Wednesday morning after Easterns the team took to the roads; our new destination being the U.S. Supertour race stop in Craftsbury VT. I had raced twice before in Craftsbury, but both previous times my race course experience consisted of a 1.6km loop of manmade snow. I was pretty excited to get to experience Craftsbury in all its mid-Winter glory for the first time.
The drive to Craftsbury from Ottawa is usually a pretty straight-forward 4.5hr trip. But, consistent with my epic Ramsau-to-Liberec drive last year (see “Goodbye Austria” blog post), Winter ski-race travels have a way becoming much more of an adventure than google maps would have one think.
The first hurdle we ran into on the drive was one that I had predicted from a mile away: Montreal traffic. I hate traffic.
About 6 or 7 hours later we finally hit the U.S. border and were promptly stopped and pulled in for questioning by a very talkative border-patrol agent. Eventually we were deemed not a threat to the country and were allowed to continue on our merry way.
Finally, after a stop for supper and about 10hrs of travel time, we arrived in Craftsbury!! But the adventure was not over yet. Our rental vans were woefully equipped for the snowy conditions with tires that were–at best–very slick all-seasons And it turned out that the two houses our team had booked to stay in were not only about 20min apart but also at the tops of some very steep back-country roads. All at once we made the switch from skiers to bobsled athletes, and, in honour of the upcoming Olympic Games and our intense desire to get to our lodgings and fall asleep, we ran along side the vans, pushing them up the slippery Vermont hills towards our houses. One might think that having to push your minivan up a snowy hill after 10hrs on the road, in the middle of nowhere, at eleven at night might be a not so cool experience. With an outlook like this, one would have forgotten what being over-tired feels like; the whole endeavour turned out to be quite fun.
11hrs after our departure from Ottawa we were finally settled in in Vermont, dreaming of pushing vans through snowstorms while laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.
|Our last dinner in Craftsbury we had a pizza party!! We made, like, 8 pizzas or something. Yum.|
From a racing perspective, the following three days of racing were okay. One thing I’ve had a bit of trouble with, both this year and last, is keeping my momentum going right through the season. I seem to run into a period mid-winter when I’m not feeling super-motivated and I have relatively uninspired races. The first two races of the weekend kinda reflected this but on Sunday, in the skate sprint, I managed to turn things around a bit and was feeling really solid physically. Unfortunately I got tripped up with another skier in the semi-final and, although I managed to catch back up to the pack, I didn’t have quite enough energy to finish in the top two and move on to the final. Oh well.
Monday morning we left Craftsbury bright and early and spent the day making our way back across the continent to Canmore.