Sunday, January 25, 2015

Skiing with the Community

Caitlin and I dropped down to Hayward, WI after US Nationals for a week of training on the American Birkebeiner Trail in perfect mid winter conditions.  After a solid few days of training the weekend kicked off with the Seeley Hills Classic 42km.  This is one of my favorite races and one that I have won twice.  The competition was really good this year with Matt Liebsch and Tad Elliot also in town.  We finished in the same order as in the American Birkebeiner in 2012 with Tad taking the win ahead of Matt and then me.

Race Organizer, Friend, and Champions of skiers Dennis Kruse
On Sunday we skied the Birkie Tour which is a non competitive, fully supported tour of the Birkie trail.  We both opted for the 45km freestyle tour and it was a blast to ski a big loop with friends and plenty of food and drink along the way.  It was amazing how many people were out for the tour and it was fun to be able to chat while we skied relaxed and enjoyed the north woods.

Heading to the start of the Birkie Tour felt very similar to heading to the start of the race

Skiing with Travis and Vince

Caitlin having fun on the Birkie Trail

Touring Life Link III's Koala Helicopter and Air Ambulance
We decided to go big for the weekend and after a quick recharge from our 3 hour ski we met up with 145 kids from Nordic Kids.  This group of kids were amazing in how fearlessly they took on the challenges we presented them.

Can you make it to me in less than 5 kicks by gliding on your 1 ski?

Caitlin signing Autographs for the kids after our ski
After a busy two months of racing we decided that we needed to take a break from racing and put in some needed training time.  My results and feeling the last two weekends have left me realizing that I need to put in a bit more distance and threshold skiing and fewer harder efforts.  We are doing a little high altitude training camp now in sunny Colorado.

Yes, let's take that trail.

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