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!