Skiathlon

I just posted updated scores for the World Championships Fantasy League. They include fantasy results from today’s skiathlon. View the standings here. (I suggest you use the “find” keyboard shortcut to search for your name. It is Ctrl+F on Windows and Cmd+F on  Macs.) I owe a huge Thank You to my friend Scott Lacy for compiling these scores. They would not be published without him.

I was featured in The Denver Post today in an article about my recovery from injury and return to racing. Check it out here.

Today, my first race at the Falun 2015 World Championships, did not go how I hoped it would. I am confused and frustrated, but there isn’t anything to do but stay the course. I believe in the training and preparation that I have done.

Our race didn’t begin until 2:30 in the afternoon Swedish time, so we had a long morning. I got up and went for a short walk around the city center. Everything was quiet at 8 in the morning.

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I walked by the Medals Plaza.

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There were multiple security guards patrolling the premises.

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Until I saw this sign, I didn’t know that the World championships are being promoted as a climate neutral event. That’s cool!

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There are lots of temporary booths. Most of them were shuttered so early in the morning.

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I passed this cool fountain. I bet it would be nice here in Falun in the summer.

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I walked down by the river.

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It seems there are venues for some part of the World Championships on every block.

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When I got back to the hotel I was pleasantly surprised to find lox for breakfast.

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To kill the rest of the morning I watched Alpine World Cup racing on T.V. and read my book. We headed up to the venue just as the ladies’ race was starting. Here are the coaches lined up with spare poles on the course, 100 meters from the start.

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I tested skis for the race with my wax technician JP Laurin. My coach Zach Caldwell also coaches Kris Freeman, so he is splitting his time between the two of us. He’s not waxing for either of us, so he has plenty of time and it has worked really well. Here are Kris (left) and Zach.

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I got to watch a little bit of the women’s race as I warmed up. Here are the leaders about a kilometer into the race.

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Here is my teammate Sadie Bjornsen (in White). Sadie ended up in 20th place.

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Here is my teammate Kikkan Randall (also in white). Kikkan had almost as bad of a day as I did. She ended up in 31st place.

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The entire venue was sold out for today’s races.

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Here’s Kikkan again beginning her second classic lap.

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Many of the technicians were watching the races from the top of their waxing trucks.

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The number of people at these races is incredible. It reminds me of the World Championships in Oslo in 2011.

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In the women’s race, the U.S. was led by Liz Stephen in 11th place. Full women’s results are here.

My warm-up went well and I felt good heading to the start line. Here’s a look at the athletes and media in the holding pen by the start.

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All the athletes gather in the pen before the “march in” to the start line.

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As for my race, I don’t have any excuses or even reasons why it went the way it did. Literally from the starting gun I couldn’t keep up. I was off the back of a 60+ person pack less than two kilometers into the race. By the end of the classic portion I was in 51st place, 3 minutes and 42 seconds behind the leaders. The skate leg went a little better, but it wasn’t impressive. I moved up to 44th place at the finish, over 7 minutes behind World Champion Maxim Vylegzhanin. My energy and technique felt okay, I was just slow. The race was brutally hard; I felt like I’d been hit by a truck afterwards.

Here’s a picture of me racing from Jonas Birgerson.

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As I said, the only thing I know to do is to stay with my plan. I’ve got three days to recover and get ready for the 15 kilometer skate race on Wednesday.

In the race our team was led by Erik Bjornsen in 28th place. Canadian Alex Harvey earned his second medal of the championships with a third place finish. Full men’s results are here.

Here’s the view from the media mix zone after the race.

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With the afternoon race it’s been a compressed evening. I saw physical therapist Ana Robinson, went to dinner and attended the nightly team meeting. Now it’s about time for bed. When I wake up tomorrow, I’m going to move on from today’s race and focus on Wednesday.