Sunday, November 17, 2013

After Davos, Before Beitostolen

The old steam train rolling up from Realp (SUI) into the Furka Pass.

If the days haven't been totally packed since the last time catching up on the training preparations from the glacier environment of Ramsau am Dachstein, the days have been satisfying. After Austria, I headed back to Davos, Switzerland with the leading edge sprinters of Switzerland. I was soon joined again by the Estonian sprint team in Davos, in addition to both the sprinters and all-arounders of Switzerland. It's been nothing less than incredible to spend the fall with Bettina here, to get to know some longtime competitors on a more personal level, then knock heads in the heavy training days.

File photo, from Seizer Alm, Italy.
The snow came, if ever so lightly. Fortunately, SwissSki harvest the spring snow in the Fluela Valley, then cover the white stuff with tarps and sawdust over the summer months. When the calendar turned to November, a 1.5 kilometer track opened on the top of the Davos World Cup track. Maybe its the new impulse of getting to glide on snow, or the early years running track and field, but I didn't mind putting in lap after lap on the harvest snow loop. The terrain was perfect for remembering how to push and corner and carry speed between transitions, though a little too heavy for double-ski training days. 

Unfortunately, on the day I left for Norway, the defending Olympic and World Champion from Switzerland Dario Cologna tore three ligaments in his foot just after leaving his house for a night run. Dario was in great condition, and is a true professional athlete. It's never good to see someone like Dario meet such misfortune. I really hope the healing goes well, and we can see Dario at his best in Sochi. 

Photo stolen from the FB.
The last days I've been kicking it in the small neighborhood of Asmarka, near the ski town (and 1994 Olympic city) of Lillehammer, Norway. Its been great to meet up with my old friends of Team Sjusjoen. Petter Hagen has been making delicious meals, but I'm pretty psyched to leave mid-week next week to the opening races. I'll do my best to provide the story behind the story soon after, so check back next week for sure.

Team Sjusjoen reunion dinner at Hotel Hagen. The opener? A mango and rocket salad, topped with Norwegian salmon and a citrus zest vinagrette. Good food. And good times.

All Best, 

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