After a small rest back in Rossland following the California Mammoth training camp, we were back to another hard week of skiing on snow. Our training destination was the annual “Frozen Thunder” ski track, which is a ski loop made with snow stored from last winter In Canmore, AB. The 2km loop was packed with elite athletes from all over North America. A major emphasis for us this week was refining our technique as we begin the winter season. We’ve trained on Frozen Thunder several years in the past now; it’s a great time for athletes to get together to reunite and compete in the Frozen Thunder classic sprints and distance skate races. A focused camp like this with a race weekend gets the cob webs out of the system before the racing season starts up. The best athletes from the USA and Canada were at these competitions. Although there are many great athletes here, we take this race as a training exercise. The results are not a significant indicator of our shape for the season because we have just come out of a month of very hard training with long hours. After a solid fall of training, we’re on track for an excellent race season! The sprint day was based off of the Kings Court sprint format, where we had an individual qualifying round of sprints followed by three heats for all competitors. It was a different format which many athletes had never done before, but everyone seemed happy with it. The race organizers kept the heats running with no delay making it excellent for a training race.
Overall, the camp was a great success for all the Senior athletes as well as several Junior athletes from Black Jack. For the couple weeks following this training camp we will be looking for the soonest opportunity to get back on snow. Rossland has snow, but not quite enough. Since Western Canada is going into a cold and dry spell, our best option may be to head back to man made snow in Canmore until real snow flies. Luckily we are still able to rollerski just a short drive down to lower elevation in Trail where there is no snow or gravel on the road.