After two weeks of training and racing in the East, I have high hopes for this winter. I got some really good intensity in and the good results this weekend were just icing on the cake. Two weeks ago I left the cities with Siena Ellingson and Henry Järvinen, we drove up through Grand Rapids to pick up two more athletes, Vasek Cervenka and Lochlan Baird. More importantly we picked up Vlad Cervenka, the best coach ever! After a quick trip through Canada we got to the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY.
Quick note; the Olympic Training Center is one of my favorite places to train because they have resident chefs who spin out high quality food faster than you can eat it. This year our team discovered the blenders in the cafeteria and made more fruit smoothies than a small elephant could eat. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it was still a large amount of fruity goodness.
The Swedish Exchange athletes that came got there just after we did and we got straight down to business. The four Swedish athletes that came over were a lot of fun to train with and hang out with in our down time. Sebastian Samuelsson was about as fast on skis as I am, so he was a great guy to train with. The highlight of our week in Lake Placid was our running time trial up Whiteface Mtn. It was 10k long, but you can only run for the first 5k and then it is a scramble/climb up to the summit. Sebastian and I pushed each other up and after a 1:17 we finished only a few seconds apart.
The second week was spent at the Ethan Allen National Guard base near Jericho, Vermont. They have a very nice rollerski venue and range that is set up to host biathlon races. Because this was the first time this year that we could do quality rollerski combos (intervals with shooting at the end) we worked hard to take advantage by doing a lot of intensity. Sebastian and I continued to push each other during the intervals, after those hard workouts we knew there would be good competition during the races at the end of the camp.
Sebastian had a better result in the Sprint on Saturday, with better shooting (he missed 2/10 while I missed 3/10) and faster skiing he beat me by a little more than 30 seconds over 10k. We raced the same course as the men, and our times compared very well. Sebastian would have been second, and I would have been third in the men's race.
I had the better result in the Pursuit on Sunday, with better shooting (I missed 5/20) and faster skiing than the day before. Sebastian had a rough day shooting, so he dropped back a ways. We raced the same 12.5k course that the men did, so just like Saturday we could easily compare times. I ended up winning the Jr. race by 2:16, and my time was just over a minute faster than the fastest time in the men's field. Almost all my competition for the Jr. National team this year was at these races, so these results were a good sign for the coming winter.
On the drive home just east of Sudbury, Ontario, in the middle of the night, the alternator on our car died and we got stranded. Luckily it was on the way home when we weren't in a big hurry, and we just slept on the ground outside the car and made it to a garage in the morning. While the mechanics replaced the alternator we got to go on a little hike to pick wild blueberries. After that it was smooth sailing! We met up with Piotr Bednarski for a minute at a gas station in Ironwood, MI, where LNR is having a training camp. I'll be at home for a week of easy distance and strength before I head back up to Grand Rapids to attack the training again.
Thanks for reading!
-Posted by Jakob Ellingson on Aug 26th 2014