We took a day trip to go hammer our brains out today in Drammen, Norway! The weather was less than ideal, since we got the full spectrum of “wintery mix” ranging from hail-type snow early on our morning run to straight up rain. However, a ton of really awesome things happened for North America today!
Kikkan locked up the crystal globe Sprint Overall title today! Even though she had a rough go in the semifinal; after a crash her ski binding ripped off and she had to scooter her way around the course to finish the race, she still placed 11th! And Chandra got 5th, one of the many career-best finishes today. Dasha placed 8th and Sadie got her first WC points with a 27th place!
On the men’s side, Lenny Valjas of Canada blew everyone away as he got a silver medal! That was so cool to see. Newell made the final, placing 6th and Simi got 7th! Harvey finished 16th, Kershaw got 23rd. I wasn’t able to stick around and watch the heats because it was getting wet and cold and there were very limited shuttle options back to Oslo. But I was so excited watching live results and tv coverage that I was literally jumping up and down on the hotel bed yelling at my computer. That’s one nice thing about living in hotels; it’s ok to jump on the beds, where I would never do that at home (my Slumberland mattress is too nice to wreck).
The sprint venue was pretty sweet, with the course making a loop uphill (the street was actually pretty steep!), around a really neat-looking old church, back down the hill, past the start and ending at the top of the hill. They brought in an impressive amount of snow for the course, and when it closed running was the warmup and cooldown option. Running down to the start in the rain in slippery ski boots was tough for me though, as I fell and sent myself and my skis sliding into the street. What can I say? I never feel as graceful as I do when I’m on the ground looking up at Norwegians laughing at me.
So wow, a lot of good things happening out in the streets of Drammen today! Personally, I did ok – I felt alright and qualified 43rd, and I think classic sprinting is just something I’m going to need a lot of work on! It’s a little disappointing because I want to be able to race every technique well, not just skate distance and sprints, but on the World Cup I’m learning that if you’re even a tiny bit off, you’ll get knocked out of the top-30 so fast you won’t know what happened! And classic races are the only ones this year where I haven’t finished in the points, so I know what to focus on for the summer. Boom! Summer plans locked up just like that!
I’m keeping this update short because I should be packing right now, since we’re moving up to a hotel right next to the Holmenkollen venue tomorrow. This weekend is the famous 30/50km classic race, and I’m so excited! I’ve never done a 30km here and only one 30km ever, so it’ll be an experience. I know the fans are amazing here, camping, drinking and cooking hot dogs on the side of the trails, so if I get tired and need a feed it should be no problem! Kidding, I would only accept brown cheese during a race, not hot dogs, don’t worry.