Simi Hamilton

 

Archive for January, 2016

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It’s almost February?!?!

Topic: General News

Yikes… that went by fast. I won’t lie, it was one of my goals this season to keep my blog updated more frequently. Oops. Apologies. But hopefully you’ve been getting small glimpses of where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and all those other programs the kids like to use these days. And I don’t want my negligence to keep my blog updated to be seen as a sign that I haven’t been engaged with this sport, with long days on the road, with the white-out training sessions, and with the all of the races (the great ones and the not-s0-great ones). It’s been an amazing season, not only for myself but especially for many of my teammates, and we’re all still super fired up for two more months of it. That I can ensure you. So, without dwelling too much on the past (recounting races, telling you about ANOTHER thanksgiving dinner in Finland sans turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes, or uploading photos of yet more toenails that are going to fall off because of my race boots), I’ll jump right in to what we’re up to RIGHT NOW.

This is always a nice week during the season. For most of our European competitors, the last weekend in January marks the point when they all go home to race their national championships, giving us a bit of a reprieve from the constant weekly chaos of race, travel, train, train, train, train, race, travel, train, train, train, and so on). With a bit of a break (the word bit is definitely emphasized here with our next sprint on Wednesday in Drammen, Norway), we always find a great place to train and sleep and eat great food and unwind a little bit. It’s a long season, so if you don’t do a good job of making the most of these short chunks of time during which you can actually get back to putting in some kilometers and taking the occasional sauna, you’re not gonna last through late March. So we chose to come to Sjusjøen, Norway this year for this “mini training camp.” We’ll just say that training in Sjusjøen is like going to the north shore to surf. It’s the place. You could literally leave your back door, ski until the snow melts in May, and you’d never have to ski the same trail twice. What is truly special about this place, though, is the culture of skiing here and witnessing how important this pastime is to the Norwegians. I went on a long solo over-distance ski a few days ago, and had to have seen at least three hundred people. From grandparents shuffling along on wooden skis to teenagers that would probably score World Cup points if they were given the chance at the big show. It’s unreal, and it reminds you that racing is just a small part of this amazing thing we are so lucky to be a part of.

Here’s a photo I enticed a sweet old lady to take of me during that long ski the other day. I was fairly psyched to be out there, if you can’t tell.

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I skied one heck of a great loop. A huge storm had just rolled through the previous night, and the one connector trail that I had to take to get somewhat close to home hadn’t been groomed yet that day. So I succeeded in actually getting some backcountry touring done during the season when I had to break trail for 6 km through 10 inches of powder coated with a stiff wind crust. Fun fun fun, maybe the type 2 kind (skinny skis don’t float as well as my touring skis). Here’s a google map of the loop I skied, which totaled about 50 km and 3 hours of smiles and giddy excitement.

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Living right on the ski trails this week has given us ample opportunity to test out our headlamps during sunset cruises (which, inevitably turn into awesome night skis through the rolling conifer forests). Here’s Soph skiing away from the setting sun at the start of our ski this afternoon.

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And a shot of the endless amazing terrain around here:

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We’ll spend a couple more days here in god’s country before heading south towards Oslo on Monday. On Wednesday we’ll race the classic technique (and historically classic race) sprint in Drammen, about 45 minutes down the Fjord from Oslo. The race kicks off our Scandinavian race tour (Holmenkollen next weekend, Stockholm/Falun, SWE the next weekend, and then Lahti, FIN the final weekend) before we jump on a plane for home to start preparing for our Canadian World Cup tour. It should be a great final few weeks of racing here in Europe, so stay posted for race recaps, photos, and more stories from the road.

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2016

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