Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sjujsoen World Cup Opener - in Pictures!

The first stop on the World Cup is over and this makes one week that I've been in Europe. Here are some pictures from the weekend: 

Walking into the venue the first day we weren't quite sure what to expect... 

 But Marit does... basically tons & tons of press and attention - check out the Norwegian ski  paparazzi   - simply on a training day!  What is super impressive is that yesterday was Marit's 47th World Cup win where she finally surpassed the "king" of Cross Country Skiing, for the most World Cup wins by any athlete (I believe....) 

Tad Elliot, my Salomon Complete buddy.... 

 Every morning and night the ground here in Lillehammer has been completely COVERED in ice making it really difficult to run, even treacherous.  I'm hoping to get a pair of Salomon's new "Spike Cross" running shoes that have spikes drilled into the soles. It's literally the only way to run over here right now! They look sweet too: 

Salomon Spike Cross

The bottom of the shoe

 Canada's van for the season with the famous picture from World Champs - these guys have gotten a ton of mileage out of this picture, rightly so. 

Two of the three nights at the hotel we've been served "Christmas Dinner" in an ornate buffet.  As far as we can tell, the World Cup coincided with some super fancy function. The result, we got to "experience" the buffet too.  And, an experience it was.... I've never seen anything like it. The food really seemed like art, rather than edible, nutritious food.  Check out some of the crazy pictures below.... I think there must have been close to 50 different kinds of meat when you include all the seafood, sausages and even lutefisk - basically rotten fish.... 

 The Norwegian wedding cake rocked my world as two years ago, Rob and I had one at our wedding made by our good friend Ase Haugen:

Back to the "God Jul"...... 

Sadie and Ida with the crustaceans.... 

 Saturday night was Graham Nish's Birthday - Happy Birthday Graham! 

And now.... it's relay day! 
USA face painting, pre-race
 Here I am rounding the final corner anchoring the women's relay.  The other teams are Italy, Russia, Germany & Poland.  Out of this five I won a photo finish for second place! Good sprint action and a great result for our team! (photo courtesy of Kikkan!) 

The women's team: Ida, myself, Kikkan, Sadie & Liz
(photo from Kikkan)

 The men's start

 Ski race, typical Norwegian style: "Hey, do you want to go sit on the frozen ground, light a fire, drink bad black coffee and watch people ski circles in spandex?" (The answer - YES!) 

 Casey and Sadie spectating.... 

 Bird followed closely by the Russians


 The men's lead pack, leg 3

 APU Girls: Holly, Kikkan & Sadie 

 Tad Elliot (center of the picture) skiing at great leg 3 for the US men's team 

 Kris Freeman, Andy Newell & Tad Elliot while waiting for men's anchor, Simi Hamilton

 The whole men's team 

Last but not least, an anonymous plate that was filled with food for no less than one minute - before being inhaled with not one, but TWO forks. It was impressive. 

One more day training here in Lillehammer and then the journey to Kuusamo, Finland for the Ruka triple! I can't wait! 

Thanks for reading!!!! More soon! 
Holly :) 

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