Muonio Town

I took a trip into the town of Muonio yesterday with my teammates Liz Stephen (left below) and Holly Brooks. Town is about 3 miles away from the ski hill where we are staying.

It was a beautiful sunset at 2 p.m. We went to the local ski shop and met the owner, Juhani. He is a friend of Dave Knoop from Park City, Utah. Dave is the head of the National Nordic Foundation. Juhani was incredibly friendly and generous. He gave each of us pocket knives inscribed with the name of his shop.

I watched a trash truck emptying a dumpster on a walk yesterday. It pulled a giant bag out of the can that was at least three times as long as the can itself:

We got limited amounts of blue ski yesterday.

Kris Freeman got into “Movember” for about three hours before he had to shave it off because he “couldn’t look at (himself) in the mirror.”

Our girls team, including Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (World Champion from Finland) took a picture with their bracelets showing support for Mary Robicheaux, a skier from Alaska who got hit by a car while biking this summer:

Today is the first race of the season for many of my teammates, a classic sprint race. On the men’s side, Andy Newell won the qualifying this morning and Simi Hamilton was ninth. On the women’s side, Ida Sargent was fifth and Jessie Diggins was thirtieth. All four athletes will ski the heats this afternoon. When results are posted, they will be at the Ski Muonio website.

I have my first race of the year tomorrow, a 10km classic race. I am not feeling very confident because it’s been so long since I did a real race. I am focusing on execution which includes skiing with good technique and starting the race under control. A good result will probably be a top-20 finish.