Yesterday, the team completed the third annual SMS T2 100K Ski-A-Thon. 100K, that’s 62.1 miles, 100,000 meters, in about six hours (give or take a little). A lot can happen in that span of time, and between all of the snacks, hills, transitions and bonks, each athlete walked (wobbled) away from the day with a different experience. Scroll down to see photos of the day, and read the short stories provided by each of us.
“My best moments of the ski: Around 48 km when we saw huge white piles of salt (or something) in a farmer’s field and I was convinced we were all hallucinating and seeing snow banks…84km: when we were using “open field technique” in AN OPEN FIELD. Mind = blown! When Pat lied and told us we would get a tailwind for the last 20 km. And we kept looking for that tailwind. And hoping. And not getting it. 🙂 100km plus….when we were so close to home, and got a flat tire. And when Pat, Cork and Ben proceeded to impress NASCAR scouts by changing that tire in under 10 minutes.” -Jessie Diggins
“My best memory from skiing 100km was eating a candy bar or piece of homemade cake every time we cruised down one of the long downhills. When you’re out pounding the pavement for 6 hours, there’s no danger of eating too much sugar or junk food…Everything you put in your body becomes fuel! And although any opportunity to eat dessert in the middle of the day is pretty much the greatest thing ever, the best part of the day was completing the 100 km ski with all eight of my teammates. Everyone was so psyched and I’m confident we’ll carry that energy into a great fall training block.” -Simi Hamilton
“I got tired just driving! The skiathon has been a great bonding/training/fundraising event for us. Hopefully people will support these athletes who are working so hard to be their best and spread the love of the sport” -Sverre Caldwell
“Best moment of the ski: OBVIOUSLY MY SECRET SANTA GIFTS. Not only did I receive superior energy in the form of pumpkin fudge but I also got reading material and a head massager. I’d ski 100km everyday if this was the norm.” -Paddy Caldwell (Dartmouth and USST athlete)
“We had a big group of spectators come out for our 100k. The group consisted of parents, boyfriends, aunts and uncles, and coaches. Whenever we started to get tired, there was a van around the corner that was filled with food and drink and a car full of spectators cheering us on. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support, so thank you to everyone who joined us!” -Sophie Caldwell
“I thought it was great training, cool to ride and roll through a new area and some beautiful farmland. It was great to see the team come together and support each other through the tough effort! I was especially psyched about all our guest cheerers that came out and supported us! Best memory? Probably watching the positive effects of the caffeine I gave Sophie with 30K to go.” -Patrick O’Brien
“Imagine skiing 40 Kilometers (2.5ish hours), only to realize you are only 2/5 of the way done. It’s not even the physical endeavor that is daunting; it’s the mental one. Each kilometer represents a little mental battle, and I definitely lost the mental battle at points. At around 60 kilometers, anything could have made me cry. I was hot, I was tired, and I did not want to ski anymore. The beautiful part about the 100K (and the sport of skiing in general), is that it isn’t about winning all of the battles, but instead about winning the war. It’s ok to have some mental failings, some sad moments, and some really dark thoughts (if I break all of my roller skis, I can be done right?). But in the end, the team prevailed. We put on our skis, our matching tank tops, and our best fake smiles and became gladiators in spandex. We each logged 100 Kilometers, and are no worse for wear (ok, maybe we we are a little worse for wear, but nothing an off day can’t fix).” -Annie Hart
“I think I just rode the wave of happiness Annie H. gave me when I gave her her Secret Skier presents. That’s all it takes, really; a group momentum can pull you through pretty much anything.” -Andy Newell
“Fighting a headwind for roughly 98.5K, impossible you say? Well mother nature had it out for us.” -Ben Saxton
“For me, 50%-75% of the way through any race, workout, test, ext. is always the most challenging. What’s special about the 100K is that that quarter chunk lasts an hour and a half. During that time, my dad kept at our pace and kept cheering us on, which was incredibly supportive, but, as his daughter, I’m biologically programmed to rebel against his whole hearted intentions. Every time he said something encouraging that made me upset, I would just reply “I love you, Daddy.” That’s about the time that Jessie chimed in, “you know, it’s not really what you say, it’s how you say it.” Turns out, I hadn’t matched a gentle tone to my gentle sentiment. At that, I quit being a pill (as best I could) and kept on trucking, focusing on putting one foot in front of the other and making it over every hill. Before I knew it, we were at kilometer 75, smiling, with my dad next to me.” -Annie Pokorny
“I actually really enjoyed the training train we had going this year. Although we’ve grown accustomed to it training together everyday, we work well as a group even when we are at our physical limit. Jessie made sure to keep the group together and could sense when we needed a strong skate pull through the open farm fields (get it…cause its Open Fielding). The #Annies led much of the classic portion of the ski, keeping the pace, tempo and spirits high when all I could do was focus on keeping up with the boots in front of me. Sophie took charge on the downhills and I liked to lead the skating uphills and with that kind of group working together its hard to imagine not finishing 100km or even 100miles for that matter. Its cheesy and corny but I really think that as group we can accomplish more that we even realize we are capable of. Although it wasn’t always rainbows and sparkles, I thought it was pretty amazing that all 8 members of the team completed the 100km ski this year and without even a single tear! That says a lot about everyone’s commitment to the team, the sport, and each other.” -Erika Flowers
Thank you to every person who supported us in reaching our fundraising goals!