Monday, April 20, 2015

Welcome Home Celebrations and catching up with sponsors and friends.

 I know I have said it a million times but it feels great to be home! The energy in the Twin Cities Nordic Community is at the highest I have ever seen! The excitement about two World Championships Medals has been contagious and overwhelming in the best of ways. Brian and I have been honored by the outpouring of congrats and we hope we get a chance to thank everyone (hopefully in person) while we are home.

One of our first stops back in the Twin Cities was at the new L.L. Bean Store at the Mall of America. L.L. Bean has been a great supporter of In-the-Arena and we couldn't be happier to represent them. We are particularly found of their home goods and rain gear! It was fun to see the new store after visiting the site last fall with Lincoln while shooting for a video showcasing Team Gregg's ITA work at the Boys and Girls Club and with LNR.
Made it to the Mall of America!
Speaking of LNR (Our home Club Loppet Nordic Racing), We had a wonderful evening sharing the success of our season and the historic medal with the Loppet Foundation last Monday. The event was not about Team Gregg and our results it was about the importance of the Loppet Foundation and all they do for the Twin Cities Community. If you haven't been to a Loppet Event (they have a ton throughout the year!) or have never been to their website you should! The Loppet Foundation is about much more than Elite Athletes winning medals, its about the entire community and promoting a healthy lifestyle to everyone within the community, especially those who live near Theodore Wirth Park in North Minneapolis. This event was held to help raise funds for an Activities Center that will be built in the heart of the Theodore Wirth Ski, Bike and Running Trails. The facility is badly needed to create a gathering area for the many events and to encourage new participants and users of the park. Brian and I are huge fans of the Loppet Foundation and all they do and we were honored to share our passion for their work with the community.

My long time Coach (and Friend) Piotr Bednarski talking about what Brian and I do with the local kids who are a part of LNR, Fast Kids, the Loppet Adventure Camp and the Boys and Girls Club.
At the end of the speech I was totally surprised by a gift from the Mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges. It was a proclamation stating that April 13 was Caitlin Compton Gregg Day in the City of Minneapolis. I am extremely honored by the gift.
 John Munger (The Loppet Foundation's Executive Director) presenting the plaque.

 If you look closely and read what the Proclamation says there is VERY LITTLE about my actual ski results, instead it focuses on all of the work Brian and I do to help the community in which we live. This is the best part of who we are as athletes, we strive to give back in every way we can. We are both very passionate about the work we do beyond our ski racing and we know that all of the time we spend helping others makes us better athletes on the race course.
The Loppet Foundation also hosted a wonderful community celebration for me with footage from the World Championship 10K, Posters and cards to sign, lots of cake and of course many member of the ski community who wanted to come out and celebrate such and incredible milestone for our club! It was great to see so many friends and share my medal with the kids and adults who attended. There was a great question and answer time where Brian and I got to engage the audience with stories of our calculated approach to training and racing at the International Level on a fraction of the budget of our competitors. We call it the "Money Ball" approach.

Awesome reception at the Wirth Chalet.
Although many people came to Loppet Hosted Events we were thrilled to join our Local Sponsors for some more meet and greets of their own! Team Gregg has been working with Hoigaard's for the past two years and their support has been a key part of our ability to train and travel so well. We were again more than happy to share stories and answer questions about our training, racing and ITA work with those who came out.
Hanging with some of the Edina Ski Team who came out to see the medal!
Although Hoigaard's is our sponsored ski shop currently we could not be where we are without the ongoing support of the other local ski shops in the Twin Cities. Both Finn Sisu and Gear West have been behind Brian and I from the start and we are forever grateful for their continued support for us and all things Nordic in our Twin Cities Community.
Kevin Johnson from Finn Sisu!
Jan Guenther from Gear West!
Ahvo from Finn Sisu!
Being home as also meant that we can connect with other local sponsors. Fits Socks has been an awesome company to work with. David Olsen has been so generous and one of his friends even made a sock monkey out of Fits Socks (my favorite style and design) for me!
David, his wife, the monkey and me :)
Sock monkey (complete with FIS Medal) chilling with a Pineapple!
Returning home after 6 months on the road also means taking care of appointments that we can't while we are on the road. It was great to get into Dr. Bick's office for a teeth cleaning and check up! Dr. Bick donates his time to help Team Gregg and the MN Timberwolves! He was pretty excited about the Medal and our successful year (and the fact that Brian and I didn't have any cavities!).
The whole crew celebrating!
Of course Run Club continues to operate in full swing. We now have 58 kids on the board, which means they have to run a minimum of 3 miles to join! All together the Run Club crew has run over 300 Miles and it is still April!!! We are on record pace this year and the kids are having a blast!
The run club wall!
Only half the tally!
Every year we try to teach more and more about healthy eating!
Sharing our favorite meals of the day!
We had a special guest join us for run club last week. Lahti came and was a big hit! Everyone got a chance to "runjor" with him. He came home good and tired.

Run Club and Lahti!
Lahti leading the charge!
Our first one mile Time Trial of the year!
Handing out Popsicle sticks as they run through for their second lap of three!
Run Club at the MN Timberwolve's Game. The kids who came to the Crunch Run two weeks ago got to come with us to the game! It was a fun night but the home team lost :(
It's also been great to get back together with our friends and run on the trails of Theodore Wirth right out our back door! Training has started up again and the weather has been perfect!

Brian, Brent and Doug on a long trail run!

Xavier is an LNR Teammate and one of the toughest kids I knonw! I ran into him on the bike path as he was headed out for a 60 mile bike ride in 30mph winds! He also biked to strength last week in 40F and pouring rain (he lives 15 miles away!). He will be really good someday so keep and eye out for his name!
Cruising the Wirth trails with Lahti!
Since it is spring Brian and I try to get out and try new types of training. Matt Liebsch brought Team Gregg over to the Fix Studio for a Bike Interval Class indoors. Larry and Sophie (the owners) have been great supporters and they let us join their class for the day!

Brian, Sophie, myself and Larry in the Studio!
I had so much fun at the Fix interval class I decided to join them for their annual Urban Bike Camp. I had an absolute blast joining almost 30 other riders for daily workouts and skill portions! I learned a ton, got in some amazingly hard workouts and got to ride with super star Corey Coogan (Cycle Cross is her sport) for the weekend! More on this in a few days on

Fun to hang with former skier now biker Corey!

1 comment:

Clay Moseley said...

Very cool post, Caitlin. It's really awesome to see all the work you do with the local youth.