Simi Hamilton

 

Archive for November, 2014

Kuusamo Kick Off

Topic: General News

Pretty awesome conditions here in Kuusamo. Temps are mild, which isn’t always the case when you’re living on the Arctic Circle in late November, and the race trails are in great shape. Things kick off tomorrow with the first World Cup race of the year… a classic sprint. Followed by a 10/15km classic distance race on Sunday. We’re all feeling the psych! Here’s a short video I threw together today of some random clips from the week. Hope it get’s your fired up… Don’t forget to go full screen and crank those HD settings! More to come soon.

 

11.28

2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 5.29.07 AM

Outside Mag

Topic: General News

I was flipping thru my girlfriend’s Nov/Dec issue of Outside a little while back and turned the page to find my ugly mug staring back at me. Yikes! That was kind of funny. But kind of cool too. I knew that I was going to be featured in the ‘My Body’ segment of the magazine at some point, but I didn’t think it was going to be so soon considering they had just wrapped up the interview questions and photo stuff a few weeks before. Anyway, it’s pretty cool to be featured in such a high profile magazine and I’m humbled that I got the opportunity. For a while it was only available in-print, but now you can find it online here:

Outside Magazine Article

It’s -18 celsius in Muonio right now and I’m rummaging thru my closet to see what else I can put on that will keep me warm for my ski this morning. I’m really hoping that sun that’s supposed to “rise” at 10:30 will warm things up at least a half a degree. We’ll see. I thought it was funny that in the most recent USSA Facebook update from Muonio, the author (who shall remain nameless) referred to the temps as being unseasonably warm. What season are you referring to, Matt?

 

11.22

2014

Yeah, pretty nice, right?

We’re Therrrre

Topic: General News

Well, in the spirit of the newest Dumb and Dumber having just come out, I thought I’d title this post as a bit of homage to that exquisite piece of cinematic work. And although I don’t feel exactly like Harry or Lloyd having just arrived in Asssssssspen, I do feel like we’ve finally touched down in a place where we can get back to what we’re supposed to be doing this time of year.

Our 30-hour travel day across the pond from Vermont to the far reaches of Northern Finland ensued without too much drama. My bags actually got spit out of the luggage carousel this time when we landed in Rovaniemi (actual home to Santa Clause), which definitely did not happen the first two times I made this trip. It’s always a humorous affair to listen to how cold the pilot says the outside air temperature is when you land in the small city on the Arctic Circle, and then actually step outside. You’d think that since we are, in fact, professional SKI racers, we wouldn’t have a problem when it’s 25 degrees out. I mean, that should be downright balmy compared to 95% of the places we usually race in the winter. But I guess summer makes us all soft because no matter how warm it is when you step off that first race-season flight, if it’s below 50 you’re gonna be cringing like you would if you were out for a 3 hour ski in January in Russia and you forgot your wind briefs. But you never complain because you know that coldness=snow and snow=skiing and skiing is a good thing.

The conditions are pretty darn nice up here in the north country. Not the best we’ve ever seen, but what they do have open, which is about 6 or 7 km, has great coverage and the cold temps means that the classic skiing especially is top notch. Great kick, firm tracks, and as long as you don’t get tangled up with one of the 4,000 Russians doing an hour of race-pace every single session, you’re bound to have a great ski. Even though we’re pretty far up here, it always surprises me how long it is actually light(ish) during the day. I mean, I’m pretty sure you could ski to the north pole in about a day if you wanted to, but it really isn’t all that bad. By about 8 o’clock you don’t need a headlamp to walk to breakfast, and as long as you leave lunch to walk home by about 1:30, you still don’t need a headlamp! Cool! I actually really dig those afternoon skis under the lights when it’s pitch black at 3 p.m. You feel like you’re nuking when in reality you’re probably going slower than that first race you did as an 11 year old.

We’ll be here through the weekend, just getting some final quality training in, before we make the windy 4 hour drive to Kuusamo for the World Cup kickoff party. Then it’s game on until mid-March. So check back in for some more reports from the way way out there. Because I may run into a bear. Or eat a snowshoe hair.

Landing in Newark, we flew right over a Giant's game. They looked small. They didn't look Giant.

 

Getting caught up with life in Rovaniemi... "Ahhh, we haven't seen our Instagram feeds for, like, an hour!" Just kidding. I took this pic on my phone. Right after I had checked my Instagram feed.

 

Noon, twilight ski. Cold here, but the kind of cold that makes you feel good and wakes you up like a strong cup of coffee.

Yeah, pretty nice, right?

11.19

2014

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