Stockholm is my favorite European city right now. Partially because I got to sprint around the royal palace, but also because after running around the old part of town on twisty cobblestone streets seeing so much history and cool old buildings, I realized I was super sad that we only got to spend 2 days there!
The classic sprint around the palace went up and down the palace steps, and ended on an uphill. It was the first stage in World Cup finals; right after the sprints the athletes took a bus from Stockholm to Falun, Sweden for the 2.5km prologue, 10km classic mass start and 10km skate pursuit start.
For me, classic sprinting on the World Cup has been a bit of a struggle but in Sweden I had my best result! It was hard to finish 31st by only .12 seconds, but it’s also good to know that the speed is there and there’s hope for me as a classic sprinter someday! Although the warmup was quite the experience. There’s a 180 corner right after you go down the palace steps, and in warmup I decided to try taking it at speed without snowplowing or skidding the corner. I somehow caught the klister on my ski and went down hard, flying right off the course, onto the cobblestones and partially under the gates! OUCH. I had to run my skis to the techs, terrified that I’d somehow “stone-ground” them by hand! But the skis were fine as was I, although I’ve accumulated some ridiculous bruises over the past few races.
After the qualifier, Liz and I ran our cooldown by running across the river to the Vasa Museum to see this ship! We only had about 5 minutes in the museum before we had to book it back to the venue to cheer, so I didn’t get to learn much of anything about the ship, sadly. But the Vasa was a Swedish warship that sank after sailing less than a mile in 1628, and was pulled back up 1961 and moved to a museum.
Next update will be from the final World Cup races in Falun!