Leaving on a Jet Plane

The long travel is beginning.  For the next two months I will be traipsing across Asia and Europe.  It all begins with 33 hours of travelling plus 15 hours of time zone changes to get to Almaty, Kazakhstan for the start of U23 world championships.  While I have attended quite a few U23 and World Junior trips, Kazakhstan is going to be a totally new experience.

From there I will move on to Europe with stops in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, and France following the Slavic and Europa cup racing scene.  While not quite the World Cup, these circuits represent the second tier and will provide some incredible competition and significantly different racing experiences than domestic racing.  After that I will be returning to the US for the spring series races and distance nationals taking place in Sun Valley. Anchorage is going to be in a different season by the time I return.

While the National Nordic Foundation has done an incredible job helping to defer the some costs of these trips, a large bill is still left on each athlete’s shoulders.  Any small or large contribution would be helpful to help offset the costs of the trip for the ten Alaska Pacific University athletes who have already qualified for the trip.  Check out this link for more information and contribution opportunities.  Thank you for your support of APU, Alaska, and cross-country skiing development in the United States!

Help send these guys (including me) and the ladies to Europa Cup racing.  (Glacier training this summer. Chris Hodel photo.)
Help send these guys (including me) and the ladies to Europa Cup racing. Click the photo for link. (Glacier training this summer. Chris Hodel photo.)

On a different note, I am excited for all this travel, but skiing in Anchorage has also drastically improved over the last few days.  Fresh snow coupled with a drop in temperatures made the skiing at Kincaid today some of the best of the season. I was a bit sad I didn’t get to race Pia’s Classic in the incredible conditions.

Start of the kid's race.
Start of the kid’s race.
Kincaid stadium overview.
Kincaid stadium overview.
Cold snow and firm tracks for Pia's Classic.
Cold snow and firm tracks for Pia’s Classic.

Once again here is the link for the fundraiser. My next post will change scenery quite a bit!

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