Over the Christmas break, my focus remained on training as the Canadian World Junior trial races approached. As mentioned in a previous post, these races were held in Soldier Hollow, near Park City, Utah. Christmas consisted of lots of skiing at Telemark, in my opinion, the best place you could ski!
To prepare for the altitude of the race venue in Utah, the team skied at both Big White and Nickel Plate (near Apex). Nickel Plate hosted a club race on New Year’s Eve, this was a good opportunity to race at altitude, about 2000 meters. For me the race went well, but it was a noticeable change from workouts at Telemark!
On the 3rd of January, the BC Team traveled as a group to Utah to continue preparing for the US National Champs/Canadian Trial races. As a team, we stayed at a huge house on the outskirts of the Park City area. My first intensity session at Soldier Hollow was difficult after a day of travel and easy skiing, I blew up on my last effort! Elevation certainly has an affect on ones body.
Racing started on Saturday the 7th of January and continued through to the 10th. The first race on the menu was the 15km skate, probably my favourite race. This race went very well as I placed second in the U20 men’s category and 30th overall, being the top Canadian U20 finisher I was automatically selected for World Junior Championships. Racing continued the following day with classic sprints where I did not ski as well as I had hoped, however I did make it through to the U20 semi-finals. The last race of US Nationals was a 10km classic for U20 men. There was a field of 190 skiers starting this race, causing a hectic start for some of the lower ranked racers! (Lucky I was on the front row!). This was a tough race and I managed to ski to a 3rd place finish.
I am excited to race back in Utah for the World Junior Champs, but first I’m off to Whistler to race the first two days of Western Canadian Championships, followed by a training camp in Canmore with the rest of Canada’s Junior Team. My teammate Thomas skied himself to a great final race as well, he was second Canadian U23 in his 30km classic, and is now an alternate for Team Canada at Worlds. Good for Telemark!
I would like to thank the numerous people who have also contributed to my “go fund me” campaign. Without this help I would not be in the position I am today.