Tuesday, November 27, 2012


What a weekend and what a start for USA XC on the World Cup!  It's inspiring to be a member of this team as records are set and the the bar is raised.  This past weekend was the opening World Cup in Gallivare, Sweden and was a very historic weekend for our team.  Saturday was a 10 and 15km skate and Kikkan scored the first US World Cup distance podium since 1983 with a 3rd place finish.  Then on Sunday the US ladies reached the podium for the first time ever in a 4x5km relay!  It was a weekend of tears. laughs, and cheers for us all!  I personally raced in the 10km skate and while my 53rd place finish doesn't look great on paper, it was my best ever distance points in a World Cup race which means that my percent back from the winner was less than ever before, which was surprising as distance skate races are the biggest struggle for me.  I've never found efficiency or flow in skating over longer distances the same way I can in classic skiing but I'm not giving up yet.  I'm focusing on making small improvements so it's encouraging to be closing in on Marit Bjoergen and other World Cup giants.

Yesterday we had a long drive back across Lapland to Ruka, Finland.  We have a three day mini-tour this weekend.  More on Ruka soon but first, here are some pictures of the past weekend.

US ladies on the podium! WOW! It was amazing skiing!
The relay socks prevail again! We started racing in these in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic last year and they still have their charm. With the socks, face paint, and glitter, it’s obvious there is a lot of spirit on the team!
I had fun cheering them on while wearing pink sequin suspenders. Here is Liz chasing down team Norway.
Northern Sweden sunset at 1:30pm.
We stayed in cabins which were part of this hotel and were close to the top of the alpine mountain and a 15 minute uphill run from the race courses.
Gallivare is the home of Swedish Nordic superstar Marcus Heller so the stadium is named after him and he put on a good show this weekend collecting two silver medals.
It’s exciting to be back on the World Cup, to see all the other countries, and experience all the fanfare that accompanies the big show. Lots of ski testing goes on in the days leading up to the races and here is part of the ski depot.
We did prerace workouts together as a team and rocked the black and pink, our colors for this season.
We did prerace workouts together as a team and rocked the black and pink, our colors for this season.
Here’s a shot of the race course as the trail leaves the stadium and heads out on the technical and hard course.
A clear day in Gallivare!
A clear day in Gallivare!

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