Former biathlete, current coach….all round nordic enthusiast!

An elite athlete competing in the sport of biathlon: nordic ski racing combined with marksmanship

Monday, July 30, 2012

"Fatisfaction Guaranteed"

This past weekend was the Nordic Heritage Club's annual Fat Tire Festival...this year's motto: "Fatisfaction Guaranteed". I'm pretty sure everyone in attendance this year was satisfied. We had perfect weather...well, maybe a little hot. We had dry trails as opposed to last year when it poured all night before the 12-hour race and then again as competitors left the start. The competition was friendly but fierce and I'm pretty sure everyone had fun. 

I took on my first mountain bike race with a four-person team comprised of Meghan Swan, Jacqueline Martin, Gabby Naranja, and myself. We wore hot pink shirts and took the team name "Cleats and Cleavage". Gabby and I are already scheming for next year...maybe a two person team? Could be fun. 

Pictures courtesy of Peter Freeman, Tom Shay, Nate Berry, and Kahl Husain. 

And they're off! The race started with an on-foot sprint around the NHC building to the start line where riders had set their bikes. 

Seth heads out of the stadium on lap 1. 

Me riding the single track...

Seth and Andy took 2nd in the Men's Two-Man division.

Day two of the Fat Tire Festival includes a mountain bike biathlon race so I helped Seth run the range for that event. We had a good turnout this year in the adult/.22 race with 17 competitors. They shot two prone stages without slings....

Here Seth is giving quick instructions on range safety, position, and rifle function. 

Kameron Husain, a MWSC Junior Team member, took on the 15-& Up competitors in the race. He shot really well, taking home Best Shooting of Day honors. 

(L) Me watching over a few of our adult competitors on the range, and (R) Sarah, a new MWSC Devo athlete coming into the air rifle range on her bike. 

(L) Kade and I picking out an air rifle, and (R) learning how it works. 

(L) Kade mastering the air rifle, and (R) Rapid-Fire Griffen getting cozy with air rifle. Griffen is only four but really wanted to try shooting after his older sisters started hitting targets.

Sammy and Sarah, MWSC Devo kids, taking home top honors in the kids air rifle division of the mountain bike races. Nice Work!

Thanks to LL Bean and the MWSC Healthy Hometowns Program, Tanner had a new mountain bike to ride around all weekend. I don't think he stopped smiling once. 

Picture of the Day: Kade Ennis couldn't get it on fast enough after he got his name drawn in the raffle and chose a shiny new bike helmet. "I think I'm just gonna wear this for the rest of the day. I'm not taking it off." So cute.  

Monday, July 23, 2012


This past weekend I was lucky enough to be able to celebrate my birthday with a great group of adventurers from MWSC. I joined a good-sized gang of devo and junior athletes in Baxter for a successful climb up Katahdin, camping at Penobscot Outdoor Center and kayaking on the Penobscot River. And because I think blogs heavily loaded with pictures are more interesting, here's our weekend:
***As always, click on any photo to view them all in a slideshow format***

We camped Friday and Saturday nights at Penobscot Outdoor Center just outside of the southern entrance to Baxter State Park. This was the view we had of Katahdin from our campsite on Friday.

Starting out early on Saturday morning. Everyone was motivated and ready to go bright and early....Amber called for wake-up at 5, departing camp at 6 and we hit the trail at 7. 

We hiked out of Roaring Brook Campground up to Chimney Pond (shown above). 

Seth and I at Chimney Pond.

Heading up above tree line. From Chimney Pond we took the Cathedral trail to Baxter Peak, Katahdin's highest, at 5,268 feet. Cathedral was fun but challenging for some as it was mostly just small boulder climbing while following the trail markings.  

Baxter Peak!
Katahdin, named such by the Penobscot Indians, means "The Greatest Mountain". It is the final peak on the Appalachian Trail and the first peak on the International Appalachian Trail. When we eating lunch at the top we actually watch someone finish their four-month trek of the Appalachian Trail. His family met him at the top and presented him with a "Congratulations" banner. 

Seth and I on Baxter Peak. 

From Baxter Peak we took the Knife's Edge to Pamola Peak. The Knife's Edge, shown above, is a narrow trail over more rocks for 3/10 of a mile. We got really lucky with the weather. Sometimes this section of trail can be really miserable and dangerous since it's so exposed the whole way. 

Starting down the Knife's Edge...full sun and gorgeous views in every direction.

The Knife's Edge...putting our skiing balance and strength to good use!

A ways along the Knife's Edge there's a big dip in the trail called The Chimney. Here (above) Seth helps the kids down a tricky section before we climbed the last little bit back up to Pamola Peak. 

Seth rejoicing that we all made is safely across the Knife's Edge!

Headed down the Helon Taylor Trail on our way back to Roaring Brook, the vans, and FOOD!

On Sunday we packed up camp and headed down the Golden Road to Horse Race on the Penoscot River for some kayaking and swimming. Mike Smith, MWSC Healthy Hometowns Director, accompanied us for the weekend and led some fun kayaking activities for the kids. 

Getting ready to head out...

Rafting up...

Challenge #1: Get out of your kayak and walking along the whole line without falling in!

Balance...More good ski skills at work!

The excitement continues next weekend at Nordic Heritage in Presque Isle with the Fat Tire Festival, Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I'm racing the 12-hour with four other women. Check back next Monday for pictures and an update from that! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mount Desert Island....2nd Edition

First, sorry for my long hiatus...lots of photos and stories to update you on but it will take a few days.

Right now I'm enjoying my second visit (ever) to MDI with my mom for a few days while also visiting with Paul (UMPI ski coach, his wife Rachael, and their (oh, so cute) little son, Axel.

Axel hamming it up for me before showing me just how he much enjoys eating....apparently baby food tastes even better after it's been used as a facial moisturizer!

Yesterday my mom and I enjoyed some much needed but VERY hot sunshine while hiking on the eastern edge of the island. Afterwards we took a dip at a kid-infested beach along our way to Southwest Harbor where we got ice cream and lunch (yes, in that order).

This evening we enjoyed a picnic dinner on the seawall. Cheaper, quicker, and quieter that fighting the crowds that head to downtown Bar Harbor for dinner every night. Did that last night. 

I am still training...always. This morning I did my second set of MDI intervals on one of the island's many hiking trails.
 Blueberry-picking break yesterday with my mom...

Check back soon for updates to include more pictures and stories from this weekend's Katahdin adventures with the MWSC Junior and Devo gangs!