Midwinter update. Yikes! Time flies when you are having fun I guess!
The SMS T2 group recently returned from a successful week of racing at Nationals in Houghton, Michigan. While the early period of racing in November and December was marked by warm temperatures and sun, our time in the “U.P.” of Michigan was very much the opposite. Cold, blowing winds and heavy snowfall each day challenged athletes abilities to simultaneously wear all of their outdoor gear and perform at the highest level.
On the drive up to Michigan the group stopped in Cable, WI to spend the night and break up the travel day. The group was able to get some great training in and defrost afterword in the Hart’s lovely cabin just 5 minutes from the trailhead.
While in Cable we were also fortunate to stop and dine at the Rivers Eatery which hands down serves the best pizza, appetizers, and drinks in the area. The service and atmosphere was amazing and after some great food the athletes were treated to a night of live music. It was really cool to see what a vibrant outdoor community the Cable and Hayward area support with the Birkie trails being a centerpiece of the action.
While the cold temperatures and gusty winds put a damper on some of the fun, the athletes all did a great job prevailing over the tough weather and put together some fantastic races. Highlights from the week included Anne, Annnie, and Ben qualifying for U-23 championships in Kazakstan and the entire group meet qualifying criteria for the later season OPA cup races in February and March. Ben and Anne had stellar classic sprints finishing 2nd and 4th respectively and Erika posted 3 top 10 finished (just missing a 4th with an 11th place finish in the 20k classic) as well as her first appearance in a A final at US Nationals.
Post Nationals, the domestic group is putting in a training block getting in some solid volume, intensity, and a few low key race starts before the U-23s depart for Kazakstan and Erika continues chasing the Supertour with two back to back weekends of racing in Craftsbury.
Stay tuned for more updates from the T2 squad here in the US and over in Europe!