On the World Cup, early morning race starts are a rarity. On the morning of Drammen race day, I went out for about an hour trot jogging and walking and photo-taking in the Fornebu neighborhood of Oslo. The site of Oslo's old airport, the arena beside the Atlantic is being transformed into the Norway's version of Redmond, Washington or Silicon Valley.
Where old and new work in unison.
It's an interesting mix of new meets old, where hand-laid stone lighthouses and such mix with sleek, futuristic buildings that play host to many Norwegian tech startups and firms.
An old forgotten skiff rests as a reminder: don't forget your roots.
As always, the crowds were out in force in Dramman. Norwegians love their cross country skiers. This is something as an athlete you can easily feel.
Head-to-head World Cup racing. Here I follow Kalle Lassila of Finland, sitting in second place with Anssi Pensinnen(FIN), Eirik Brandsdahl (NOR), Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) and G.L. Cologna (SUI) stalking behind. [Photo stolen from Das Hoff].
Here I am with the men of Team Sjusjoen after the race. John Anders Gaustad (red jacket) was a longtime top Norwegian skater, and now works for the National Federation. Petter Hagen is the team leader of Team Sjusjoen, my Norwegian race team. He gives great advice and is one of those positive influencers that you need in your life. It was really cool to share the experience of getting back in the points with Mr. Haugen.
Randy Gibbs prepared mine and Rosie Brennan's race boards for the event. It's been five years since I last worked directly with Randy at a ski race, but even in tricky conditions and in the more hectic city sprint mileau, I had full control over my Rossignol's, and confidence in their preparation. Mr. Gibbs played a leading role in helping make that happen.