As you might have gathered from this entry’s title, I’m in a snowless Rumford, ME for the US National XC Ski Championships. I came up with my parents on the evening of the 1st to watch my brother Alex contest the classic sprint race the following day. Alex qualified for the U23 heats and finished first in the B final. Unfortunately I only got to watch his qualifier as I drove up to Rangeley in the afternoon to ski since there was no extra non-race course snow to be had in Rumford.
With the warm weather of last week Rumford and much of New England has turned brown and snowless, making the events here at the US Championships a challenge to put on. The classic distance events went off on a brown and congested 2.5 (hopefully) kilometer loop. The women’s race was 4 laps for a total of 10 kilometers and the men’s race was 6 laps for a total of 15 kilometers. My plan was to start the classic race but I have had a head cold so I sat it out in hopes of feeling better for Thursday’s 20 kilometer skate mass start event. I also sat out thursdays skate distance event but I'm really starting to feel better now so I might just get to race on Saturday if all goes as planned.
These past couple of weeks have been very busy and have flown by. After returning from Minnesota I had a short but much-needed week at home with my family for Christmas. I skied at Gunstock and at Bretton Woods, both of which were great. I worked on a knitting project that was intended to be a Christmas present for my mom but didn’t get finished in time. I helped my dad with some grooming so that he could work on spreading snow on the Gunstock Nordic races trails….I successfully stalled and flooded the snowmobile engine so he had to come and give me a quick lesson on how not to it again. I decorated cookies with my and ate them with my brothers. I made a snowman in one of our fields and gave him a wacky hairdo made out of sticks. I made my first candle out of soy wax in a clear glass mug…it came out really nicely and even smelled good! I knit some more.
Our wrapping paper mess at my grandmother's house....after she told us it was all to go neatly in the LLBean bag in the center of the picture. Doesn't she know it's more fun to throw it on the floor or even at eachother?
My dad enjoying his new head massager
Decorating tons of Christmas cookies with my grandmother
Paper Christmas star for our tree
Amazing painting of my grandmother's that she gave my parents for Christmas
Kaiya with her Christmas present
Is Alex growing a tail?
Right after Christmas I headed up to Jericho, VT for three NorAm races. Even with some really crappy shooting I managed to pull off three podium finishes including my first NorAm win of the season. The snow up there was fantastic so coming back down to a brown and muddy NH was a little depressing. Little did I know at that point that I was soon headed for an even “browner” Rumford.
After staying with my mom in Wilton (40 minutes east of Rumford) for the first part of the week I've moved in with the MWSC gang in the Andover Guesthouse. I’ve been knitting a lot and finally finished the scarf for my mom…she likes it, it’s warm. While I was still staying with my mom we discovered that Wilton, ME is home to Wilton Lights, a house that has their Christmas lights synched to music on a radio station. Really fun to watch if you’ve never seen one before!
Racing in Jericho
Lots of snow in Bretton Woods
Alex wanted to venture off the trails...it didn't last too long
Rehydration is important.