Simi Hamilton

 

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Topic: General News

 

After an up and down first WC period in Europe, I’m back in Aspen making the most of the comforts of home. After a few weeks in northern Finland and Sweden, we chase the sun down to central Europe and had some great racing in Germany and Switzerland. Sprinting in Dusseldorf was a wild experience. The course is laid out literally right above the Rhine in the downtown streets, and the WC hotel is part of a Bundasliga 2 soccer stadium (photo below). Needless to say, it was a very new and cool experience. For me personally, the races weren’t great, but we had some good team performances, highlighted by Kikkan’s 2nd place.  The 2 lap course is tricky… pacing is a key factor. It is entirely flat, so recovery is hard to come by. For the most part, if you try to ski the 3:30 qualifier like you would a normal skate sprint, you’ll most likely end up losing quite a bit of time in the last 500 m. because you’re so blown out from the first 2/3. Believe me, it’s true, I know from experience. But Andy and I rolled into the team Sprint on that Sunday renewed and with a fresh confidence (neither of us had good days on the individual day). Conditions were way better than the previous day- hard and fast snow made for more sprint-like conditions. Our semi heat was going really well; our heat was significantly faster than the previous heat, and we maintained a great position in the lead pack for 5 of the 6 legs. With 600 meters left on my last lap before tagging Andy for his last lap, a German made what I thought to be a very questionable move as he cut right in front of me skied over both of my skies, sending me toppling into the slush and watching as the front pack (which I had been in) skied away toward the exchange. But hey, that’s ski racing. Sometimes things don’t work out in your favor, and it sucks. 

On Monday, I put the not-so-great weekend of racing behind me and we headed to Davos to meet up with the rest of the team. Besides getting a massive dump of 50+ cm right before the distance race, training went really well all week. My leg was feeling the best it had been feeling since I injured it in October, and I was no longer hesitant to really put it to the test during skate workouts. 

It was fun watching the crew race the tough 10/15 km on Saturday. No one had a truly stellar day, but it was still awesome watching everyone hang tough through the crazy conditions. Sunday’s sprint yielded really great conditions, and the sun even blessed us with its presence for most of the day. My qualifier went well- I felt strong, relaxed, and efficient and was pretty psyched when I saw that I skied to 11th. I wasn’t particularly psyched with how my heat ended up going, but I learned some really good things that I will undoubtedly be applying to the next WC heat I ski.

Now home for a couple weeks before jumping back on a plane and heading out to Rumford nationals. Check back in for an update from Aspen, where it’s currently dumping!

Davos!

 

12.15

2010

Alive and kicking in Kuusamo

Topic: General News

Hey guys. Sorry about being MIA for a little while there. Our internet in Sweden decided to quit working after a day use, so I was cut off from the electronic world there for about a week. Being in Gallivare, SWE was pretty cool, and very cold. It was pretty hard being there and not putting on a bib for the WC races, but my IT band recovery was a priority, and the rec trails there were perfect for long double poles. Besides, it was pretty awesome watching the team throw down on those trails. 

A day of driving got us from Gallivare back over to eastern Finland to a little ski resort called Ruka, about 30 km north of Kuusamo. It’s been cold here, and there isn’t a ton of snow, but they’ve done a great job with snowmaking and living/skiing conditions are great. I do have to say, the 6 minute walk to breakfast in the morning is a little rough when it’s -20 C outside, but I guess there’s a reason that we’re winter athletes in one of the toughest sports in the world. We’re gearing up for a “mini-tour” this weekend: classic sprint on Friday, 10 km classic on Saturday, and a 15 km skate to finish it off on Sunday. With my leg feeling pretty darn close to 100%, I’ll be racing the classic sprint and the 10 km. The courses are hilly, but super fun with some wicked fast downhills and super technical corners. It’ll be a cool sprint cause it’s not super long, but will take some smart pacing as there are a couple monster climbs. Yeehaw. I’m feeling charged and ready to roll, and am super fired up for not only this weekend but for the two weekends of sprinting in central Europe to follow (and they’re skate sprints!). I’ll post this weekend with some race photos, but until then, here’s some from some cold afternoon skis in Gallivare.

 

11.24

2010

Muonio, FIN

Topic: General News

Arrived here on Monday night after a long day of breathing recycled air and eating airplane pasta and rolls. Pretty sweet scene here. There’s a ton of skiers out on the trails at any given time of the short day. And since all 20 km are lit, there’s even some athletes that venture out during the “night” (which starts at 4 p.m. and ends at 9 a.m.). Skate sprint coming up on Friday, followed by a 10 km classic Saturday, and a 10 km skate Sunday. Check back for a race post on the weekend. 

11:30 a.m. in Northern Finland. And yes, it’s as cold as it looks.

 

Lots of windmills (and Russians) around these parts

 

11.10

2010

Skiing in Oct!

Topic: General News

Every couple years I get to brag that I skied in October. But it’s only about every 5 years that I get to brag I skied really good conditions in October. Our friends at the Blaine County Rec District have been kind enough to roll a sweet trail down from Galena. They’ve been getting out a couple times every day since the snow started flying on Saturday night, and there’s a super nice base set up. There’s even a really nice classic track in most places along the Harriman. I’m really hoping that when I head home early next week, someone will be grooming near Aspen. If I have to strap the rollerskis back on, I’ll do it, but I won’t be happy about it. Photos from Monday…

The team skiing in a classic track along the Harriman. They’ve been setting a 

classic track for the last two days. It has been awesome

 

Hot damn. 

 

 

10.27

2010

LP Update Video

Topic: General News

 

 

10.15

2010

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