Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hayward School Visit

The ‘Skiers’ came to class at the Hayward Primary School on Monday. Kristina, Heather, Katie and I presented a short skit of the Birkebeiner Story, brought in our ski equipment for show and tell, taught the crowd a few skiing cheers and shared our experiences as professional cross country skiers.

Thanks to Janet Wisdom for helping to organize the day, what started out as visiting one classroom grew to 19 different classes. We had a lot of fun.


Cross Country Ski Show and Tell

Protecting young Prince Hakkon. Kristina told the Birkebeiner story and we acted it out.


Refueling our bodies and minds at Lunch


Who wants to play tag?


XC Skiing is Cool, but nothing beats ‘Tag’ at Recess


With staggered Lunch/Recess and fresh teams of kids led to a fun and intense 45 minutes of .


The Barnebirke is on Thursday February 19th at 12:30pm. Come on out and ski and cheer, it will be a good time.

Thanks Kristina Owen for the photos. For larger images go to http://www.xcSkiLife.com

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Top 13 Finish within 13 seconds in Men's 15k Freestyle

A number of US skiers scored their first sub-60 FIS point race on sunday after a group finish in the 15km mass start freestyle at Telemark. Racers covered the fast course in 33 minutes. There weren't any major climbs on the course for the pack to break up and with one kilometer to go the lead group contained 20 skiers. I made a move to take the lead with 250m to go, but that only lasted for a short while. Leif Zimmerman won with Lars Flora 2nd. I finished 3rd, which is still a great result. Matt who led most of the race finished a strong 5th, ahead of Cook 6th. Kuzzy was involved in a crash near the highpoint but was able to navigate his way into 9th.

Kristina Strandberg won the women's race edging Nicole Deyong at the line. JoJo again led the CXC women finishing on the podium in 3rd. Stuber finished 6th and Owen 8th.

Thanks Kelly Randolph for all the great photos

CXC Train: Kuzzy, Gregg, Watt

Matt Liebsch sprinting for 5th with Bryan Cook. Matt led the majority of the race


Men's and Women's Freestyle Results

CXC goes 1st and 5-8th in Home SuperTour

Bryan Cook led the CXC men's team to one of their strongest classic performances. Cook won by 15 seconds over Lars Flora (Saab/Salomon), David Chamberlain and Leif Zimmerman. The CXC train arrived next with Watt, Kuzzy, Myself, and Liebsch taking 5th-8th and seperated by only 8 seconds. Gus, who is on the rebound after compartment syndrome surgery this fall finished a strong 16th. As a team we are generally stronger in skating so it is great to see that our classic skiing is improving.

Thanks to Kelly Randolph for taking all the great photos...

Cook kicking his way to the SuperTour win

Martin Banerud and Bryan Cook

So... This corner has some interesting shots. These photos are all from the classic race. It is important to ski the corners hard, and to take the best line when needed. I was shown a picture of myself looking a bit like Bill Koch in the 80s but I certainly wasn't the only one skiing aggressive on the course.




I seem to have misplaced the cd with photos from the women's race, but they skied well too. The ladies were all top 10 with JoJo 4th, Kristina 8th, and Maria 9th. A real solid day on the home course for CXC.

Men's and Women's Classic Results

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Nature Vs. Nurture

My fellow In The Arena Athlete Matt asked me to fill out some questions on Nature Vs. Nurture. As a twin, I have thought a lot about Nature Vs. Nurture and find the topic very interesting. Below are my responses to Matt's questions.

THE BASICS (quick stuff that i'd really like to know)
1. What is the athletic background of your parents and family?
My family shares an active outdoor lifestyle. My Mom, Dad, Sister, Twin Brother and I enjoy running, skiing, biking, soccer, climbing and most anything that can be done outside. The entire family competed in many of the local events and races.

2. When did you begin participating in your sport?
I grew up cross-country skiing. I have seen video of my brother and I wrestling in the back yard with skis on our feet and I am pretty sure we had just learned to walk.

THE EXTRAS (if you have time)
1. What was your early experiences with sport like?
I have always enjoying playing outdoors and would consider myself naturally talented in most athletic endeavors. Unless you count being able to shoot a basketball. One thing that I really liked was that I was faster than many of my peers.

2. How instrumental were parents and coaches in the early part of your development as an athlete?
My parent's did a great job encouraging me to do sports and outdoor activities while not pushing it on me. When I was young my coaches emphasized having fun, working hard and sportsmanship. My coaches set the foundation for a life long enjoyment of sport.

3. How were you introduced to your sport and how many other sports did you seriously participate in?
I joined the Methow Valley Nordic Team when I was in 5th grade and skied 3-days a week. I also played soccer, basketball, hockey and baseball. In high school my main focus was skiing and I trained 6 days/week, however I also ran cross-country and played soccer.

4. Is your success a product of nature or nurture?
A bit of both. I think I got some good genes from my parents but they also provided the perfect enviornment for me to improve athletically. My hometown in Washington is the second largest cross country ski resort in the United States. Additionally, my coaches are or had been highly competitive ski racers. Surrounded by great skiiers and an awesome skiing community it was hard not to develop into a good skier.

5. Are you an expert in your field? (by your own definition)
Yes, but I continue to learn more about cross country skiing everyday.