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 14, 2014

Adventures in Western Maine: Maine Team Camp #1

Before I share the latest of my adventures I'm psyched to announce that I'm an official Alpina athlete! I've been using their boots and bindings (Rottefella) for the past four years and have been really pleased with the quality and comfort of their products. If you're in search of new boots or pondering a switch from SNS to NNN, I highly recommend checking out the Alpina brand. I've added their logo in my sponsors menu to the right and you can click on it to visit the US site. Thanks for your support Alpina! 

This last week the County crew (juniors, PG and ODT athletes all included) ventured south to join up with other MWSC and Maine Team athletes from across the state at Sugarloaf for the first of two Maine Team summer training camps. We used Carrabassett Valley Academy as our base for the week and made good use of the hilly terrain that the area has to offer. Workouts included lots of on-foot time spent running, hiking, hill-bounding and searching for the ever-elusive Will Sweetser scavenger hunt questions (more on that later). We did two rollerski workouts; one as an uphill L3/4 interval set utilizing the Sugarloaf access and condo roads, and the other heading east out of Stratton focusing on double-poling technique and efficiency. Kelsey and I also snuck in one short mountain biking session but hardly touched the new single track trails that the local club has been building. They’re pretty sweet so I’ll have to make a return trip for more exploring at some point. 

The Maine team camps serve as a great opportunity for the MWSC athletes to train together but also as a chance for outside kids to jump into a quality week of training with their peers from across the state. This year the group was pretty impressive in the level of focus and effort that was put forth. Despite some hot weather and workouts that turned out to be harder/longer than expected I heard no complaining. These kids will go far if they can carry the mentality from this camp through the rest of their off-season and into winter! 

Now, as always, the photos from this week: 

The crew taking instructions from Will on day 1.

Our double poling session: focusing on quick impulse and high hips and hands at the top. 

PG and ODT (and Tara, our token college athlete) ladies part way through a five hour hike in the Bigelows. We had absolutely perfect weather for this hike! 
Photo courtesy of Kelsey's phone and Justin's skills. 

Last summit for the day: Avery. 
Photo credit: Kelsey. 

Heading up with the PG and ODT crew...

First summit with the PG boys...

The views aren't too shabby from the Bigelow peaks. If you haven't been up yet, add these peaks to your list. They're gorgeous and worth the effort! 

Flagstaff Lake

My goofball teammates Mikaela and Kelsey enjoying some views, sun and endorphins. 

Mountain flora and great views...

Love these views...

Kelsey wanted to experience being taller for once. 
Photo credit: Kelsey's phone/Justin's skills. 

Kelsey heading down for the last time. 

A view from Flagstaff Lake looking toward the Bigelows that I took toward the end of my double poling session in Stratton. Not a bad view, right? 

As always, I made good use of my free time tying knots in yarn and came away with these. 

In the absence of a biathlon range we visited the local shooting club for some paper accuracy work. Seth captured this shot of my standing efforts. 

The end of camp was scheduled as an OD (over distance…these workouts are usually 3+ hours in length) so Welly and the coaches put together a classic Will Sweeter-style adventure/scavenger hunt. They hid questions of carrying difficulty in the woods and water for us to find via map in a three-hour time frame. Here's one of the questions we found hidden in the river.

Kelsey venturing into a (NASTY) swamp after a question. Due to a rule stating that teammates had to be within 10 feet of one another Nate and I followed suit only to quickly retreat when Nate spotted a 5+ inch leech swimming our way. I'll try to get the videos from Seth to work here: 

Heading in…felt gross but we ventured forth so we'd be within the 10 foot radius of Kelsey. 

No one likes a 5 inch leech….except maybe Seth, who thought it was hilarious. 

And last but certainly not least, a short glimpse of how the boys helped me stay awake on the drive back to Fort Kent: 

This next week is another large volume week for us so there are sure to be more adventures to report on soon. Check back for updates on that and pictures from our upcoming ODT/PG team trip to Kamouraska, Quebec next weekend! 

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