World Cup to Spring Series

Wow!  The end of the season has been a whirlwind, and it all went by too fast.  It’s been an incredible season for me and all-in-all, I’m happy with how it went.  First national championship win, first time racing World Cups, and first time winning the season title for the Supertour.  It wouldn’t have been possible without the Alaska Pacific University team, and the support of everyone who has helped me along the way.  It’s a great feeling knowing that so many people stand behind me, and are with me on this journey.  I’m humbled and honored to share the success with our amazing ski community.

_SMF6262

World Cup racing!  This wouldn’t have been possible without ALL the people who help support skiing.  Photo: Steve Fuller/Flyingpoint

I’m hungry for more and can see the road to get there.  At the Canadian World cups in Quebec, I had the realization “This is what I want.”   After the end of the season, I’m really not all that tired – mostly just bummed the racing is over.  I take that to be a good thing.  I like competing, and I’m already excited to get going and start preparing for next year.

Here are a ton of photos from the last portion of the season, starting with the second part of the Canadian World Cup tour in Canmore.  I also updated my previous blog post with a ton of additional photos from the World Cup races in Quebec.  Make sure to check that out here.  A big thanks to my Dad, Steve Fuller (http://www.flyingpointroad.com/) and Reese Brown (https://reesebrown.smugmug.com/) for the many pictures.

Canmore_

The mountains that rise above Canmore are stunning.

Canmore Men

Warmup for the Classic Sprint.  The course included two times up a major climb.

Northug, Musgrave, and Pellegrino on the climb in qualification.

Canmore 2

Pellegrino on his way to the win!

Canmore Men-8

30K Skiathalon action – the pack navigating some of the high-speed downhills.

Canmore Men-7

We were lucky to have an AWESOME cheering squad from Alaska!  Thanks for the support on the trails!

Canmore Men-9

Fast downhills…

Canmore Men-10

Suffering a bit…

Parents

I was glad my parents were able to make it out to the World Cups to watch.

After the end of the ski tour, I had one week to prepare for Spring Nationals.    The pressure was on!   At the end of the season, the Supertour leader gets World Cup start rights the next fall.  The good news was that I carried a slim 13 point lead going in to Spring Nationals.  The bad news was that my body was basically broken after the Canadian WC tour.  I rested for five days after the last World Cup, with just easy one hour workouts every day, and surprisingly enough felt like things started to come around!

It was great to meet up with the whole APU crew in Craftsbury for one last low-key race series to finish out the season.

ST Finals

Spring series 15k skate in the leader bib. Photo: Reese Brown/SIA Nordic

ST Finals-2

Scott finished the day in 2nd, David was 4th, and I was 5th.  Photo: Reese Brown/SIA Nordic

ST Finals-3

Classic sprint day.  Thomas O’Harra with his now-infamous fall.  Reese Brown/SIA Nordic

ST Finals-4

I felt great all day in the classic sprint, but crashed out of the A-final and finished 6th.  Photo: Erika Flowers

 

ST Finals-6

Evan Pengelli and Ryan Green from Rossi – huge thanks to them for awesome support this year!   Reese Brown/SIA Nordic

ST Finals-7

Relay day – APU went 1-3 overall, and my old team SMST2 took 2nd!  Reese Brown/SIA Nordic  

ST Finals-8

Start of the 50k National Championship.  Reese Brown/SIA Nordic

ST Finals-9

We started at 12:30 in the afternoon, and conditions were soft and slow.  I felt great for the first five laps and easily skied with the lead group.  Reese Brown/SIA Nordic

ST Finals-10

Reese Brown/ SIA Nordic

ST Finals-11

Reese Brown/SIA Nordic

ST Finals-12

On lap seven, Noah made an attack that finally broke up the pack.  Noah, Tad, and Erik Bjornsen broke away.  David Norris and Kris Freeman formed the first chase group, while Scott and I formed the second chase group.  Reese Brown/ SIA Nordic

ST Finals-13

Once the pack fell apart, Scott pulled me for much of the next 25k.  Reese Brown/SIA Nordic

Everett Sapp made a video with some cool footage from the race!  You can see how slow the snow got.

ST Finals-14

Broken coming into the finish in 5th place.  Reese Brown/SIA Nordic

This was the hardest race I’ve ever done.  I was dreaming about hamburgers before we even made it halfway.  It was just like the warmest of days we see training on the glacier- slow, sloppy, and soft.  In those conditions you just have to keep the legs moving and work every bit of the way.

 

ST Finals-16

Complete exhaustion.  Reese Brown Photo

In the end, I held on to win the overall Supertour season title!  I’m happy to say I’ll be starting next season on the World Cup!  It’s an opportunity I’m looking forward to!

Now time for spring adventures in Alaska, with hopefully some great crust skiing and backcountry skiing.  Just to get excited, here is a video from crust skiing a couple years ago.  Maybe it’s time to make new video for 2016…

 

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