Monday, July 1, 2013

Early bird (angry birds?) team USA takes on Finland!

I don't want to detract from the Junior Team and their great posts, but three of the Senior Team got to Finland a week and change early for the World Champs.  Ali Crocker, Brendan Shields, and Alex Jospe decided to take on a Regional Championships race on our way north from Helsinki to Vuokatti (a 6.5h drive), in the Käyneinen region.  With a sprint in the morning and a middle in the afternoon, this seemed like a worthwhile use of our time.

We spent the night in an adorably cute little cabin on a lake.  Thankfully just one night.

11:30pm photo of the lake that little cabin overlooked.

Ali won the overall, with a 1st in the sprint, and a 2nd in the middle.  Brendan was 10th in the sprint, and Alex was 8th.  (Results).  Below is Ali's quickroute from the Middle Distance race - those woods were not easy, with deep moss and fairly thick trees impeding your forward movement.

Looks sort of like an A meet.

Go CSU!  Waiting for awards and looking at the river (that doubled as a shower).

Shower area! What they meant by that was buckets by the river.

Investigating the posted old map of the area before the middle distance.

After the race, we drove north to Vuokatti, which is where WOC will be held.  We're spending the week before living in a [much larger] cabin that is situated right ON one of the training maps - sweet!  Vuokatti is actually a ski school and ski resort, so naturally Ali and Alex are excited about that part of things.  The early birds are here to train for a week, and then the rest of the team arrives, and we'll start racing!  Sidenote - Finland is home of Angrybirds, and there is an Angrybirds amusement park in town here...

Newer cabin! lots of space!

Base of the Vuokatti ski area.

Tiiiiired after racing twice in a day!

Alex's route from long-distance training this morning, on some really sweet terrain at Pöllyvaara, with incredibly sexy forest (see below).

Brendan's track from this morning's middle distance training, at Pökkelopera.

The event center is a cute little cabin.  In the woods.

Event center has a wall of training maps!  Ali is excited.

Event center also has cute little WOC figurines!

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