Monday, March 24, 2014

Still Racing (up in Alaska)

Team Gregg never too busy for a quick fist bump before the start!
My World Cup season ended on a high note with a top 25 finish in the final 10K Skate pursuit race in Falun, Sweden. The significance of this result is that it is the same format and race course for the 2015 World Championships less than 11 months away!
Psyched to be in Falun!

The Falun Ski Jumps rebuilt for the 2015 World Championships!

Awesome to run into Sarah Willis, who is from Minnesota and now working in Sweden, at the races! She was a huge help and awesome cheer squad!

Post 10K Apple Pie! MY FAVORITE :)

Andrea Dupont (of Cananda) also enjoying a POST-World Cup Finals treat! Yumm!
After packing everything up and heading to the airport in Stockholm I was surprised by Brian in Frankfort and enjoyed a wonderful 10+ hour flight sitting next to my husband rather than a stranger :) We then boarded another plane for a 5+ hour flight up to Anchorage, AK. Our season has been so incredible this year and with each passing venue and race we continue to look forward to our next adventure. The same held true for this final set of races. With the Super Finals being held in Alaska, Brian couldn't help but be excited and his excitement is contagious, so I was equally as fired up!

The Team Gregg band back together!!!

Missed my silly husband over the past two months!

The first race of the series was the 10/15K Skate races. This is our best event to be held this week and we both looked forward to the windy and hilly course. I had a fantastic result (best of the season) placing 3rd behind World Cup overall Sprint Champ Kikkan Randall and World Championship 5th place finisher (in the same format) Liz Stephens! Brian's race was solid but certainly not his best and he looks forward to rebounding each and everyday going forward.

Brian cheering me on as I approach the finish in the 10K Skate!

Our amazing hosts the Burkholders! SO much fun to hang out with them.

Women's Podium

After yesterday's Classic Sprint, which was honestly a bit of a struggle for me, I was able to secure the Overall Super Lead and will now have start rights to the early season World Cups next fall. I am beyond excited about this opportunity going forward.

Brian and I are busy working on the details of our summer training and work schedule and we are getting ready for some even better turnouts for our Run Club Workouts and 5K Event! With so much going on it's amazing to look back and remember how incredible our season was this year and how grateful we are for all of the support from those who were behind us! We love what we are doing and wouldn't want to be anyone or anywhere else in the World!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Racing on the World Cup... AGAIN!!!

I am very happy to report from Oslo, Norway this evening! I am getting ready for bed after a successful race at the legendary Nordic Hollmenkollen Venue that sits above downtown Oslo. The race was a 30K Classic and the course is relentless, apparently it is the hardest in the world in regards to total vertical climb. I felt a bit slow to get going off the line but I felt as though I worked into the race very well and passed a lot of racers continuously throughout each lap. Tomorrow morning we pack up and head off to Falun for World Cup Finals and I am psyched that there are some skate races there!!!

After the Birkie I had a quick turn-around before racing again on the World Cup in Lahti, Finland. I drove home to Minneapolis from Hayward on Monday and flew out less than 30 hours later for Helsinki! I was in Lahti for just about 30 hours before I was starting my first event, a skate sprint and less than a week after the long slow slog of the American Biekebeiner 50K at temps barely above zero! Needless to say, it was a bit of a shock to the system to pack up and fly across the world and race on high speed ice in a sprint after this years super tough Birkie. I did it though, and although I did not have my best results I was pleased with my energy levels and ability to adapt to so many variables!

Oslo has been amazing! The culture, the food, the venue...everything has been ideal, except for the weather! Apparently is has been sunny less than a handful of days since Christmas and this past Friday was no exception. It rained harder than I have seen in a while and the visibility was less than two feet in front of you! Thankfully the morning of the Men's 50K started off with a beautiful cloudless sky for all to enjoy!

I have now been away from Brian since February 2nd and I am missing him a lot. When he left for the Olympics I went home and now he is on the OPA Cup circuit and I am on the World Cup circuit. 5 weeks is one of the longest bouts of time we have ever been apart from each other since we were married and I certainly realize how fortunate we are to both be cross country ski racing together! A little over a week to go!