Sunday, December 15, 2013

NorAm Win, Midnight Flights, Super Tour points and Waxing

After West Yellowstone, Matt Liebsch and I loaded up my brother's car and we drove to British Columbia.  We had decided early in the year that our fall schedule would differ from many of the Americans as we wanted to race the Canadians in a 15km Freestyle at Soverign Lake Nordic Center.  Both Matt and I circled this race as an important one in the fall race series.  Unfortunatly the NorAm fell on the same weekend at the US Super Tour in Bozeman.  Unable to do both we decided to stick with our goal of the freestyle race in Canada.  

Matt, Myself, and our wax tech Sven on the Podium.  Matt and I went 1-2 in the race.

We made a pact that if we pulled off the 1-2 that we would bite the bullet and spend the $$ to go big and fly to Bozeman that evening to compete in the Super Tour on Sunday. had a nice write up about our adventure:
Our midnight flight to Bozeman was smooth and we both had good races.  Matt had one of his top 5 FIS results and finished 4th.  I finished right on Matt's heels in 5th which earned me enough points to take the Super Tour lead which means that I get start rights and FIS funding for the period 2 World Cup.  Even cooler, Caitlin is leading the women's Super Tour so we get to make the trip together.

Caitlin and I have a lot of fun on the road.  We both recognize the powerful benefits of being happy while on the road.

Caitlin cheering on the start of the B-Final in preparation for the A-Final.
After the races in Bozeman we traveled to Rossland, BC for another norAm weekend.  It was kind of tough to make the long 9 hour drive when juxtaposed to the 3 hour flight.  All of the travel, racing, and training caught up with me and I felt my body feeling pretty weary after intervals and specific strength here in Rossland.  I took two days off though and am feeling pretty good again.  This also allowed me to serve as Caitlin's wax tech here in Rossland.  Being a wax tech is hard work and I spent a lot of time on my feet.  Thankfully some of our Canadians gave me a lot of advice and did most all of the testing.

Caitlin and the Ninjas
Caitlin finished 4th in both races, although was relegated to the back of the A-final after a lane change in the finish where she accidentally obstructed another racer.  This was a solid weekend for her.  I raced on Sunday but wasn't able to put it together and finished 17th, my worst result of the year.  Thankfully I am feeling healthy again and we are excited to have a few weeks to train as we prepare for US National Championships in January in Utah.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


It has been a few days since we feasted on Turkey and celebrated the many things we are thankful for.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays as it signifies the start to the cross country ski racing season. Cross country skiing may be seen as an individual sport but it really isn't possible without a strong team.  This year Caitlin and I are training and racing under the name Team Gregg.

The new Team Gregg logo designed by my sister, Tara Gregg
At first glance one might think that Team Gregg is simply myself and Caitlin but it is way bigger.   I am continually amazed at the awesome Team that we have behind the Team.  This weekend's opening Super Tour races were a testament to that.  For starters The University of New Mexico graciously offered to wax our skis.  Ski waxing has become a big factor in ski races and a necessity to compete at the top level in the US.  Without a team logo just two weeks before the first race my sister designed our logo and we sent it to the printers with our Helly Hansen gear.  Our sponsor patches arrived from China just in time and my Mom brought her sewing machine out to West Yellowstone and stayed up late into the night with my sister-in-law Alieta to sew all the patches on.  My brother loaded up the split timer for the races and we had Gregg's all over the course to provide splits, spare poles, photos and cheers.  It isn't just the Gregg family out there, it feels like everyone is supporting us and it makes me want it even that much more.

Enjoying sharing information on the new Madshus REDline skis and Super Nano boots.
The racing started off great with Caitlin winning the sprint qualifier, and every heat through the A final in the freestyle sprint.  It is hard to tell how you will stack up while you train all summer.  This year we decided to go big in our summer preparation and to see all the hard work lead to success is very fun.  
Caitlin after winning the A final.  Her first Super Tour Sprint Victory
Some of the Gregg's of Team Gregg: Jim, Jan, Brian, Caitlin, Chad and Alieta
On my way to 2nd Place in the 15km Freestyle
One of the things that my summer coach Scott Johnston and I have worked a lot on is pacing.  I did countless 1 km loops this summer focusing on negative splitting.  In Saturday's race I started conservatively and sped up to move from 6th to 2nd.  This was a strong result for me.  I am particularly proud because this is one of my best individual start results and I skied the entire race by myself.  In the past many of my best races have been when the winner has caught me and I have simply hung on.  I am thankful for all the supporters, fans and friends that make this dream possible and fun.  Thank you.