The Ski Mountaineering World Championships were in Claut, Italy last week Fe bruary 18-25. It was a full on varied week of racing. The Sprint was postponed until Wednesday so our first race was the Teams race on Saturday.
Teams: Sunday- 2400 meters and 30 km long! (3:30 racing) The organizers did what they could with the weather and created a long, gnarly course in full Claut style- total time over 3 hours. Humps and bumps to make the skinning extra challenging and to make sure you have good skins. Mud, moss and dirt too. I raced with Janelle Smiley, a strong athlete from Colorado.
She had her first taste of racing in the Alps and did a great job! We both were feeling the heavy snow on the descents. It is not often that you race with someone you don’t know, but we did our best and worked well together helping each other out when and where we could. My skis were lightning fast for the last descent of 1380 meters! We finished 8th overall, a great team result.
Vertical: I sat out on this race, as I wanted to save some juice for the remainder races. And cheered from the sidelines. The US crew did a great effort here on this race, Janelle placing in the top 10. I was working on RECOVERY! Got the Sport Legs and the Nuuns, and the Recoverite!
Sprints: Wednesday- The Sprint was a great day! A great Ambience! Sunshine and cheering! I love this event. I qualified with the 8th fastest time. In the semi’s I messed up a transition with skis on and lost time, causing me not to make the finals. I still did 3 rounds of hard sprinting, 3-4 minutes. I had a few minutes of glory being in front of the best at the start. A lot happens in those few minutes. You have to be on your game and not let up. Here is a cool video with the sprints.
The Individual Race: Thursday- 1200 meters. Great day! Sunshine, a few fun technical spots but not as technical as I love. Lots of flats on tracks so not so interesting I had a good race and gained stamina on each hill, trying hard not to start too fast. I did not feel like I was quite at my peak so hopefully will come. I passed a handful of girls on the last 1380 meters of downhill!
The Team Relays: Friday-Another super fun day! Exciting Teams relays. I started first for out team and had a good start, ahead of the best, but could not hold on. Jari and Janelle did a great job in there rounds too! We finished in good standing.
Homeward Bound: On the 7-hour drive returning home, I reflected on the week, a week of hard racing at a very high level of competition. I finished 15th overall. For me, as my husband says, it is all about putting the puzzle together. There are so many pieces that help this puzzle go together: family, friends, support network, training, racing, sponsors, stumbling blocks, sickness, working, care of gear, health and state of mind. I would like to say a huge thanks to all of you who helped make this week happen. For me it is about the process of figuring out how these pieces mesh together.
I returned home with a smile, knowing I had given it my all with a happy heart. Soon I was home to celebrate Anders 5th birthday, and to keep striving to balance it all with GRACE.
A cool video by Team Portugal-Nuno on the Sprints:
Ski Mountaineering World Championships Photos – Claut 2011 from cxnxcxnx on Vimeo.
More Photos from Worlds:
All the results from the races can be found here:
The Latest Ranking and News from the International Ski Mountaineering Federation
Some Blogs by other Worlds Competitors:
Luke Nelson- USA La Sportiva Athlete