Sunday, December 2, 2012

History Is Being Made

Pure emotion looks like this.  Our relay team after finishing 3rd, our best result ever, in the World Cup in Gallivare, Sweden last week

My wax tech's Birthday!!!  Happy Birthday Oleg!!!!

Day 1 in Gallivare.  Kikkan Randall, 3rd (best distance result ever in history for a US woman) and Holly Brooks, 5th (PR result for her as well).  I guess we will start off with a bang, then!

For the first time in US history, we had a relay team on the podium last weekend.  It was an incredible day, full of emotion, determination, heart and soul and absolute joy.  This is the team of women that made it all happen.  We are missing just one, Sadie Bjornsen, who is racing in the USA this first World Cup period.  Matt Whitcomb, our coach, should have been in this picture as well as he is a major part of why we were able to make this dream a reality.  Thanks for all the support and enthusiasm from back home.  We certainly feel it over here.

Me in the relay socks!

Me chasing the Norwegian down in my leg of the relay.


Our Relay Team.  They basically had to kick us off the podium we stayed on it so long taking pictures!

Kikkan, me, Chandra and Holly enjoying a delicious Bulle that one of our wax tech's wives made for us while we were in Gallivare.  Bulle is my favorite Swedish pastry, and these go down in the books for some of the best ever.  Thanks Tina!

Our Women's Team in the stadium in Ruka

Some Finnish media time!!
Sunrise/sunset here in Ruka.  Photo courtesy of Jessie Diggins

Chandra Crawford and me in Ruka the other day.  Chandra is a member of the Canadian Women's team (also an Olympic Gold Medalist from the Torino Games!) and has been on many training camps with our team over the last few years, including our trip to Sweden and Alaska this summer.  She is putting me up at her house in Canmore for a week after the World Cups!  Psyched to listen to her play guitar and sing, cook some meals together, and otherwise snuggle it up for the pre Christmas time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


This past weekend I had my first races of the season.  Saturday was a 5k classic race and Sunday was a 10k skate.  It felt great to get a couple races under my belt and I had some solid results, including a second on Sunday!  It was pretty fun to be standing on a podium in Europe and to have Justyna Kowalczyk, one of the biggest names in Cross Country skiing, on the step above me!  Thank you for all the support from the waxers, coaches and my awesome teammates who helped make this day so special!

Me and a few of my awesome teammates who were so genuine and psyched for me and my good result.  It makes all the difference to have such solid support behind you.

A racing shot!

My prize for the day!  A locally made traditional wooden coffee cup. Stoked!

Ladies team with one of the local volunteers

Justyna and me! She was really friendly and leaned right in with a big smile for a picture.

The Podium from left to right: Me, Justyna Kowalczyk, Yulia Tchekaleva

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Euro Tour 2012 Begins

I traveled to Muonio, Finland, a small town 2 degrees North of the Arctic Circle last Sunday where our season begun this weekend with some FIS Openers.  These are the races where you blow some cobwebs out before hitting the World Cup next weekend.  It is pretty dark most of the day up here, as you will see from the pictures below, which have actually been lightened a bit on my computer!  Here are a few pictures from the week so far.
We started off the week with a school visit to one of the local middle schools.  The kids were shy at first, but then warmed up to us and began to practice their English, which, needless to say, is MUCH better than any of our Finnish!

Jessie racing hard yesterday in the Classic Sprints

Ida sprinting for the line.  The race started and ended on a very steep climb, so it was a real battle all the way to the line.

Holly with one of the volunteer kids, who are actually the same kids we visited earlier this week!

Simi racing in one of the heats.  He lost all of his bags on the way over and currently only has received 2 out of the 3 he checked!

Ida's post race smile.

Part of the cheering crew, Sylvan and Noah.

Newell is in the yellow and black suit on the left.

Ida finished the day with a strong 6th place!

Newell finished the day in 4th!

Noah, Holly and I went to visit the owner of the local ski shop who knows Dave Knoop, Executive Director of NNF, one of the major donation sites for supporting up and coming cross country athletes in the USA.  He was fired up to get the "hello" from Dave!

Friday, August 3, 2012


My favorite place on earth is here among the Haag family in Orsa.  Ok, maybe being home in Vermont with my own family is pretty high up there too, but this is about as good as it gets.  A few pics from our ski today.  3 hour skate tour around the area with Kik and Anna and her sister, Fia, on the bike.  Fia was our massage therapist this past season in Falun.

Kik and Anna on a run yesterday afternoon

The gang from the ski today

Kikkan is smitten with a small kitten found on the road

Kik with her fabled moose ears, Anna and Fia

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Blink and beyond

So, Kikkan and I finished up at the Blink Festival and have moved on to a small town outside of Steinkjer, Norway. We are staying with the Lillefjell family, Frode, who was Kikkan's coach a few years back at APU had put us up and has been showing up (and training with us each session) all of the  awesome rollerski and running loops around the area.  The first part of the week we traveled to Sandvikhamn, an area not far from here where Frode's sister and her family have a cabin.  It was a beautiful place, and as it turns out, Petter Northug is from right down the road and one of his sponsor's owns a house with 2 apartments upstairs, right next to Frode's sister's place.  So, when he heard Kikkan and I were coming he gave us an apartment to stay in for the 2 nights we were there and hosted an awesome bbq one night.  We got to meet Petter's parents and a few locals from the area, as well as sign the guest book at the house, where we learned of how many sports teams had stayed there already, along with the Finish Cross Country team! Maybe next year we will go back to have a team camp there for a week.  It was absolutely awesome training, not to mention generous and kind people.

Women coming over the bridge that they made specially for the event!

Me, mixing it up in the 10k

Kikkan with the lead pack in the 10k

Kikkan in the sprint

Kikkan and I took a hike with a friend from Anchorage, Chris Seaman, who is living in Stavanger, Norway for his job with Conoco Phillips.  It was a quick hike, and we got to see this amazing waterfall!

Chris, Kikkan and I on the hike

And again

Opening Ceremonies in the Lillefjell house.  We each picked a country and made our flags.  From left to right: Marius (Norway), Kikkan (Canada), Anders (Italy), Haakun (Spain) and me (Sweden).  We even had a torch parade! 

Haakun, Frode and Marius

Our hosts at the cabin on the Fjord!

More soon.  Now to the bogs for a last Over-Distance run!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Blink Festival!

Kikkan and I are on our annual Scando summer training trip together and this year it has taken us to the Blink rollerski festival in Sandnes, Norway for a week.  Yesterday was our first race, an uphill climb called Lysebotn Opp, which we took a 2 hour ferry ride down the Fjord that runs through Sandnes, Norway and arrived at the start of the time trial.  It was for sure the most beautiful view I have ever had after a hill climb, and I have done some pretty awesome hill climbs in my time.  Today we have a 10k criterium style race with money preems every 2-4 laps, so it should be exciting!  Here are a few pictures of the trip so far!

Kikkan and me on the ferry to Lysebotn.

Ferry ride

We watched some base jumpers on our ferry ride.  Pretty insane.

A picture of the map on the boat of where we were going.

Me, sporting one of the awesome hats that Toni Adams crocheted for Kikkan and me. Thanks Toni!

Kikkan and me with some of the Swiss National Women's team.

Norwegian skiers, Astrid Jacobsen and Maiken Caspersen-Falla, Kikkan and me with some fans after the hill climb.

A bit of the view from the top, but no camera seemed to really capture the full beauty.

A few of the top boys racing, nearing the finish.

French skier, Jean Marc Galliard, second place finisher in the men approaching the finish.

Women's podium: Therese Johaug, Heidi Weng (not shown) and me!  Awesome day!!