The Ruka Triple

Right now I’m chilling on the couch in Liz, Kikkan and Tara’s cabin, stealing Kikk’s computer to post an update. Tara’s working out knots on Andy, Liz is hammering away at the keyboard next to me, and the room smells like massage lotion, shampoo and bananas. The banana part is because we made Andy a birthday banana bread cake in the shape of a cat.

Life in Ruka is pretty much either racing, training, or being inside because it’s COLD out there! And icy and windy! But the tourist town is sweet since everything is within walking distance, so you can walk to the dining hall in 8 minutes, the wax cabins in 5, and the ski trails in 30 seconds. We get about 3 hours of sunlight a day, and therefore I’m finding myself taking and posting pictures of…the sun. I think I need a life. Quickly! So, sadly, I don’t have any cool pictures to put up right now. But they’re coming :)

The Ruka Triple is happening this weekend; on Friday we did a classic sprint (hightlights were Ides in 9th, Kik in 10th, and Newell and Simi in the heats) and today we did a 5km skate. Highlights from today were Kikkan getting SILVER(!!!!!!!!), I placed 12th, Liz scored 13th, Holly finished 18th, and Noah finished 19th. Liz and Noah scored career bests today, which is totally awesome. And although a few of us got frostbite in the bitter cold wind out on the course, me included, it was so totally worth it.

The courses here are crazy; it’s basically a huge bowl. The stadium is at the base of the ski jumping hill and you basically go up and down three huge hills. The downhills are screaming fast and one of them has a technical right hand turn that is extremely sketchy when it’s icy out (lucky they tilled it before today’s race). Andy calls this course the “half-pipe course” since you’re basically going up one side, down the other a couple times.

Cool fact: apparently the fastest times clocked down the biggest hill were 47 mph.

Tomorrow we have the final race of the mini-tour: a 10km classic starting pursuit style (athletes start in the order of their cumulative times from the past races; whoever crosses the line first wins the entire mini-tour).

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