Monday, October 25, 2010

2011 Minnesota Skinnyski Series

So the 2011 schedule for the Minnesota Skinnyski Series was announced today. The skinnyski series is a 7 race series that awards overall, age group, team (Vakava is the defending champs), and most improved awards.

The 2 main changes to the series this year are:
1.) the Mayor's Challange 15k classic race will replace the Pepsi Challange classic race. This takes one of the least attended races in the series (the classic race at Pepsi) and replaces it with a Super Tour and CCSA event. For the team race this will no doubt make it even more important than normal to have older team members racing that weekend - since the under 25yr olds will have the entire college field to fend off, and the under 30yr olds will have the CXC team and other elites to battle to earn good age group points. I can already hear Peter calling up every 80 year old he can think of to try and convince them to ski on his team.
2.) the Nordic Spirit Race will be classic this year. This means that for the first time in the 7 year series history there will be 2 classic races in the series (along with a 2 day pursuit and a same-day pursuit - meaning 4 chances to put on classic skis). This is putting an increased emphesis on classic technique that makes since, since the prize for winning the series is a trip to Iceland to race in the Fossavatn ski marathon (a classic race). This also only reinforces my desire to buy a new pair of classic skis ASAP.

Anyone else have thoughts on the series?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Camp – The Ski Visits the Birkie Trail

Dave writes:

We took The Ski up to the Birkie trail recently as part of Vakava’s annual fall training camp – we figured that it deserved a trip to the Holy Land after being liberated from the dark clutches of Peter’s Cheaters. (For those of you who aren’t quite up to date on this, The Ski is the trophy from the team competition of the Minnesota Skinnyski Series – it’s been going back and forth between Vakava and Peter’s collection of mercenaries, and the 2010 competition saw The Ski come back to its rightful owners, namely us.)

Vakava has been doing a fall camp in the Hayward area since 2004, and we’ve done it in the sun, the rain, and even a dusting of snow, with weather ranging from lousy to beautiful. This one would have to be rated spectacular – gorgeous fall foliage, sunny, no wind, and perfect roller ski temperatures. The cold weather can hold off for another month – I’m still enjoying the Indian summer.

We pole-hiked the Birkie trail Friday afternoon, roller skied (classic intervals and video-recording) near OO Saturday morning, roller skied some more (including a bunch of specific strength and sprints) Saturday afternoon, and then did our 50K skate (with fast pickups) Sunday morning. The 50K in particular was under perfect conditions – roller skiing from Cable to Drummond and back on beautiful, winding, rolling roads through the north woods – kind of like the Birkie trail but on roller skis.

Then after the hard work, it was time to relax, watch ski videos, eat great food (thanks again, Michele), drink great beer (including home-brew from Angie and Kevin), and, of course, enjoy great company with the Vakava Team. All together, a big, excellent weekend, with lots of good training and lots of fun.

Now, we have our next set of roller ski time trials this coming week; we’re gradually bumping up the intensity and specificity of our training; and it won’t be long before the snow flies and we’re out skiing on the real stuff.

Monday, October 11, 2010

When Vakava Women Take Time Off from Ski Training



Jeff and I love to go with friends to the BWCA. This year Angie, Jim and family went with us in mid September. The group included 3 kids and they had a great time exploring the surrounding area and creating their own world using rocks, moss and sticks. Who's going with us next year...... Brent and Michelle? Anyone else?