The end of the season had rolled its way in …But I was still stuck waiting for that sigh of relief to really settle itself. That feeling of absolute done-ness. What better way to really ring in the end of the season than Spring Series? So that was it! I proclaimed to the sliders… I was going to Vermont. Going to celebrate with “my own kind”.
Thanks to Elizabeth Simak of F.A.S.T Performance Racing for these awesome pictures!
I was going to cheer, and dance, and dance and cheer… and then when everyone was tired of dancing and cheering we would dance and cheer a little more. We would light things on fire (oh yes!!! … figuratively and literally) …and the season would be truely, utterly, and soulfully done.
I made it in time to watch the men race a 50k… on a 1.5km loop. Yes…. 33 loops! I struggled to keep track of which lap they were on… how were these boys not getting dizzy? Or bored?! (this coming from a biathlete, the kings and queens of skiing in circles) The men put on an incredibly good show. There was a pretty solid pack for the first half of the race before they started to get dropped off the back. Cramps, fatigue, crashes… I did my best to cheer and not totally mess up anyone’s feeds. Check! The best part? Getting to watch my team mate Russell ski right up there with the “big scary cross country ski dogs”. He finished 7th, but man was it fun to watch him take pulls at the front and chase down a few early breaks!
The men starting!
Yum? Coke Feeds!
Packing it up! (That’s Russell rocking the MWSC suit on the left! BAM!)
After the race the Craftsbury Ski Center transformed into a “thee” cross country skiing hangout. People sipped beverages, pizzas went into the big outdoor pizza oven, barbecue was there for the taking. A little wiffleball, a little bluegrass, a little dancing… and then an impressively large bonfire!
It was fun. Fun to see people I haven’t seen in well… two years! I didn’t realize switching to biathlon has made me something of a recluse… Getting to see all these athletes I had gotten to know over the years on the cross country circuit was awesome. Getting to see them all in one place (albeit slightly disorienting) was even better!
Oh what’s that? The weekend isn’t over? Nope… the next morning after emerging from my cot in the corner we all donned our outfits of choice (WonderGirl all the way) we headed back over to the Nordic Center to set up for Fast and Female!
This was my second Fast and Female event of the year, and I’m incredibly grateful to get to be an ambassador for such an amazing organization. We had all the big hitters there including Chandra Crawford and Kikkan Randall. Watching 120 girls in total awe is pretty incredible. Heck I was so into the little Q&A sesh that when one of the organizers was handing out posters to all the girls she handed me one before realizing I was in fact not 12… oops!
We were there to celebrate girls in sports, and inspire these young athletes to keep going… because well… skiing is fun!
One of my favorite quotes was one of the ambassadors explaining to the girls why they were so lucky… she said, “We didn’t have Fast and Female when I was your age. You guys get to celebrate my three favorite things… Pink, Skiing, and Dancing!!!! How cool is that!?” I couldn’t agree more!
We shared our own stories about how skiing came into our lives, we got in (effectively) our last ski of the year, and danced and danced some more! And then… we finally called it a day. Naps were in our futures, that and journeys to our separate parts of the country.
It was an incredible weekend, and an incredible way to end the season… Thanks to everyone in Vermont for letting me come and close the season off right! It was an absolute blast!