Simi Hamilton



Topic: General News

It’s funny; when you haven’t been in touch with truly cold weather for a while, you completely forget what it’s like. At -25°C your bones move slower. Any hair that finds its way out from under your hat immediately turns grey with a thin coat of rime. Your nose and cheeks, left out to take the brunt of the wind chill when you’re tucking a hill at 60 km/h, make their way down the color spectrum… from pink to red to crimson red and then eventually to white. You feel 10 years older with stiffness from the layers on layers of long underwear underneath your training jacket and pants. And then there’s the all to familiar high-pitched squeak of frigid snow as it tries to move underneath your ski bases.

I guess when you put it in a list, it certainly sounds a little bit miserable. But there’s a reason why we’re cross country ski athletes… we’re all a little off our rockers, we put ourselves thru days, weeks, months, and eventually years of this type of torture, and we love it.

We’ll leave Rybinsk, Russia tomorrow morning a little bit frostbitten, maybe a little lighter from all the calories burned trying to keep our bodies warm, but pretty darn happy with how the last World Cup weekend went before our long pre-World Championship break. The result highlight of the three-race series came on Friday with Liz Stephen’s 2nd place in the women’s 10 km skate race. Joining her in the points (top-30) were SMS T2’s Jessie Diggins (12th) and Rosie Brennan in 13th. Saturday’s skate sprint saw all four of us SMS T2’s in the points with Jessie skiing some extremely fast heats and coming in 5th, Sophie Caldwell bringing home 7th, Andy Newell locking down 22nd, and yours truly finishing 17th on the day. In today’s 15 km duathlon, we had 4 girls scoring points with Jessie again leading the charge in 5th (and Liz nailing her second top-10 of the weekend in 7th. We’ll carry this momentum into a great training block in Davos, Switzerland we’re we’ll be for 2+ weeks before we head north to Scandinavia to begin the final countdown to World Champs. Sunshine, warm temps, saunas on cold nights, and maybe a powder day or two on the alpine hill will greet us when we get to Davos, which will be pretty darn nice, but I, personally will surely miss the atmosphere and crazy nuances of Russia that make a ski racers life adventurous, exotic, and exhilarating. I can’t wait to come back here soon, duffel bag packed with plenty of wind briefs, hand warmers, thick Buffs, and chocolate bars for those really cold days. Thanks for checking in and keep up the great cheering from back home.

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