Great results by Junior/U23 Team in Sweden and Germany

As the Olympics come to a close the junior/U23 team is wrapping up their European racing season with successful racing in Sweden and Germany. Anna Trnka, Casey Wright and Ashleigh Spittle achieved top Tjejvasa results in Sweden whilst Nick Montgomery achieved a career best classic result in an OPA Cup in Oberwiesenthal, Germany. Continue reading

The Railway Bus

Ash Spittle

I’m writing this blog from the train as we make the trip from Östersund down to Mora. I’ve done a lot of train travel over the years and I can say that this is up there with the most awesome trains I’ve ever been on. But more on that later…

The last few days in Östersund have been lovely with lots of sunshine, slightly warmer temperatures and good snow. Yesterday Casey, Anna and I went for a ski with Fi Hughes from Great Britain and it was one of those days where the tracks are so fast and the company is so good you feel like you could go all day. We didn’t go all day of course, as we had to pack up our apartment at Camp Sodergren and get ready to travel. There’s been lots of Olympic watching happening, which has been fabulous, and Casey and I even passed on…

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Huckleberry Finn and St Paul

Paul Kovacs. Elite Cross-Country Skier

The adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer… Please, they got to have a scenic boat ride for a few weeks down the Mississippi, a raging river as fierce as a draining bathtub! I feel like a kitten loose on a Fijian boat cruise sounds more ferocious! So here I stood one afternoon gazing out at the giant river. Admittedly the river was frozen solid so to compare current speeds is a little loose and the story is set a thousand miles south but still, I feel I have some authority on the matter, besides I’ve even driven over the river! I will say this. If old mate Huck’ did that trip up further north he would be a frozen popsicle in overalls.

The house we were in had two friendly cats who found my bags extremely comfortable! The house we were in had two friendly cats (Oscar and Fat Luey) who found my bags extremely comfortable! Thanks to the Luby family for hosting us!

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Cutting to the chase…

Aimee Watson

Ok, so I know I haven’t written anything for a long time but for a while there it was race after race, weekend after weekend. Since I last posted I’ve been to Davos (Switzerland), Santa Caterina (Italy), Davos again, Gressoney Saint Jeant (Italy), Campra (Switzerland), Davos again, Saalfelden (Austria), Chamonix-Mt Blanc (France), Leysin (Switzerland) and back to Davos again.  It definitely wasn’t easy going into every weekend to race but given that I was so close to qualifying for Sochi and no FIS points from last season were counting towards my average I had little choice. Hindsight might tell me to try to pace myself a bit better next time – picking and choosing races rather than an all out approach- but nothing else has been more cemented in my mind this season than the fact that FIS points are unpredictable. Hence I went for the mathematical approach – increased…

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Why Germans Ski Fast

Half an Adventure

Moonrise near the race trails Moonrise near the race trails

Since my last blog post I’ve been training (and learning some German) in Oberstdorf, a town in the Allgäu region of Bavaria, in Southern Germany. I’m lucky enough to be training with members of the German Ski Team, and while I’m here I’m trying to work out what makes them so fast (the women’s relay team just came third in the Olympics!). Please note this is one perspective so not everything I say will be true everywhere. Anyway, to my speculations:

  • Talent Pool: One important ingredient in having a successful skiing nation is that there are lots of people who give skiing a go at least a few times when they are young, so they can get keen and start training. It is commonly remarked that Norway has 5 million cross-country skiers, which is apparently almost their whole population, and while Germany lacks the sheer…

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Life in Sweden

Ash Spittle

I’ve been thinking for a while that it’s about time I write a blog, then I realised I’ve been thinking this for about 2 weeks now without actually doing it… I feel like someone trying to start living a healthy lifestyle who buys a pair of runners and goes to bed every night saying “I’ll go running tomorrow” but never actually does. So this morning (this evening) I’m going to lace up the sneakers and go for a run (write a blog)!

Not a whole lot has been happening here in Sweden in the last little while; we’ve settled into a nice routine of training, cooking, cleaning (sometimes) and resting, so I haven’t felt the need to report on anything new and different. When in another country however, even day to day chores can be done a little differently. Here’s a short photo journal about one chore that I feel…

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Anna 61st, Xanthea 63rd and Casey 65th in final World Juniors Race

Anna Trnka was the fastest Australian in the 5km classic on the last day of individual competition at World Junior Championships. Xanthea Dewez finished 8 seconds and two places behind Anna with Casey Wright another two places behind Xanthea. Continue reading

Nick Montgomery only AUS starter and 61st in World U23 Skiathlon

Nick Montgomery achieved his best result of the championships by finishing 61st in the 30km Skiathlon at the World U23 Championships. Continue reading

Xanthea Dewez returns to form in World Junior Skiathlon

Xanthea Dewez posted her best result of the season so far to finish 60th in Skiathlon at World Junior Championships. Anna Trnka and Casey Wright also raced well to finish 61st and 62nd out of a field of seventy one. Continue reading

Climbing an Enormous Mountain (U23 Champs race report)

Half an Adventure

When I tell the uninitiated that I do cross country skiing, I get two general responses. The first is ‘is that the one with the guns’ (answer: no it isn’t) and the second is, ‘wow, that’s the one where you ski uphill yeah? That must be so difficult!’ (answer: sort of). There’s no question that my sport is a difficult one, and it is true that most of our effort is devoted to going uphill, or in the case of this past week’s races, climbing an enormous mountain. Not only does the sport involve elevation gains during a race that can be enough to make you cry, but striving to get to the level you want to be involves years of hard slog, much like the ascent of an Alpine or Himalayan peak. This past week has taught me that I’m nowhere near the top of my enormous mountain, but…

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