That’s all she wrote!

Well folks, it’s nearly the end of the 2020-21 season! What a ride it was! This past weekend, I had my last races of the season, and despite the races taking place a little later than usual, the timing allowed for the Alaska based World Cup athletes to jump in with us, and yielded arguably the strongest field we have seen on US soil this season. This was an awesome opportunity for all of us who have had to stay put this winter in AK, as it gave us a real glimpse, and comparison of where we stack up against the nation’s finest. An opportunity that has eluded us for most of the season, since racing was kept at a regional level due to the virus. Saturday was a 10k classic individual start, and Sunday was a 15km skate individual start. On Saturday, I had a decent race, where the course and conditions revealed some things I need to work on. I was optimistic for Sunday’s race because I knew that it would play more to my strengths than Saturday’s race. I managed to pull out a good result, ending up 7th overall behind 4 athletes who were at World Champs, 1 who was 5th at NCAA’s earlier this season, and 1 who was an alternate for u23 World Champs this season. Needless to say, I learned a lot, scratched my last racing itch, and had fun doing it. Overall it was a successful weekend.

Season Conclusion + Some Takeaways.

I will try to keep this as concise as possible since I have previously written about many topics that I have learned about throughout the season, but here are some of the things I have been thinking about when reflecting on the 2020-21 season.

I have had many discussions with teammates regarding how to define whether or not your season was a success. Simply put, it is challenging to do when there aren’t any races that bring together a great variety of athletes from which you can make your assessments. In a normal year, we get to race a lot of different people, at many venues across the nation, whereas this year, we raced pretty much the same people at the same venues. Since all of our racing was kept to a regional level this season, this was much harder to do. The down side to this is that you never truly know how you stack up in the grand scheme of things. You might be the fastest in your little pond, but once you get to the ocean, it’s a whole other ball game. Luckily for me, in AK, there are many fast skiers to compete with. The regional restriction also didn’t bode well for furthering various abilities acquired from skiing at different venues. Fortunately, with all the skiing the Anchorage area has to offer, I was able to continually make progress throughout the winter months despite the given constraints.

I continue to learn that the foundation of success lies, not purely from the end result, but rather the progress one makes throughout the process. With that said, I am very excited about what the future has in store! For now, I intend on taking full advantage of the great skiing we still have in AK for as long as possible before heading back down to the lower 48 for my sister’s college graduation!

HUGE thanks to everyone for helping make the most of this season! Coaches, teammates, race volunteers and venues, family, friends, sponsors and supporters, one and all. I could not have done it without you!!

Until next time,

Garrett Butts