Western Championships team reports, blog entries & YouTube vids!

The first 2 days…

Hello from the lovely city of Grande Prairie.
Yesterday we arrived around noon and squeezed ourselves and our gear (no exaggeration) into our rental vans and headed to the Nordic centre. All of the athletes pre-skied their course with Corey who imparted vital race information to them, comments on the course were favorable and the kids are excited and optimistic about their races. The weather here is balmy which makes us wonder whether we are actually in Northern Alberta, seeing all the rig workers in our hotel and all of the pick up trucks on the roads quickly brings us back to reality.

Aside from the toilet in the girls suite over flowing this morning, things are going really well and the kids are in great spirits, Alan is teaching the girls the finer points of plunging a toilet.
This morning, Alex Druwe is racing in the Sprints, all of our other athletes are racing a 2.5km prologue which starts after 2PM, results should be posted on zone 4 this evening.
Talented film makers Elora and Sean have been chronicling our adventures, check it out: http://crossingtheredriver.blogspot.ca/

Day 3

Today the kids raced their classic distance races. The wax tech/coaches were faced with the difficult task of determining which combination of waxes would work best for this icy hilly course. Numerous wax combinations were tried, with frustrating results and Corey, Megan and Alan worked feverishly amidst the pressure of time and lack of wax options. We even resorted to spying on other teams to try and obtain waxing enlightenment (okay, well I did). In spite of this very frustrating situation, the athletes handled it with understanding, patience and grace. Their races didn’t go as they had hoped but their attitudes were definate winners.

Watching the races, we saw that we weren’t the only team that had waxing troubles, in fact, there were very few teams that did get it right. After the races, the coaches took the opportunity to talk with a National Development coach about waxing for these conditions. They learned alot and found out they had been on the right track but were limited by resources and time.

The kids took today in stride and we spent the evening doing alot of laughing. They are all looking forward to their skate races tomorrow.It will be a hectic day, Alex, our “veteran” is the first to race and has a 30km ahead of him. This means he will have the pleasure of doing 6 laps of the gruelling 5km course. The rest race a bit later in the morning, then it will be a rush to the airport with all of our gear. I am told another video installment is in the works so stay tuned for that 🙂

Personally, I am really excited about the future of high performance skiing in Manitoba.The coaching/waxing team has been incredible and thorough in every way. Our athletes have been great and I have enjoyed spending time with each one of them, they are a fantastic group of kids, it has been an immense pleasure to manage this team.

See you tomorrow!
Pauline

Results posted on Zone4.ca and Races Outside Manitoba.