Erika recaps the SilverStar race weekend…
The SMS Elite domestic crew headed to SilverStar, B.C. this weekend for a combined NorAm/SuperTour race with our neighbors in Canada. SilverStar is one of those places you dream of traveling to as a Nordic skier. Fluffy white snow cakes brightly colored houses and tall pine trees. Add twinkly lights and perfectly groomed trails winding through the woods and the whole scene looks like a life-size gingerbread village. Despite frigid temperatures throughout the week, the race days brought slightly warmer weather (a balmy 11 degrees) and fresh snow to keep things interesting! It took us a few days to nail the layering for the colder weather (read: spandex shorts, 2 layers of long underwear, tights AND over-pants on the bottom, tee-shirt, long underwear, fleece mid-layer, jacket, vest and puffy coat on top plus two hats and double buff) but once we did we sent it for two days of fierce racing competition!
Julia Kern, the guppy of the group threw down an impressive sprint on Saturday to take the overall gold and her first SuperTour win! Annie and I got our sprint legs under us and held our own in the B-Final to finish 8th and 12th overall. On the boys side, Ben got his double pole on for a 3rd place podium finish and Paddy kept classic skiing alive, choosing to stride the heats after a strong 16th place finish in the qualifier. He got knocked out in the heats but decidedly won the classic race for the day (and in our hearts).
Skate 10km/15km Individual Start:
Sunday offered up fresh snow to make the brutal World Cup course at Sovereign Lake just a leeeeetle bit harder. The biggest accomplishment of the day may have been actually getting TO the race course after a few failed attempts to get to the top of our road on icy streets. Fortunately the women on our team are pretty strong these days and coordinated an impressive sled push to boost the mini-van up the hill. Shout out to Uber-John for gettting us to and from the venue safely! Katherine dominated the hills on the 2 lap 5km course to finish in 2nd place overall and I spent a lot of time in the pain cave trying to hold on to Chelsea Holmes of APU and racing into 3rd place! We were thrilled to have two SMS skiers on the podium and Annie and Julia both in the top 12!
Paddy got some redemption after the sprint race with a strong 5th place finish on a tough 15km and Ben put down two awesome laps before remembering he had a third and was forced to apologize to his legs as they suffered though another 5km. With the first SuperTour period wrapped up, the SMS Elite team posted some best ever results for this time of year and are looking forward to more racing after the New Year! We definitely couldn’t have done it without our incredible coach, Pat O’Brien and service team (also Pat O’Brien with help from John Ogden, BSF and Vail.) Thanks for following along ☺