Monday, March 24, 2014

Back in the U.S. of A: Alaska Super Tour Finals

One of the surprises I have been looking forward to is meeting Caitlin in the Frankfurt airport for our return to the USA. Originally we were scheduled to meet up in Denver to fly to Alaska together but shortly after making the reservation I discovered we would be on the same flight from Frankfurt.  I decided to select seat assignments next to each other and surprise Caitlin.  It was super nice to see each other a little sooner and to take the 10.5 hour flight together.

Caitlin and our plane.  I have always wanted to fly on a double decker plane. I didn't get to go up top though, maybe next time.
Team Gregg back together again
Brent Knight and I out for a ski in Kincaid Park
We are staying with Jim and Sally Burkholder and my friend Brent Knight. Brent and I skied together in college.  Our freshman year we were pretty even.  Then he continued to get a lot faster.  My junior year I transferred from Western State College to the University of Alaska Anchorage and Brent's improvement was a big factor in that decision.  

Fredrick and the University of New Mexico have been doing our skis here in Alaska.  They are fantastic and we are very fortunate to have their support and friendship.
Alf was on course cheering for the classic sprint.  Turns out it was actually Heidi and we already had an invitation from her parents for dinner the same evening.  How sweet is that?
Cheering Caitlin up the final climb in the women's 10 km Freestyle individual start
The first event of the week was the 10/15km individual skate.  I had a so-so race finishing 9th.  I felt pretty good, but didn't quite have the snap and power on the course.  Perhaps it is all the time I have spent at altitude this winter. Regardless of my result the race was really fun.  After the race I went out on course to cheer and give Caitlin some splits.  She led the race at 5km before slipping to third.  All of the top USA girls are here and I am really proud of her result.  She has also secured the Overall Super Tour lead which will give her start rights and FIS funding for the Period 1 World Cups next year.  Congratulations babe!
Caitlin and I out for an evening jog before the 10/15 km

Our hosts and super volunteers Burky and Sally with Caitlin and I

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