Sochi Skiathlon

Today was the 30km Skiathlon (15km classic, change equipment, 15km skate) here in Sochi, Russia. First, I am super impressed with my teammate Liz Stephen who had her first top-10 in a World Cup today with an 8th place finish in the Women’s 15km race.

My race was an improvement over the last World Cups in France. I didn’t have a very good start. I had a great seed. I started bib number 19 but after some bad lane choices and a tangle with a fellow competitor I was back in the mid-50s after two kilometers. I went outside the tracks and took the direct line through a corner by skiing on the skate course (which is within the rules) and moved back into the top 20. After that the entire race was a struggle to hang on to the people around me. I had a good first lap of skate, but I was struggling up the long hill on the course. Climbing is generally my strong point. I am encouraged that I was skiing the flats and downs well. I know the climbing will be good when my energy is good. I finished in 26th place, but I feel that I am on track to be much better at the World Championships.

After yesterday’s sprint race I went down the gondola with Liz to run on some dry pavement.

Liz Stephen in Gondola

While we were down below, I took some more pictures of the incredible construction and landscape change that is taking place here:

Sochi Gas Line

We found one building that appears to have been here for more than the last five years:

Older Russian Building

The train from the airport should be running when we arrive next year:

Sochi Train Construction

Yesterday evening I left my credentials at dinner. It was not a good idea. First, I was detained by the guards in a van with doors that only opens electronically when the driver hits a button.

Sochi Doorless Van

Then I was escorted back to the dining hall to find the credential. Unfortunately, my teammates, trying to be helpful, had brought the credential back to our cabin. I was then escorted to a guard house. Luckily, we ran into my teammate Simi Hamilton. He went to get my credential and brought it back to me and my escort.

It snowed another half foot last night.

Sochi Snow

The sun peaked through briefly this morning.

Sochi Clearing Sky

During the brief clear moments we’ve had up here it is gorgeous.

Sochi Sun

They say we might get sun tomorrow. I hope so.

Sochi Tree

By the time the girls raced today it was dumping again!

Sochi Women's 15km Pursuit

For our race it stopped snowing, but was quite grey.

Sochi Grey Stadium

I lost a bet to Jessie Diggins. I don’t remeber what the bet entailed, but I had to wear glitter in the race today.

Noah Glitter

Hopefully that is the first and last time I ever wear glitter on my face.