China, Road-Tripping and Spring Skiing Galore!

As soon as the race season ends I can’t help but start dreaming about the next season. To me there is nothing more exciting than coming up with new goals and thinking of ways to accomplish them. That being said, I also realise the importance of giving my brain a bit of a break after the long season so that come May, I am ready to fully commit to skiing for the next 11 months of the year. For this reason, the goals I set for April (because I can’t help but set goals) had little or nothing to do with cross-country skiing: finding a new (used) car, finish my winter online university course, visit my family and boyfriend, catch up with sponsors and find time to go out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

However, before winding down I had one last race on the calendar, the China City Sprint. It is not often that I get the chance to race in places outside Europe, Scandinavia or North America, let alone have the trip entirely paid for. So, when I found out about the opportunity, I jumped on it.  Two days after crossing the line of the 30km at Nationals I flew with six other Canadian skiers and two staff members to Yanan, China.  The trip was an experience of a lifetime and the race itself was only a small part of it. We stayed in a hotel with all the other skiers representing countries from all around the world including Norway, Australia and France, we sprinted around a 1.2km flat race course in 20-degree weather in front on lots of very confused and silent Chinese fans, we visited temples and a propaganda museum for communism, we spent a day touring Beijing and we tried delicious (and questionable) food. Here are some pictures of the short 6-day trip:

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The China Squad. From left to right: Victor Wiltmann, Julien Locke, Dominique M-G, Maya M-J, me, Katie Weaver, Sophie C-L, Bob Thompson and Nic Clifford
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Watching the heats with Maya
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Girls squad ( Katie, me, Sophie and Maya)

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Beijing

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Running Warm-up

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After China I flew to Ottawa for some recovery and family time. While at home I participated in the 2nd annual Nakkertok Enduro, a 6-hour event where teams try to complete as many km’s as possible . I teamed up with my dad and we put in a little over 100km, taking the new mixed 2-person relay record and earning ourselves a spot in the Enduro Hall of Fame. My dad was the team’s MVP, doing an extra lap for me when I was late to the exchange zone and skiing more km’s than I did. After a couple of weeks of awesome spring skiing, I packed up my new 2010 Honda Fit and drove the 1,400 km’s back to Thunder Bay.

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Easter bunny finds with the fam featuring the gold China City Sprint parka
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Spring skiing in the Gatineau Park with my dad.
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Proud new owner of my car Frank, packed and ready for the long drive to TBay.

Thunder Bay was just a pit-stop before I flew to Canmore to go on a little road trip vacation with Jack. The destination of our road trip was the West Coast, where we hoped to find beaches, good food and sunny weather, all of which we found in large quantities. Highlights included Thai soup in Vancouver, exploring Pender island’s beaches and checking out Victoria’s thrift shops. We also took the opportunity to visit friends and family living in Victoria and Vancouver, including my brother Andrew in Victoria.

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On the ferry from Vancouver to Pender Island with my friend Sadie. Jack and I joined Sadie and Julian for 3 days on the island.
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Jack checking out the beach and picking up drift wood

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A little adventure hike to find some nice views!
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Thai noodle soup in Vancouver

Jack and I returned to Canmore just in time for the start of the new training season, feeling recovered and excited to get back to work.

I decided to go on a last minute training camp with Hollyburn Cross-Country to Sovereign Lake’s annual “Spring Fling”.  I spent four days training with teammates Katie, Maya and Freya, going for long skis in the AM and jogging in the PM.

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Crust skiing with Jack
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Sovereign Lake Skiing
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Afternoon run in Vernon
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Crust skiing at Sunshine with Maya

Before heading back to Thunder Bay for my team’s annual testing camp, I made one last quick stop in Ottawa to visit my sponsor Business Sherpa Group. It was really fun to share my story with the entire team at Business Sherpa and to finally get to meet some of the employees in person. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing supporter, so thank you Margo and everyone else at Business Sherpa, your support means the world to me!

Thank you for reading!

Katherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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