As I leave sunny Andorra and head for snowy Chamonix I look around at this beautiful countryside here which I am so fortunate to have had a chance to explore. What I love most about racing in other countries is it gives me a real chance to experience a country more than in the eyes of a tourist.
This goes back to some of my earlier jobs in life which allowed me to work abroad, teaching English in China, working in Africa as an outdoor educator and even mountaineering in South America. I feel very fortunate to have had these experiences as a young professional. Surely they have enriched who I am today and given me a global perspective.
Racing in another country allows one to not only take in the land while racing but also meet the people locally with first hand flavor.
On the world cup ski mountaineering circuit it is a fairly small group of athletes( 40 men and 20 women) from a variety of countries – mostly alpine nations. It is nice to say hello again and meet new people to expand horizons even further. The locals in Andorra were welcoming, enthusiastic and put on a great weekend of racing. It amazes me how this sport grows and grows each year worldwide. With that the levels get higher and higher each year.
The World Championships were held in Andorra two years ago and I was lucky enough to go. This weekend, the Font Blanca, was the kick off weekend of the ski mountaineering world cup with a vertical race on saturday and the individual race on sunday. The vertical, not my favorite event but a good training for me, and I managed to hold my own finishing 12th overall behind some real climbing specialists, and in the 80th percentile behind the winner. I had no idea I had placed 2nd in my new age category!
The individual race was really what I was looking forward to. It was a technical course on profile with 1380 meters of ascent, 4 climbs , with 2 boot crampon sections and some fun couloirs to descend.
For me, all of my favorite things in ski mountaineering. I was pleased with how I felt, each climb a little stronger, trying to stay consistent and focussed throughout the course. Hammer Nutrition Heed provided me with consistent energy throughout, a perfect energy for a race just under 2 hours.
I ended up with a personal best for me with a time in the 80th percentile of the winner and an overall 9th place out of a very strong field of women. Results can be found here.
Staying consistent and focussed outside of the race is equally, it not more important. All parents know that this applies to raising children but also to oneself in following a path or a dream.
So,now it’s back home to my boys who keep me motivated on and off the race course, keep me focused on being the best mom I can be, keep me consistent with what is important and keep my dreams alive!