Making progress in the right direction

Re-blogged from Kat & Casey’s blog:

After a short drive in some very snowing conditions we made it to Bozeman, Montana, last Wednesday. Unfortunately the snow did not follow us all of the way, however the ground was white and there was still plenty of it to play around on. We got a  couple of days to prepare for what would be my first classic races of the season, the Bozeman Super Tour Classic Sprint and 10km Classic mass start. The races themselves were not held in Bozeman, rather around 20min out of town at Bohart Ski Ranch. It was nice to be racing at a slight lower altitude, compared to West Yellowstone, of around 1800m (slightly higher than the XC trails at Falls Creek).

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The view of the Bridger Mountains from the XC staduim

Unfortunately following my interval session on Wednesday afternoon, mother nature decided that it was time to rain! Anyone who is familiar with snow will be aware that snow and rain do not mix well, in other words, the snow get really wet and begins to melt. As such we arrived to the race tracks on Friday morning for our pre – race ski and preparation, to find that much of the snow had disappeared leaving bare patches of dirt across the ski trails. Regardless of the conditions, I got a solid session done and was feeling really pumped for the coming races.

The sprint on Saturday was my first classic race for the season. I really liked the course, especially the big fast downhill, and I feeling great both physically and mentally following a successful week of training, so was I really happy to see that I finished in 23rd position after the prolog. This was my first time finishing in the top 30 for a senior international race and I was stoked to have made the women finals. I ended up finishing in 5th position in my heat, and finished 23rd overall at the end of the race.

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Although it feels a bit strange racing in the blue, red and white of Sun Valley instead of the green Australian suit, I love been part of such an awesome team!!!

We arrived at the tracks on Sunday morning for the classic 10km mass start to find that the saturated snow had frozen. As such, much of the trails were sheet ice (this is not an understatement). On a course that has a number of fast downhills with tight corners, there was not doubt that the all of the coaches were concerned for the safety of their races. The women race was due to start at 9, however it was delayed so that the race officials could make the course ‘safer’. As I and the other Sun Valley girls sat in the van waiting, we watched the race officially drag crash mats up the down hills and attach them to nearby trees. We also watched coaches and wax technicians attempt to make it around some of the corners without falling. To say the we didn’t laugh is a bit of a lie, however we knew that it was going to take all of our downhill skills to survive the course.

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All of the Aussie girls after the 10km race! Me, Jess Yeaton (skiing for APU) and Kat

I am glad to report that I finished the race, unscratched! I had heaps of fun racing in the tricky conditions as well as with the strong field. I finished the race in 33rd position, just under 6 minutes behind the winner. Once again I need to make a special mention to the Sun Valley coaches and wax technicians who absolutely nailed the waxing for both races!!!

Tomorrow morning I am travelling with the Gold Team up to Rossland, Canada. I am really excited to head up there as I have never been to Canada before, however I am not super stoked about the 10 or so hour drive that is in store for us!

Until next time; Dream the impossible, Live the dream!

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