|cheering on Erik during the races in Italy|
|The APU ladies team that was traveling around on OPA|
Following that I headed back to Vermont to meet up with my club team for Spring Series. Our first couple days in Vermont were more like spring vacation than anything. It was 80 degrees out and beautiful. You could literally hear the snow melt as you skid around with no shirt and shorts. It was incredible!! I even had to visit the local thrift shop for some "warm weather clothing" as my wardrobe of clothing did not exactly have "summer" in mind.
|some would call this water skiing|
|waxing on the grass..!!|
This years spring series event was made up of four races with a combined effort ending in a hill climb up the alpine hill. Following that we had our 30k skate National Championships to top off the broken body. After missing Nationals during Christmas time due to a sickness that took me down for the month- I was excited to finally get to do some domestic races. Every single race I had started this year was either a World Cup or U23 Championships.
With the certain lack of snow, all of the races throughout the week were around a 1.5k loop that managed to do a good amount of climbing. Starting with the 2.5km Prologue, I managed to finish on the podium in 3rd place. The following day was a mass start classic race, which was pretty exciting for me! Having never really excelled in mass starts, I decided to just have fun and see what happened. With two preems on the course, one at about 3k and one at 5k, I decided to sprint for the money. At the second preem I looked around realizing nobody was around me- and really went for it. Looking back I realize that was maybe a bit aggressive, but it managed to work out. At about 8km, my roommate and one of my closest friends, Rosie Brennan pulled up beside me. As she said "Sadie lets make this happen", I found a second wind and we worked together to hold off the rest of the field finishing first and second. Having never won a domestic mass start, I was pretty stoked on the race. I was even more stoked for Rosie, who had her break through race of the year!! Not only that, APU swept the podium for the day, with Holly Brooks finishing 3rd. I have to say, there is nothing more fun than sweeping the podium with your teammates- there is a unique feeling that comes with that!
|APU podium sweep|
|Herb Swanson Photo|
|Jessie and I working together in Mass Start- Herb Swanson Photo|
|Skiing some heats alongside the dirt... don't want to get thrown off the trail on this course!!|
|Leading the charge w/ Kikkan|
With my placing throughout the week I started the final day leading the tour, and getting chased down (rather up) by Liz, Jessie and Holly up the massive alpine slope. Having always HATED this race, I decided to just shut my brain down. Those three girls are some of the best climbers in the world, as they have proved in the final climb of the tour de ski- so as they passed me I tried to stay positive. One foot in front of the next, I managed to get myself up the hill, holding myself in 4th position for the Mini-Tour! Much better than I have ever finished in these final spring series races.
After one more rest day, it was time for the 30k skate. Having only done two 30k races before, both classic- this was a bit of a new experience for me. With the small amount of snow left in Craftsbury, we were set to do 20 laps on the 1.5k loop. After talking with the girls, I decided that we were going to treat it like 20 victory laps in celebration of what an amazing season everyone has had this year. Right from the gun, those 20 victory laps were clearly going to hurt! Settling in with a group of 5 other strong skiers, we went around the loops hammering the big hill all 20 times, and working together to get through the deep slush. Skating has always been my weaker stroke, and especially when things start exceeding 15k. Going into the race with no huge expectations, I was pretty excited to be able to hold onto the group and finish in 9th on the day! To me, that was my own personal victory, and a great way to finish the season! With all the people out there cheering, and Craftsbury's amazing ability to keep the event possible despite the conditions- I was just so happy! Happy to be there, and happy to be done!
|Working with the pack of ladies- fasterskier photo|
The following day we all go dressed up in bright clothes, brought out the boom-box and stood at the top of the hill dancing and cheering for all 33 laps of the mens 50k. Another sweet finish to the season.
|got to have the beats when you are cheering loud!|
|The cheering squad|
|The rockin APU squad. Always kicking butt and having fun!!|
For now its catching up on the life that I put on hold for the past five months! Sleeping in my bed last night was amazing, but not as amazing as waking up and picking a new outfit out of my closet! Man did I miss it back here in AK.... although there seems to be about 30 times more snow here than I have seen all winter combined. I guess AK was hogging it all.
Thanks to Everyone and more updates from my spring adventures to come.