Monday, 21 February 2011

Drammen, 19 today

Today is my 19th Birthday. I am taking a rest day after competing in Drammen World cup sprint yesterday. But there wont be any dramming ( a wi dram) today as my first race at the world champs in oslo is on wednesday.
The weather at drammen was spectacular with nice cold weather and great clear blue skies! I was a little worried about my skis as in Beitostolen the week before i hadn't had great skis. As i dont race that often in -16 it hadn't really been a problem up until now. But bengt worked some magic on the skis and they worked excellently. Bengt even had to inform ski-go on how to use their own products. Which is always a great laugh.
After a good warm up i headed to the start pen, wished muzzy luck and all the Norwegians i knew that were walking around. I was finishing the last preparations for my race when muzzy came to the finish in 28th. Excited that muzzy was in a finals qualifying position i headed to my start. I skied aggressively from the start before relaxing into a nice speed and worked on closing the gap to the Australian infront of me. I came up the long drag into the finish straight where they announced the top 30 without muzzy's name. He had come 31st. I immediately dreaded going back to the wax cabin and being bombarded with his misery of not qualifying and not scoring world cup points. Fortunately i had planned to do intervals after the sprint prologue so as to practice for the heats in the future and also to give a harder training to prepare for this week here in oslo. By the time i came back from intervals he had calmed down. We packed up the wax cabin and moved to our new hotel in oslo. Today i headed to the gym for a short recovery cycle. Looking forward to a pretty relaxed birthday and the world championships starting on wednesday with the 10km qualification race.

Andrew

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

NRK wrongly claiming youngest wc start

So i have one claim to fame. I am the youngest ever male (on record on the fis website) to start a world cup. Now NRK the norwegian equivalent of the BBC are claiming that Norwegian Sondre Fossli will be the youngest ever to start world cup after he starts in the World cup in Drammen this weekend. http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/distrikt/ostafjells/buskerud/1.7508153
There is a link to the article and undre the photo it claims he will be the youngest to start.

So in an attempt to keep my record i am writing this post:
i fist started in the world cup in Davos in december 2008. i am born in 1992. 2008 - 1992= 16.
Sondre will first start in Drammen in February 2011. He is born in 1993. 2011 - 1993= 18. although some fis talking revealed sondre will only be 17 at the time as his birthday isnt until late in the year.

So NRK please stop taking my record and giving to other people. Thank you.

Please note i do not wish to take anything away from sondre. He is clearly an amazing skier. One only has to look at his world junior results where he claimed the silver medal in the sprint.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Finally, Norges Cup Points

Firstly, happy valentines day to all.

This weekend i raced in the second weekend of Norges Cup races for Juniors. The races were held in Beitostolen the site of the first world cup every second season. The plan was for a 10km classic on saturday and 30km skate on sunday.
I travelled over on thursday with the wax trailer. I was going a day earlier than the rest of the team as i had been invited to go and stay the night with Erik and his family at a cabin they were renting. We had a lot to do at the stadium such as waxing and getting skis ready for testing the next day so we got to the cabin pretty late. The cabin was the biggest i have ever seen! Apparently it cost 4 million norwegian kroner to build, it can sleep 14 in 5 bedrooms, has 3 bathrooms and sauna. And everything inside seemed to be designer. It has never taken me so long just to work out how the sink works or the lights work. Not to mention the cooked or extractor fan wich seemed to have so many functions and fancy buttons it was impossible to get the one you wanted.
After a night in the mansion in the mountains, we headed out for some ski testing and a little training on the race course before coming back and taking showers. Thankfully the showers were a little easier to work.
In the afternoon i moved up to where the rest of the ntg guys where staying. A big thankyou must go to the Braaten family for letting me stay with them and the endless cheering they seemed to provide during the race.
In the new cabin i was sharing a room with norwegian junior biathlete Vetle christiansen. He had decided we had to have the window open in our bedroom. I woke up at 3.30am and didnt get back to sleep properly because it was so cold. Despite this i deemed it worse to A) get out and shut the window or B) take down the duvet from the bunk above me (not being used). Vetle admitted in the morning that he also had found it too cold and couldnt sleep. I slept the next night in my thermals and with 3 duvet's gathered from all the spare beds in the cabin.
So onto the racing. The 10k classic was surprisingly and ok race for me. I finished 24th finally gathering me Norges Cup points although only a precious 7 of them. During the race i was pretty adamant that the splits i were getting must be wrong. I was dying a death after 5k but still my splits kept me in the same position, so i cant have been as tired as the others! Happy with the race i was looking forward to sundays 30k skate.
The 30k was shortened to 15k and the start time delayed because of the cold weather. Happy that it was 15k i felt i was on for a good race. Having a late start time was a little weird. I was almost one of the last starters. By my second lap of 5km they were already packing up and had basically announced the winner of the race. I had to problems in the race leading to a worse result. Firstly the temperature dropped considerably. As i was starting late, the sun dropped bellow the mountains and the temperature dropped. This led to slower snow and thus having to work harder to cover the ground. The next problem was that i wasn't skiing that well and was picking up lactate acid really easily. However i managed to ski an even paced race into 37th place.
Eriks family and some on the younger skiers from NTG were out on the tracks cheering. They really helped me along and i must thank them for that but when ever i got out of earshot i was also extremely thankful. It meant i could finally take a rest.
Good saturday, not such a good sunday.
NTG Geilo is now claiming itself as the best skigymnas in norway after the weekend. http://ntg.no/no/velg_skole/geilo/idretter/langrenn/nyheter/page3446.html
Or at least for the boys. Thanks to the waxing team and coaches from NTG for helping me to my first norges cup points.

Now i look forward to w good weeks training before racing my first sprint race in while at the world cup in Drammen next weekend. After that it is off to Oslo for the world champs. Unfortunately this will mean i miss the Junior NM camp with ntg. (supposedly the best camp of the year) But today i found out the guys aren't aloud their computer with on the camp.... so im happy i dont have to spend a week away from my computer!


Andrew

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Back in Geilo

To the untrained reader this blog post may seem a little like writing purely for the sake of writing. Well they might be partially right.
During my journey home from Otepaa, Estonia, i called a friend to see if they could pick me up from the train station and drive me and bags back to my apartment. I knew Erik would say yes with no problems, purely on the grounds that recently he has been complaining constantly about the lack of things to do in Geilo. I knew he would be clearly looking for any excuse to leave his house, if even only for 20min maximum. As he comes from Oslo i can understand his frustration at living in a small town with a different environment. But for me moving to a town of similar size to my town back home (both roughly 4500 people) i hadn't really noticed the lack of things to do until people started complaining.
Contrasting and comparing the two towns (Geilo and Huntly that is) i see Geilo as a step up. Set only on the grounds that it has a bowling alley. Sorry huntly but until you get a bowling alley you have no chance. The other thing to note is that Norwegians definitely enjoy their own space. Whilst houses are lined up neatly, with their allotted garden space around them, back home, here they seen to follow a completely random pattern and are spread out over several kilometers. This does cause a little nuisance as it means it is hard to be located near the bowling alley (which we have already established is the key social place in Geilo).

Here is a table of my findings...
Tourist attractions:
Geilo: skiiing
Huntly: skiing (ish), castle
Social activities
Geilo: Bowling alley
Huntly: Club B
Vistas
Geilo: Skaver mountain
Huntly: The Clashmac (340 Moh)
Water features
Geilo: Usterdallen fjord (lake)
Huntly: the river deveron, the river Boggie
Factories:
Geilo: Factory of hard wear such as tools, and kitchen implements
Huntly: Factory of shortbread and a factory of ice cream


Conclusion
Huntly provides the more rounded location, with a little bit of everything. A small ski center, a small night club, a small castle, a small hill, 2 small rivers. Perfect place to live if you are looking for a well rounded lifestyle with a little bit of everything.
Geilo doesn't do anything i half measures. Big mountains, big ski centers, huge trail network. Big forests, big lake.

You may be beginning to question my motives for writing this. Well it is really short and simple... You will probably have to be of a certain generation to understand this, please do not get confused and just ignore this if you dont understand.
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