Racing team updates

 Nationals in Thunder Bay, the Lappe Experience. March 7 to 18.

Marsha Lane, Nicholas Poole, Nathan Greer, and Shaylynn Loewen prepared all summer, fall, and winter to take a shot at the biggest and longest event of the year, 2018  Nationals. Attendance was over 600 skiers from all over the place, including Europe, and the US. We met some former Georgian Nordic skiers who are still in the game, Matjaz Cigler now lives in Edmonton attending the U of Alberta, Malcolm and Noah Thompson, both coached by big thunder, and Graham Ritchie who is skiing with the National Development center in Thunder Bay.

Team sprints, followed by distance races and one 1200m skate sprint, including training days kept us extremely busy. Between picking the better pair of skis for each, reading the courses by skiing them repeatedly, staying highly motivated and recovering well from each race is a process that is planned for early in May. The actuall doing of all those things requires feeling pumped and and extreme willingness to put all of 10 months of training on the line. Heather Lane supported us all the way, getting supplies, all the cooking and shuttling the athletes to and from the venue, basically on demand. Shaylynn's dad supplied his suburban, it was great for getting all our equipment to the site and back home. 

team sprints clip Shay jump into exchange zone

Marsha and Shaylynn in the team sprints, amazing risk taking and the fact Marsha was leading out of the gate as first of the two. Shay had her work cut out for her to keep the girls in the mid pack. Well done in an extremely competitive pack of skiers. Nick and Nathan had to put it all out there for the first ever experience to be classic skiing at this pace, including a strong double pole, shown here by Nick. 

team sprints clip

Trail conditions were rock solid tracks, carved  straight and using the best line on the course, cold mornings, sunny and mild during the day. Well, simply put, perfect conditions.

Shaylynn fire in boots classic at NationalsShaylynn fire in boots classic at Nationals

Classic distance races, 5k for Marsha and Shay, 10k for the boys.

5k and 10k classic

Sprints were up next, we are not bad in skating, but can we crack into top 30 at Nationals? Not qualifying is extremely difficult to handle, racing for less than 4 minutes, done for the day? Is that what we want? Yes, it is. We do learn about taking risks, our skiers learn to deal with adverse conditions. Only Shay qualifies, Nick gets within 4 seconds. Tough? Yeah, so what.

Skate sprints video

Final race of the event. Classic distance race. Nick and Nathan were given feeds halfway around the 15k course, we did not practice that. It worked and made their race better. Mission accomplished. Classic striding up a hill, a steep hill, not easy to do. You would have to trust your kick, a skill you can learn to acquire. If you stick to the process and make the ski stick for more kick. Marsha and Shay on their way up during their 7.5k distance race.

nathan feednathan feed

Shay cant wait to race 20k and longer, she has the engine to do that. We wish her all the best in her years to come. She was very brave to trust our process all along, the time has come for her, next step. Here she is making contact with Hannah Mehain, Jr National team skier from Kelowna, BC. 

 Shaylynn and Hannah MehainShaylynn and Hannah Mehain

 

Some of the highlights of the races.

Nationals 2018 highlights video

 

The team.  Heather, Shaylynn, Nathan, Nick, and Marsha

Nationals team on stopover Devon Kershaw Trail Windy LakeNationals team on stopover Devon Kershaw Trail Windy Lake

 

Breakfast at the HoitoBreakfast at the Hoito

So ya, Thunder Bay. The Finnish labor club, the Hoito restaurant, all one place. You have to go there if you want to understand Thunder Bay. Our team is joined here by a couple skiers from other clubs, its about friendship and pancakes. We talk a lot about next year, about where all of this is going. I don't know yet, we shall see.

 

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Nick and Shay ready for Nationals.jpgNick and Shay ready for Nationals.jpg