As a ski racer, you really can’t complain about life above the Arctic Circle in November. I mean, there’s pretty much always awesome skiing, the food is great, it’s dark for most of the day which means it becomes really easy to just sleep, a lot, and the people up here (in addition being some of the most hospitable folks I’ve ever met), love skiers and love ski racing.
Our four-month World Cup road trip started in Muonio, Finland early last week. We arrived to find great skiing on about 7 km of cold tracks. Focusing on getting adjusted to the time change and getting our feet back under us, we had a pretty mellow week of easy distance skiing with a couple days of intensity and speed sessions thrown in there for good measure. Sophie started using her other pole over the weekend, which was just about the most exciting event of the whole week, and Jessie was forced to switch from headband to hat on the two days that the temperature dropped below 5 degrees fahrenheit.
From Muonio we made the 6 hour drive southeast to Kuusamo where World Cup racing kicks off this weekend. The race loop (both sprint and distance course) is in great condition and temperatures are even forecasted to be in the mid-20’s this week, which is a welcome change from the usual low teens we normally get here in November. The team is healthy and happy and ready to get this show going this weekend.
Saturday will host a classic sprint while the individual classic distance race will be held on Sunday. We’re all fired up to watch from afar as the Annies, Erika, Ben, Paddy and KO kick some butt in West Yellowstone this weekend. We’re bumming that we won’t be eating Thanksgiving dinner as a big team with them tonight, but we’re there in spirit and we know that Ben will probably eat enough turkey and pie for all of us that can’t be there. Thanks for checking in and come back soon to hear stories and see photos from the World Cup!