As we near winter solstice and the days get short, we have been moving our way south through Europe. We just finished our third weekend of World Cup racing of the season in Beitostolen, Norway and as I write this I am on a plane from Scandinavia to central Europe. We will be racing this coming weekend in Davos, Switzerland before spending Christmas break training nestled in the Swiss Alps in preparation for the Tour de Ski.
This past weekend we capped off three weekends of Scandinavian racing north of 60 with a mixed team relay. This was only the second time having a mixed relay on World Cup and my first time racing it. The team was two women and two men, one of each gender per technique for 5km each. Katherine, Tony, Olivier and I all raced our hearts out and we came away with a strong 8th place. There were also a sprint and a 10km classic race in Beitostolen and I finished 37th in both. My races have been very consistent to start off the season but not quite at the pace I was hoping for and know I can be at. That level feels close though, and I am excited to keep trying to find it in the coming weeks of racing. It has been inspiring to see my teammates and training partners have some PB’s and consistently strong results to start off the season. I feel like we have an overall positive momentum and energy with the team right now, which I think shone through in the mixed relay yesterday.
Already eight races into the season, Ruka, Lillehammer, and Beitostolen have all had some good moments of racing as well and lots of notes to take back to the drawing board. I ate my quota of seafood, especially salmon for the year, stocked up on brown cheese, saw Santa’s reindeer in Finland and discovered many kilometers of new ski trails in Norway. It was my first time going to Beitsotolen and the whole place blew me away. The race courses were fun to ski with a good mix of everything, but it was all the other ski trails that really got us excited. I don’t think I skied a single trail twice on my 3hr ski last Tuesday and the scenery was stunning. We were extra lucky to be able to enjoy a full moon and clear nights.
It has been a fun block so far, albeit I was hoping for a little more from myself performance wise. That being said, I am really looking forward to the final races before Christmas at one of my favourite World Cup venues. Davos is where I skied my first sprint heats in Europe and is a place I really like distance racing. I love its beauty and being up in the mountains. This year it will be made extra special with Michael coming over to watch the races and spending Christmas. The Tour de Ski, a 7-stage event, starts on December 31st, so there isn’t enough time for us to travel back to Canada for the holidays. The whole team will be spending the holidays in Davos. I have done it once before, and if you can’t be home for the holidays, a Swiss Christmas is a pretty good way to go! Thanks to you all for following along with my season so far and thank you to the people who make my season possible! If you would like to help support my season you can do so through the donation link on my website or you can contact me directly. Looking forward to lots more tough and exciting racing to come.