Soldier Hollow – U.S. Nationals

After a great training camp in Sun Valley, the team was acclimatized and ready for action on the 2002 Olympic trails in Soldier Hollow. We arrived on Wednesday January 4th, and despite some slippery and snowy conditions we made it to our house loaded with groceries for the week. On Thursday, Dave, Mark and Ken headed up to the trails early to set up the trailer and get our skis prepped for testing and training. Late that morning, the athletes headed to the trails for a short, snowy intensity session. The next day, we tested skis and did an easier training to rest up for the races on Saturday and Sunday. That night, it was early to bed with full stomachs so that we could have lots of fuel for the next day. The morning brought cold, blue skies and fantastic tracks. Our skis were fast and everyone pushed to the maximum to achieve a good time in the interval start race. The classic sprints brought tricky waxing conditions as it started to warm up and snow, but our amazing wax techs were up to the challenge. Not everyone made it through to the heats, but we still did our best to race fast and put some pressure on our competition.

After two solid days of racing we got a day to rest and recover on Monday. The team stayed focused and did some easy training before heading back to the house to fuel up. Tuesday brought long classic races in huge mass start fields. It was a little intimidating compared to the usual amount of competitors in Canadian races, but we were up to the challenge. Unfortunately, there was some sickness that affected a few athletes’ races, but overall it was a good day.

Finally, it was time to go home. On Wednesday, we packed up the trailer and loaded the van for a long drive back to Rossland. We stopped in Missoula on Wednesday night (Dave was driving by himself!), before finally making it back safe and sound on Thursday afternoon.

Thanks to all the volunteers who make these races happen, the families who took us in so generously in Sun Valley, Dave, Mark, Ken and Kim for all the waxing, coaching and course support, and to you, dear reader, for taking interest in our adventures!


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