I would like to thank the Alberta World Cup Society for funding the Academy program. Also, a big thanks to my awesome sponsors and of course my family who have supported me every step of the way!
I'm always looking for new sponsors so if you are interested or know of anyone who might be then contact me at alyssonmarshall(at)gmail.com for my sponsorship package.
Monday, March 30, 2009
I was also honoured to be part of the latest Fast and Female event held last Saturday at COP in Calgary. I led a group of 12 girls through a fun-filled day. We started the day skiing with 6 different stations (technique, jumps, biathlon and games). After lunch there was an inspirational speech by Chandra and Sara Renner, a yoga session by sponsor Lululemon, and finally we learned a hip hop dance. I missed out on the yoga as Sara Hewitt and I took the parents involved in the parent session out for a ski in the afternoon. There were 150 girls and 25 leaders and it was an inspirational (though tiring) day for everyone. In the words of Chandra: "Spread the love and dominate the world!"
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The last race on the schedule was the 30km mass start skate race. It was the first time I have ever raced 30km so I went into it looking for experience. We did 4 laps of 7.5km. The group spread out quickly out of the start and I ended up skiing alone for most of the first one and a half laps. I was getting lonely on my own so I was happy when a group of 4 skiers caught up to me. The race went by much quicker with company and I skied with them until the last couple km when we spread out in the fight for the finish. I ended up in 15th (10th Canadian) and I felt pretty good for most of the race. We started early in the morning so the conditions were better than I expected. It was really hard and icy for the first couple laps then warmed up and was soft and slow for the last lap. There were some steep downhill corners that were really sketchy as the inside was icy with a berm of slush around the outside. I'm usually pretty good at downhills so I tried to keep my speed going into the corners. This was a mistake as I kept skidding out on the ice and was out of control/flailing on one leg on various corners. I also came very close to hitting some trees. By the end of the race I was snowplowing before the worst corners. It wasn't pretty but I managed to stay on my feet.
I'm going to race the Sharkfest Alberta Cup this weekend. There is a 6.5km classic race on Saturday and 6.5km skate Sunday. Then that'll be it for my season!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The 2009 National Championships are well underway. I didn’t do the first race on Sunday (team sprint) but I raced the 5km skate on Monday and the 10km classic yesterday. The conditions in Duntroon have been crazy. They lost most of their snow a couple days before we arrived and the stadium was reduced to a puddle (ice rink depending on the temperature). The situation improved a bit Sunday night as we got some snow and colder temperatures. Unfortunately this made the morning of the skate race very hectic as our rental van with summer tires was unable to get up the hills on our normal route to the trails. After a few tries we turned around and had to find an alternate route meaning that we arrived much later than planned. I didn't have time to do my usual warmup and my legs filled with lactic acid after the first hill. I still managed to get a decent result, finishing 11th (7th Canadian).
Yesterday was the 10km classic. Once again conditions were ridiculous with +9 overnight then cooling down throughout the day with 80km winds. In the morning they decided to cancel the younger race categories due to “dangerous course conditions” but the open classes stayed on schedule. When we raced, most of the course was icy, except for the steeper herring-bone hills which were deep in sugary snow. We weren’t able to ski the course before the race and we were expecting softer tracks and picked skis based on that. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and I had to fight to make it up the hills. I felt okay on the herring-bone hills since it was obvious that no one could stride up them. The hard part for me was trying to get up gentle uphills that I would normally stride easily up. I couldn’t get my skis to work and I had to resort to running outside the tracks, with one ski on the slightly loose snow that the pole plants had kicked up. Needless to say it was a really tough race it took a lot out of me. I ended up in 12th (6th Canadian).
We had a lot of fresh snow today and it’s supposed to be cold tonight so it’s looking like hard wax on fresh snow for the classic sprints tomorrow.