Westerns 2012 Team Reports

Thu Jan 19: Hello all at home in cold Winnipeg from cold Canmore!  Our very long day has at last ended . . it seems like several days have passed since we arrived at the airport 5 AM today.  It is always challenging to travel with so much ski equipment and the first task was amalgamating ski bags as much as possible.  Some of the larger bags looked like they contained several stow-away team members but we eventually got through check-in.  Our flight was happily uneventful and we collected our 3 rental vans without a hitch.  Canmore was -27 early this morning but we were treated to blue skies as we approached the mountains.

Some of the quotes of the day include:
“Do more squats” (a new team theme?)

Elora approached the Canmore Nordic Center main lodge with a completely serious expression and remarked “this reminds me of Windsor Park” (!!) “but there are mountains behind instead of a Superstore”.

Sam felt that Alex was treating him to a peculiar form of torture by making him drink lots of water all day long (seasoned advice to stay hydrated and healthy while travelling).

We were on target with skiers out pre-skiing the sprint skate course for tomorrow – when we discovered we had not received a late-night email informing us that the race had been changed to classic interval start (Saturday’s planned race switched with Friday).  The team took the news well and many simply put their skate boots on their classic skis and headed out in a new direction.

Skiers were very excited by the venue – amazing scenery and tough course.  The snow was sandpaper slow though. We returned post ski to settle into great accomodations.  Megan and Betsy’s spacious apartment room with kitchen is the Bistro and gathering place for team meetings and meals.  Betsy’s menu planning is off to a fine start with lasagne, salad and pies.  Jane is keeping us all on track with detailed plans.  Corey is happy in the wax room with new warm booties and his tunes.

Tomorrow the team has hopes of racing interval start classic race distances.  There are meetings planned to assess weather and make decisions regarding postponing start times if needed.  We are hoping for a race!!!!  But now it’s sleep time . . looking forward to relaxed morning wake up times and an eventful day.

~Megan Carter – Assistant Coach

Fri Jan 20: Hello from a warmer Canmore! We are happy to report that the weather warmed up well enough to get races underway today by 11:00. The skiers all appreciated the slower more relaxed pace of the morning, getting lots of good sleep and having time to stretch and hang out together before heading to the Nordic Center. (Jennie and Erik were on the earliest shift, but still at a very humane hour) Megan was on shuttling bodies and Betsy was on feeding bodies. The ever faithful Corey was the wax man. Jane again kept us all organized and coordinated.

I imagine most of you will have checked results on Zone 4 already. Skiers in general were pleased with their races and were able to meet most of the goals they had established for themselves. Alex missed top 10 by a hair, placing 11th in a tough field of 22 junior boys. Lisle put in a great race and finished 7th in a strong field of 32 skiers. Elora had a great race, placing 16th in a field of 36 juvenile girls. Everyone experienced the challenge of the hills, with some tricky passing required as some of the starting skiers encountered other racers lapping through. Older age group skiers did 3 laps of a 2.5 or 3.3 km course. This makes for excellent viewing as there are numerous points where skiers can be seen racing back and forth in front of the main stadium area.

The team is sharing a lot of laughter and getting to know each other better. We thought Lisle was quiet but we have discovered otherwise! She is both energetic and entertaining! Alex continues to push Sam to ever new heights of hydration. Erik is learning how to make fruit and yogurt for breakfast. Sam is learning what CCC points are. Corey still eats lots of cookies. Betsy makes an amazing baked potato and cheese creation.

Quote of the day: Sean to Alex (looking at Alex gliding by on pretty fast skis) “What kind of wax do you have on those skis?” Alex replies “Biceps, like a real man.”

Tomorrow promises a much warmer day, and a much earlier start. Skate sprint races start with qualification rounds at 9:00 and heats to follow in the afternoon. Stay tuned!

~Megan Carter

Sat Jan 21: Hello from Canmore and day 3 of our Westerns adventure. Today was skate sprints – 600m for midget and juvenile, 800m for junior girls, 1.2 km for junior boys and older. The midget and juvenile skiers raced in the biathlon stadium area and the rest raced on the very tough course in front of the main stadium.

Skiers were focused on individual goals and all put in excellent effort. The snow became faster as the day wore on, which was welcome. All raced the qualification round in the morning and all advanced in their respective age groups to the quarter final rounds in the afternoon. The Druwe brothers both advanced from the quarter finals and made it to the B finals – great job! Dominique was very pleased to end up with the 7th fastest qualifying time for juvenile boys. Anais was very happy to move up 7 spots from her first day results and Katie moved up 11 spots! Erik and Jennie are racing strongly in their open categories.

(which reminds me of a story that Jennie told us on the first evening as Jane was marvelling at how Jennie is now in the senior category – Jennie told us that someone asked her in the airport if she was looking for her parents!!)

Quote of the day:
From an anonymous male skier on the team “I love my tights! If I was a girl I’d wear tights all the time!”

Memorable moment of the day was Ben looking into the scientific evidence for the use of cold baths to assist in muscle recovery. He carefully analyzed some articles that he accessed on the computer and together with Alex came up with a regime of alternating cold and hot baths. This was set up with cold water in the bath of one room and hot in another, and the guys ran back and forth in their bathing suits to carry out the prescribed regime. Both arrived looking remarkably well rested and even quite energetic at supper time! We shall see how their muscles feel in the morning!

Betsy has continued to provide wonderful meals for us all in apt 151 “the Bistro”. We are so thankful for the tasty and nutritious food! Other memorable moments have happened when the skiers hang out together. The Bistro has been a popular gathering place and Betsy and I have been pretty entertained by the conversation and laughter.

Tomorrow will be the mass start skate races, with an early start for Erik and Jennie and a more relaxed start for the rest. All skiers were eagerly anticipating their pillows tonight after another long and challenging day.

~Megan Carter