We all rose out of our beds at 7am to go for a very hectic and tiring run (1k) to prepare us for todays self-discovering 10km duathlon race (5km classic and 5km skate) - the group began to feel a few nerves as the start line drew nearer! Expectations were not fulfilled to the highest quality when it came to warming up before the race (although we are spending this next week trying to improve this!). Firstly, the race was a mass start, and consisted of three diabolical hills and a very needed downhill section.
Everyone’s changeovers from classic to skate were performed to perfection, due to our long and hard practice sessions for the last two days. Everyone achieved to their highest potential of racing skills, although we could have improved our technical technique! We were all pleasantly pleased with ourselves for completing the 10k duathlon, and were extremely content with the traditional complementary local cuisine of chilli and spuds provided afterwards. After our hard efforts on the track we were rewarded with another afternoon 30-minute jog. We all slept like a like log that night, and were pumped for the next day ahead.
We arose from our slumber with a slight hangover from the dehydration of our race efforts yesterday. Our morning session of skiing consisted of useful classic technical advice from Ewan and JC. Following this we got into groups of three or four people with similar skiing abilities. Our task was to complete a slow paced but difficult uphill long distance ski (LSD) for 1½ hours. Although it was an easier day, we still slept well after dinner!
Getting up earlier than usual and forgoing the usual morning run, the group split up and half went and did intervals with the Sugar Bowl Academy whilst the other group did a classic technic session with Glen Jobbe (an Olympic skier/coach). After the interval session, the first group skiid at Royal Gorge, which had a variety of different Cross Country ski trails, and was perfect for our afternoon training session. The temperature was around 5°C - which was extremely hot compared to our usual -6 skiing conditions. We all enjoyed our session at Royal Gorge and our fitness level increased immensely. Thanks to JC Ronice and Ewan for the coaching and putting up with us for the past week, as well as Glenn – we are having a great time, and are getting really tired!