Last month I had the privilege to join my Stratton Teammates, along with the US Ski Team and Craftsbury Ski Team, for a three week training camp down at the Snow Farm in New Zealand. The trip was full of spectacular views and phenomenal skiing, most definitely worth every penny and every hour of traveling to get to the other side of the world!
For the first week, the SMS crew stayed in apartments about 2k from the Snow Farm. The living arrangement was great, unfortunately, our rental van wasn't so great. I think we all lost count of how many times our van got stuck during the short drive to and from the skiing. We were very thankful for all of the strangers who chose to stop and help us out along the way.... Luckily, we had the perfect afternoon entertainment as our apartments were located right above a car testing track where people could drive cars as fast as they wanted on a slick ice rink. It was Audi's week to test on the track so we got to see some pretty cool cars driving around all day.
Coach Pat didn't let any of the technical difficulties stand in the way of getting some good training in so we got right to it, training hours and hours out on beautiful ski trails!
After one week of skiing, skiing, and more skiing, we took a trip down into the town of Wanaka for a mountain run and some New Zealand Tourism.
After a mini hiatus we went back up to the Snow Farm for a few races. Jessie and I did the Merino Muster 42k, my first skiing marathon! I definitely learned a few things about fueling before, during, and after such a long competition. Once experiencing a nice boot-and-rally about 14k into the race I was able to happily and comfortably finish the race coming in third place.
We then went on to compete in the 2018 New Zealand Audi Quattro Winter Games. The women raced a freestyle 5k, freestyle sprint, and classic 10k, while the men completed a freestyle 10k, freestyle sprint, and classic 15k.
Once the racing was completed we still had a few more days to spend every last precious second skiing our hearts out.
It was an unforgettable trip full of so much skiing and so many laughs, I can't wait to go back again soon...