Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to write a note to give a quick update after the first races of my season this past weekend (12/18-19) and to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a fantastic Holiday season in general!!

As far as the weekend went, well, it was a good start! On Saturday 12/18, we had a classic sprint. For those who don’t know, sprint days have a qualifying race, where the top 30 qualifier’s move on to the quarter finals which consists of 5 heats of 6 athletes. From the quarter finals, the top 2 from each heat move on to the semifinals plus 2 “lucky losers.“ The semifinals consists of 2 heats of 6 athletes. From there, the field is whittled down some more, with the top 2 automatically moving on to the finals from each heat plus 2 more lucky losers. Then it all comes down to the final. 6 athletes, racing one short loop. (Usually 1-1.5 km and taking anywhere from 2.5-4 minutes) In the past, sprinting has not necessarily been my strong suit, and particularly the qualification part. As such, going into this day, my biggest goal was to throw down a solid qualifier. I ended up qualifying 3rd, but what’s more important is that I was a lot closer to the winner than I was last year at this same race. My percent back went from 10%, last year, to 3% this year. After some down time, we got on with the heats and needless to say, after some fast and furious rounds, I came in 3rd place in the final! I was happy with the day, and even happier knowing that my sprinting will only get better from here.

Given that the second day was a distance race, I knew I’d be more in my wheelhouse, and could have a good day. Although I will admit, I was unsure how my body would feel after a long sprint day the day before. I woke up feeling recovered and ready to go, however during the warmup I could tell that the sprint had dulled things down a bit, yet I remained optimistic for what could be a promising day.

It was a 3-lap race on a 5km loop on both manmade and natural snow. I got a decent start, and for the first lap was hovering between 3rd and 4th place, watching, and learning. As the race progressed, the field got smaller and smaller until the end of the 2nd lap and there were just 3 of us left. With about 1-2 km to go, an attack went off the front on the steepest part of the course. When the move went, I was sitting in 3rd. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get around my APU teammate Michael who was in 2nd, to try to reel in the small gap that the leader, another fellow APU teammate, Zanden, had obtained in this attack. With a sprint to the finish between Michael and myself, I ended up in 3rd behind 2 strong guys. Michael had some great results earlier in December at Period 1 Super Tour, and Zanden just returned from racing on the World Cup circuit, so I was in good company. My biggest takeaway from this race was that this particular course is very power oriented and used to be a weakness of mine. So it was great to see the improvements I’ve made in that department!

All in all, a solid weekend to get the season underway!

I just returned home to CO on Monday, to enjoy some time home for Christmas before heading to US Nationals in Utah on 12/30. For the remainder of the race season, I plan to send out content more regularly to provide links to results and live streams before the events, so that you can follow along in real time, as well as race recaps. I’ve included a link below with the results from this past weekend of racing.

Day 1: Classic Sprint

,https://ccak.snowio.com/index.php?io_view=event.results&event_id=1677

Day 2: 15-kilometer skate mass start

,https://my.raceresult.com/188584/

Wishing you the very best this Holiday Season!

Merry Christmas!

Garrett