringbone. I was questioning whether I'd catch back up at that point - these hills just kept coming!

I forced myself to stay in the tracks and make it work up the final hills. Yes, it takes more oomph, but the speed pay-off is worthwhile, and I knew that if I could keep Josie in sight up the final long hill, I could take the race. I managed to close the gap on the downhill, skiing the corner efficiently and then double poling past a bunch of ladies herringboning up the next little hill. I could only hope that Josie was caught a little behind them, but I also didn't want to risk slipping anymore, so just double poled like hell up the gradual roller before the final down. I had confidence in my double pole, and it was well-placed. I crushed the downhill, nearly took out an M9, and double poled hard to the finish to keep my advantage. Not that it mattered, because different classes, but I like to beat people. I ended up winning my class by 4 minutes! That was cool.

Day 2: 15k skate
That course skis better as a skate race, with really fun transitions, and exhilaratingly fast downhills. They combined the M1/2/3 categories again, and this time, I knew that I wanted to win. No struggles with wax, and I knew I'd have good skis, since both Brad Bates and Rob had told us during their races how good their skis were. This was going to be fun.

Short double pole start, and then I sort of looked around like "where'd everyone go?" because my skis were actually that fast. Guess I'll lead for a bit and see what happens! I figured I may as well take advantage of the HelX while it lasted (the stuff both wears off and gums up with dirt, so I expected the second lap to be a little slower), stringing out the field a bit and keeping out of trouble. I had maybe a 15s lead after the first flatter loop, and figured, if I'm already winning, why go too hard? So, I sort of chilled up the hills, whipped down them, and the pack slowly closed on me on the long finger hills by the wax test hill. But this was fine; I was only going fast out front because it was easy for me thanks to the fast skis.

The pack had just about closed at the lap, "pack" being a loose term for Sarah Peters (M3) and an M1 behind her. I stretched it out on the flat bit heading into the second lap, and Sarah made the jump without pulling the M1 with her. She came around to lead, and I was ready to cover the move, still feeling pretty fresh. I didn't want that other M1 to catch up, so Sarah and I were trading leads for a bit, me in front on some of the downhills and she'd lead the uphills. She was gapping me a bit on the uphills, which wasn't good, because my skis had slowed back down to human speeds at this point so we were well matched, and I had to do a little work over the crests.

The downhills by the wax test hill were just criminally fast, and I whipped by Sarah on the corner. I started to dig pretty deep on the final long climb, managing to just about stay with Sarah over the crest. Even though she worked the downhill harder, I made contact again across the flats before the final descent. At this point I was envisioning a sprint finish scenario, but definitely keeping all options open. Into the final descent, there's a gentle left-hander, with some icier stuff in the middle. Sarah went down in the icy part, and then skidded a bit, and I saw my opening. Stepped the corner in the lowest tuck I could muster, wove very efficiently through some M9s, and took the lead with some hard V2 over the final rise. I managed to stay on my feet around the final corner into the finish, and then didn't let up. I ended up with a good 2-second lead over Sarah, and 30 seconds over the second place M1. Woo! That was a fun one. I ended up with the third-fastest time of the day for the women, but it doesn't seem fair to compare the M1 times to the older skiers, since the whole point of the thing is to race people your own age.

Day 3: 7.5k skate
At this point, I was starting to feel a little tired. I was also a little apprehensive of the incoming weather - 6-8 inches of fresh warm snow falling between 10am and 5pm, with my race starting at 3pm. It was going to be a heavy snow slog out there, not the perfect thing for tired legs. But, I was looking forward to the bad weather. I get excited about stuff like that, and they were calling for 30mph wind gusts. I know how to pack ski, thanks to Tuesday Night Worlds, and I intended to use all my mad master-blasting skillz.

I decided that given the wind and driving snow, I didn't want to lead too much. But, it would be hard to pass, since there was basically one trampled-down lane, and the rest was pretty deep fresh powder. I made a crucial adjustment before the race of moving my bindings forward one click, which made the skis feel much freer in the deep snow. Toko red all the way up the line again, on the soft Madshus Redlines.

The start was all M1/2/3s, and there was an enthusiastic M2 who took the lead. She was pretty flail-y, not doing well with putting her skis in the ruts, and I was using half the tempo to stay behind, so eventually I gave up on that and moved around to stretch things out. Nobody caught up immediately, I think because it was just hard to pass, but I did my trademark "I'm winning, so why should I go hard?" thing on the hills in km 2, and the pack caught up. Another few minutes of pulling them, but it was windy, so after slowing down more and more and more and still nobody making any moves to pass, I outright double poled for a bit and then slotted into second behind Dalvia, yesterday's silver medalist.

I followed her lead up the hill out of the stadium, and it didn't feel all that hard. We weren't outright gapping the rest of the pack, but there was daylight between us now. I recovered well on the first finger from the top of the hill, and scooted around her on the downhill corner. Stretched out my stride just a bit, keeping the tempo low and skis in existing ruts, and while I could still hear her behind me, the rubberband was stretching.

I couldn't see a damn thing down the wax test hill. My glasses had gotten too icy (and I hadn't brought my dork shield), and the snow was really sharp and hurt my eyeballs. I managed to make it around the corner and stay on the trail, but because I'd stood up a little to try and shield my face, Dalvia and one other were right behind me up the next hill. Pushed the glasses back down for the next descent, which helped, and I got a small gap, maybe a second. Stretching the rubberband.

I V2ed into the final hill as far as I could, and kept the effort higher. Snap went the rubberband. Woo! Then I skied off the trail, because I couldn't actually see where I was going because of all the blowing snow. D'oh. I extricated my ski from the soft powder and backed up back onto the course, and they hadn't quite made contact yet. Ok, let's try this again. I'm fit enough to make it happen. I put some real oomph into the crest of the hill and worked the downhill, managing to stay on the trail this time. Really I couldn't see a damn thing down the final hill, just the fact that I've skied it enough in the last few days kept me going the right way, with a little bit of a hope and a prayer, too, feeling the skis plowing through the snow. I punched the final ascent as much as was possible in this much soft snow, and then tried to find the right ruts for the finish. I held off second place (who was an M2 anyway; what was I worried about?) by 4 seconds, which feels like a nice long gap, actually.

So, not the fastest race, because of all the cat and mouse shenanigans, really felt like a TNW situation, but a lot of fun, and that pace kept me feeling pretty fresh.

I'm totally pumped to be a 3x gold medalist. Way above any expectations, but a big thanks to Toko and Madshus for speedy skis, because I certainly didn't do that on fitness alone. It was also cool to have Kathy and Rob performing well, because when everyone rocks the vibe is great. Kathy took a bronze and a gold, and Rob took a 10th and a bronze. I coach with some speedy skiers!

Sharing medals with Kathy and Trina Hosmer, a many-time Olympian in her day. Pretty proud to be standing with those two! 

CSU coaches looking pretty pumped with three podiums!