Six months of training is finally leading into what we have all been working toward: the first Cross Country Ski races of the season in Canmore, Alberta. Here at Callaghan Valley, near Whistler, we began our dry-land conditioning programme in mid-May.
Training this year had been varied and fun. Naturally, we did a lot of roller skiing on the trails around Whistler as well as lots of running, cycling and regular trips to the weight room. In early June, we went into the mountains above Whistler for a snow camp. Lots of skiing in the rain, but there was one beautiful, sunny, ‘bluebird’ day with excellent skiing. I also got a chance to be part of a four-person team with my sister Johanna in the ‘Tough Mudder’, an eighteen kilometre obstacle course held at Callaghan.
July’s highlight is always the camp at Haig Glacier near Canmore. This year we did a yo-yo camp; we trained on the glacier for a few days, then down to Canmore for a few, and back up to the glacier. We capped it off with a backpack trip into Mount Assinaboine.
September’s big event, the Gran Fondo bike race from downtown Vancouver to Whistler, was 122 km of pure, painful, uphill bliss along the Sea-to-Sky Highway with nearly 7000 other riders. Words can hardly describe the feeling of riding handlebar-to-handlebar over the Lion’s Gate Bridge at 7 am. I met my goal of finishing in just under 4 hours and also managed to crack the top 400 finishers.
The rest of September, October and November have flown by with a fall cycling and hiking tour of southern B.C., more roller skiing, running, and cycling in Callaghan, and the highlight of the fall – a one-week trip to Whitehorse for an on-snow training camp the first week of November.
The Canmore races are Nor-Ams, with top skiers from all over. Saturday’s race is a free technique sprint, and Sunday’s is middle-distance classic technique. It’s going to feel so good to start racing again.
Training at a National Development centre is expensive. Many thanks to those who’ve helped me along the way: Alison Rose, Ski-Go, Salomon, Rocky Mountain Accommodations, Kimberley Elks Club, Kimberley Nordic Club and of course, my parents. I’ll do my best to make you all proud this season. Off to Canmore!
Feel free to check the photos on my blog or contact me with questions or comments: colinferrie.ca