This past weekend’s Super Tours were held on the Birkie trails in Cable Wisconsin. Having grown up in Minneapolis, I’ve spent a lot of time on these trails, so I was excited for this specific set of races. The first race of the weekend was a 32-kilometer classic mass start race (The Seeley Hills Classic). The race started out pretty conservatively and we stayed together as a big pack for the first few kilometers. My teammate, Mariah started to break away around 7k and Margie Freed and I went with her. The three of us skied together for a lot of the race with Margie pulling away just in front of Mariah and I. Around 20 kilometers I was starting to fall off the pace and then got tripped up and crashed while attempting to take a Gatorade feed. This created a decent sized gap between myself and the girls ahead of me. I knew I would have to work hard to catch back up as I could no longer see them in front of me. I tried focusing on pushing the double pole really hard and staying relaxed on the climbs. Eventually, around 25k, I caught back up. The three of us skied the rest of the race together taking turns leading. I was feeling good on the final climb into the stadium and still had some energy left to pick up the pace so I went to break away and ended up finishing in first.
I am really proud of myself for staying mentally tough and not giving up during any point of the race. At the 20k marker, both Mariah and Margie had formed a substantial gap on me and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to catch up. It’s really easy to become complacent in a race, especially when you are grinding in the woods all by yourself. I tried my hardest to continue pushing as hard as I could, and eventually was able to catch back up to the group. This was my first ever Super Tour win, so overall a very exciting day!
The day following the 30k we had a classic sprint race at the Birkie Start trails. I woke up feeling extremely sore and fatigued from the day before but had to remember that everyone else was in the same boat as me. The Birkie sprint course is one of my favorites with lots of climbing, technical turns and fun downhill sections. I tried to ski my qualifier quite aggressively and push the climbs hard. I ended up qualifying in third place and advancing to the heats. There were a lot of crashes throughout the day, and I was lucky to avoid all of them. During each heat, I was focused on skiing smart and relaxed and trying to avoid becoming frantic at any point in the course. This tactic ended up working well for me as I advanced through the quarters and semifinals and onto the finals! I ended up coming in first in the final which made the race my second Super Tour win!
For me this weekend was made even sweeter by having so many friends and family cheering me on during both races. Every time I come back to the Midwest; I am reminded of how much I love the amazing ski community here. As for now, I am headed back to Bozeman for a few weeks before returning to the Midwest for the Theodore with Super Tours and the Birkie and February! Definitely developing some Birkie fever!