Saturday, December 22, 2007

December 2006 vs. December 2007

What kind of winter has it been? A whole lot better than last winter! There is about a 50 degree difference in temperature in these two pictures and about 2.5 feet of real snow.


Mean Temperature 63 °F / 17 °C 41 °F / 5 °C 27 °F / -2 °C
Mean Temperature 39 °F / 3 °C 30 °F / -1 °C 23 °F / -5 °C

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Great Race, Long, Tough Drive

Today was the 10km classic race at Presque Isle (5km for women and J2s). Beautiful course, good snow, very, very long tough drive home in the snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain.....You get the picture! More on that later.

Photos from yesterday's sprints can be found at:

Rob's Presque Isle Report

It was an epic adventure for Team CSU. Peter Hoenig gets the Jeff Gordon NASCAR award for driving 8 hours in the storm on Thursday night and then 9 hours on Sunday. Enough blizzard experience for you, Peter?

Most of us made it up there by Friday afternoon for some skiing. Good thing they have lights since sunset there is 3:45 and it was pitch black by 4:30. The facility is world class with great trails, great snow, and a huge building with biathlon range on one side and a start/finish stadium on the other. There are large, heated wax rooms which made life very good for the coaching staff (Bradlee, Doucett, Burnham). (And thank you to Marsha Rich for arranging excellent rooms at the Northeastland hotel).

Saturday's skate sprint saw strong performances from all CSUers (see full results on Coach Alex Jospe and J1 Hilary Rich qualified for the elimination tournament in the overall category and Jackson Rich in the J2 category. There were major timing snafus (see, it's not just us - even organizations with million dollar budgets make mistakes). The women's tournament was late, but the men's races were delayed till 4PM. Hilary and Jackson both raced hard and advanced to the next round. Hilary was knocked out in the Semi's and Jackson in the final, but it was great to hear the CSU name being announced. Way to go! Alex made it all the way to the B final with some aggressive skiing. Don't let her draft you.

(For you wax geeks - HF Blue by itself seemed best. Adding Jetstream was either the same or perhaps slower. Snow was cold, fresh, and dry. Race time temps never got much above 8 F and were dropping in the afternoon). Saturday night the whole crew went out for a great meal at a local restaurant.

On Sunday the races were moved up an hour so we could get on the road before the storm. I was testing wax at 7:20 AM and tried many combos. I settled on Toko Mint covered by Swix Polar as a speed-up. Just before the Men's race the snow started so we added one more layer of Toko Blue for more grip in the fresh flakes. The course was great fun with curving downhills and long, gradual climbs.

It was the first big race of the season and as the politicians say Mistakes Were Made. I made the mistake of following the skier in front of me at the lap/finish fork and turned into the finish on my first lap. Sad to have 35 years of race experience and make a rookie mistake. But, it's the racer's responsibility to know the course so I'll pay the penalty of about 30 seconds lost time and PAY ATTENTION next time. Another athlete missed his start time - next time he'll be more careful. I saw an athlete from another team who arrived at the start only to realize that she didn't have her bib. (She got a replacement in time). Ski racing is complicated so we need lots of practice at doing it right. Use every race, no matter how small, to go through your entire routine, so that when you get to a big race you just follow your successful routine and do your best.

The drive home was tough, but not as bad as the news media made it sound. It took me 8.5 hours (versus 6.5 in good weather) and there was some tough sledding when I hit freezing rain near Portland. The warm bed at home feels so good after a great road trip.

Rob Bradlee

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Presque Isle Sprints

It was a very cold day up here in the far north for the Presque Isle sprints. CSU was well represented by several Jrs, Joe Bouscaren and Alex Jospe. Conditions were pretty slow given that the temps were in the single digits. I'll get results up when I can get to them, but both Alex and Hilary Rich made it into the elimination round with both qualifying for the semi-finals. Hilary was eliminated in the semi-finals while Alex made it to the B final and finished 3rd!

Tomorrow is the 5 and 10 km classic race. Conditions are awesome!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

CSUers and former CSU Jrs in Action!

Alex Jospe made the podium at the Craftsbury Opener, coming in 3rd! Way to go Alex! And that is after a flat tire derailing her trip to Great Glen for the sprints the day before and doing the one day surgical strike to Craftsbury for the opener. Her story on her blog at:

In addition to Alex, former CSU Jr and now Dartmouth skier Matt Truehart also had a good race, finishing 18th and right in the thick of the action. Matt's report: Sunday couldn't have been better. Nice and cold, lots of snow, and a decent turnout. Starts were in waves of 2 (just like classic EHS qualifier) and they paired up Dartmouth and UVM skiers for the first 12 starters. However, they had their full team, we just had everyone who didn't have final exams today, which included our top guys. I started with Fritz Horst. Nevertheless, I led for the first few Km before he took off and I started getting tired. Then my teammate that started 30
seconds behind me caught up to me, and gave me one hell of a ride for the next 4 or 5 Km and I started feeling good again, so I passed him and with a few K to go and led him into the finish. I haven't seen full results yet, but I did pretty well. Then we skied around for a while, it couldn't have been better.

Former CSU Jrs and now Colby skiers Matt Briggs and Ben Haydock were caught on camera at the Great Glen Spints. Matt is in 2nd coming out of the tunnel and Ben is in 3rd in the other photo. (Pictures from Great Glen website.)

The season has begun in earnest. On to Presque Isle!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

CSU Jrs at Waterville Valley

CSU Jrs had an excellent practice today on nice snow at Waterville Valley. It took a bit to get the wax dialed in due to glazing tracks, but once we did it was really good early season skiing (watch out for the few rocks and dirt poking through) with people going from 2.5 to 3 hrs. Tripoli Road was really good all the way to the top. So nice to get on real snow with real hills so much earlier than last year!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

W. Yellowstone Super Tour Classic Results

In the women's 10k classic race out in the West Yellowstone Super Tour Evelyn Dong moved up from her sprint placing to finish in 28th and Alex Jospe finished in 53rd. There were 78 women in the race, which was won by Kristina Strandberg, who crushed the field, coming in ahead of 2nd place Laura Vaalas of the US Ski Team by over 50 seconds!

Rob Bradlee didn't race. I think he was on the way back to snowless Massachusetts. The men's race was won by Leif Zimmerman of the USST.

28 Evelyn Dong 24:27.7
53 Alex Jospe 25:57.2

Friday, November 23, 2007

CSU Results - West Yellowstone Super Tour Sprints

CSUers raced in the West Yellowstone Super Tour Sprints today in beautiful conditions. Rob Bradlee reported that he was the 2nd oldest guy in the men's race, with the next youngest guy being David Chamberlain at the ripe old age of 32. Also participating were Alex Jospe, who's report can be found on her blog at: and former CSU Jr Evelyn Dong, now training out in Oregon.

38 Evelyn Dong 2:25.17
40 Alex Jospe 2:26.21

91 Rob Bradlee 4:09.60

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Early Report From West Yellowstone

Alex Jospe sends the following and some photos from West Yellowstone. Looks like the Madison River to me. They need a bit more snow as you can see, but looks like winter! Double-click the photos for a full-size view.

Hey Jamie,
I'm in West Yellowstone waiting for snow, and today I went for a long
rollerski into the park. I saw some elk, which was cool, once we'd
both decided that we were not a threat to each other.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

CSU 2007 Fall Classic Rollerski Race

It was a gorgeous day, if windy and cool, for the 2007 edition of the CSU Fall Classic Rollerski Race, especially given the Nor'easter we suffered through yesterday.

In the men's classic race Ollie Burruss (Harvard) shot out at the start and gapped the field, smoking the course to win in 40:59, while Frank Feist (CSU) came home second in 43:44 and Andy Milne (CSU) was third in 44:15. On the women's side Hilary Rich (CSU Jr) came in first in 44:17, nipping at Andy Milne's heels for much of the race, while Audrey Mangan (Harvard) was 2nd in 48:51 and Anna Kulmatiski (Harvard) was 3rd in 51:24.

On the skate side, John Rich (CSU) took home the top spot in 44:24, followed by Chris Nabel (Harvard) in 46:19 and Andy Kulmatiski (Harvard) in 46:44. Alex Jospe (CSU) took home the top prize on the women's side, finishing in 46:20, followed by Meri Burruss (Harvard) in 2nd in 50:43.

Jackson Rich (CSU Jr) was the lone Jr boy in the classic race, but hammered the 1 lap course in 21:50. I haven't kept course records, but this is probably a Jr record in classic.

A good race was had by all followed by awards of 2 gift certificates from Fast Splits in Newton, Mass and various pies, fresh cider doughnuts, Powerbars and Gu's. I'd like to thank my volunteers Marsha Rich, Jessica Smith and Lisa Doucett for timing and keeping traffic under control. Chris City, who is getting over a cold, took a few photos that can be seen on the photo link.

Classic Men
1 Ollie Burruss 40:59
2 Frank Feist 43:44
3 Andy Milne 44:15
4 Victor Golovkin 45:13
5 Jamie Doucett 47:04
6 Andrew Moore 48:31
7 Walter Page 62:01

Classic Jr Male
1 Jackson Rich 21:50

Classic Women
1 Hilary Rich 44:17
2 Audrey Mangan 48:51
3 Anna Kulmatiski 51:24
4 Katie Coil 51:37
5 Tannis Thorlakson 51:38
6 Anne Goetz 57:28
7 Jody Newton 65:15

Skate Men
1 John Rich 44:24
2 Chris Nabel 46:19
3 Andy Kulmatiski 46:44
4 Brian Deneau49:40

Skate Women
1 Alex Jospe 46:20
2 Meri Burruss 50:43

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

CSU Rollerski Race - Sunday Nov 4

Now that I have finally gotten the formal approval from N. Andover to hold the annual CSU rollerski race, the details are:

CSU Rollerski Race
Sunday, Nov. 4, 2007
N. Andover, MA
Race start: 9:30am

Race starts on Milk St. at the playground. Race course map can be found at:
Race entry is can be found on the links under Schedule.
I will need 4-5 volunteers to watch the corners and help with timing. If you shanghai a spouse or significant other or parent I can certainly use some help. Please let me know if you can assist. I'd also like a photographer. I have a good digital camera if you can take decent pictures!

Questions? Let me know.

Monday, October 8, 2007

From the Archives - Craftsbury 50K, 1/7/96

Its a lousy Columbus Day and I'm tired (and failing at) cleaning the house and I came across Rob Bradlee's write-up from the 1996 Craftsbury Marathon, so figured I'd put it on here. This is back when the race was 2 loops starting and finishing on the Common. It was WICKED cold that day.....winter is coming, time to get psyched!!! Notice.....time has moved on, we are older but some things never change.....

Saturday afternoon I was in the wax room prepping my skis when Jamie Doucett called to say the race would be delayed an hour because of the cold. This would mean a little extra "sleep" (meaning bad dreams about being ill prepared).

I put on Star Blue Ultra-tech on tips and tails of my two Fischer classic skis. Then I put Start binder, ironed it in, and ragged it off with a heat gun and fiberlene. This left a tacky film of binder. Then I put on a layer of Toko Green, ironed it, and corked it smooth. Then I added another layer of Green and corked that. I was ready to go.

I was up at 4:40 AM and met Jamie and Andy Milne at the commuter lot at 5:30. We made it without incident to Craftsbury by 8:30 (I get special FAA one-day low flying aircraft pilot's license for the trip). When we arrived it was -22F (-30C), dead calm, and mostly sunny. We registered, suited up, and went out to test skis. Jamie had Swix Polar on one ski - we both tried it and it actually seemed a bit slippery. The Toko Green seemed to work pretty well skiing around the tracks. I also tried Bob Haydock's skis which had the Swix XF (the $30 stuff). His skis seemed faster, but he claimed mine were faster. Hmmmmmm. I added a couple more thin layers of the Toko Green to the skis I'd selected to race on.

We gathered on the green and John Brodhead rang the bell and we were off. Usually I do pretty well at these mass starts, but I was slow off the line and just couldn't get moving. There were about a dozen real hot dogs doing the 25K as a tune-up for the Nationals the next week and they were all charging for the front since position is more important in the shorter race. The first few Ks of the race has a lot of long gradual downhills and my weak double poling and the draginess of my skis kept me back from the front pack which kept pulling farther and farther away from me. I think my skis are a little soft for a nice hard track like we had and I know my double poling is weak (make a note: get serious about weights and roller-board next summer and fall!!). The temperature was reputed to be about -15F and I could feel my face freezing. I had capilene underwear and two lycra racing suits. I recommend this arrangement fro extreme cold races. I was reasonably warm the whole race without getting too sweaty. I had my double Ultimate water bottle carrier with hot water and gatorade. I hoped it would stay warm enough to drink for a little while. Hah! At 8K I tried to drink but they were already hard as a stone and just about as heavy. I wanted to dump them with a friend, but I never saw anyone along the route to throw them to. Well, that was one heavy experiment. I had Gu in the fanny pack and two in my pocket (yes, I have an old suit with a pocket!!).

The Gu has potential, but it was very tough to get it open and eat it during the race. Partly that was because any gradual downhill needed double poling to keep moving because of the slow snow. I drank at every feed stop (9 in 50K) and felt like I got adequate food and water. In managed to eat two Gu's but that was all I ate.

At the start of the second loop former race winner Tim Crane caught up to me. I was in 7th and he was in 8th. I pulled him along for the next 15K during which we caught and passed Raul Siren (see your L.L. Bean catalog - he's the guy out front in the Swix race suit in the race photo). The snow was faster the second lap as the temperature rose (to a steamy 0F) and the track was more skied in. We still had incredible kick though and ran easily up the herringbone uphill by the ski center as Tim shouted "Real men don't herringbone!" I finally wised up and let Tim lead. He was faster on the downhills (better technique and stronger double poling - I don't think his skis were any faster). But I could catch up and hang with him on the uphills. Finally at 45K we spotted my long-time rival Bob Haydock up ahead. He was bent over while climbing the uphill which told me that he was suffering. After 2K of downs Tim had pulled way ahead of me before we started the 3K final climb. I was beginning to get a bit dizzy, and my arms and legs were aching, but I still was able to ski pretty well. I passed Bob and chased after Tim and the now just visible Cory Brinkema. I gained back, but I was (thankfully) out of uphills and we were at the end. I stumbled into the gym and headed for the shower.

After the race I compared notes with Joe Holland. He had Swix Special Green all the way up to the tip of his skis (from the heel). He felt that it worked okay (and he certainly skied well). My three friends that I gave Toko Green to were very happy with their skis. My wax job was certainly durable as I still had lots on my skis at the finish.

All in all I was reasonably happy except for my lack of double pole strength. I only got a tiny bit of frostbite although many of my friends had a moderate amount on their faces. I was especially pleased by how quickly I recovered after the race. However, I found shoveling the two feet of snow the next day to be a bit of a grind!!

Here are some of the results:
1 Chris Nice 2:56:44
2 Tom Longstreth 2:56:57
3 Joe Holland 3:03:45
4 Tim Crane 3:09:00
5 Cory Brinkema 3:09:54
6 Rob Bradlee 3:10:27
7 Bob Haydock 3:11:01
10 Jim Stock 3:21:00
11 Jamie Doucett 3:23:45
13 Ben Haydock 3:30:23
15 Bob Burnham 3:31:44
17 Wes Denering 3:36:12
19 Bob Hamel 3:47:25
20 Cam Kerry 3:48:24

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

CSU Jrs. Conquer Eleven Summits

Last weekend several CSU Jrs. banged off eleven White Mountain Summits on the second of what seems to be turning into an annual hiking event. This started last year with a two day Presidential Traverse because Evan Doucett and Hilary and Jackson Rich are working toward climbing all the 4000 footers. Besides, its a great way to train!

The weekend started on Saturday with the Riches hosting the group for a classic rollerski up and down the access road to Waterville in cloudy, windy and decided fall-like cool conditions. I crashed, breaking a pole, but got some spares from John Rich for the double pole back down the road. The planned swim at the Eddy turned into a mighty short dip by only a few of us given the brisk conditions, but all were sufficiently warmed up in the jacouzzi or sauna to ready our appetites for a big dinner followed by S'mores around the fire in the evening.

Sunday morning we arose early so we could get an early start on a long day of hiking. Have you ever tried to wake Ben Haydock up at 5:30? Not possible.... After spotting cars we drove to the start and began the hike at 8:15 with a fairly leisurely pace down the Wilderness trail. Once we got above treeline on Bondcliff we made a hasty move for our hats, gloves, pants and coats as it was more like October than August. However, the conditions improved throughout the rest of the day as we knocked off Bond, West Bond, Guyot and the Twins before arriving in bright sunshine at Galehead Hut after at least 15 miles of hiking. Dinner was excellent (split pea soup, salad and stuffed shells, fudge for dessert) and after cards and Trivial Pursuit no one complained much about going to bed early.

On Monday we arose to a perfect hiking day....bright sun, cool temperatures and no wind. After fueling up at breakfast we left our packs for the short trip up Galehead Mt, then donned the packs and headed toward Garfield. On the summit we soaked up the sunshine and took in the magnificent views. Unfortunately, we needed to get a move on if we were to finish the day. Lafayette was next and it was a party on top! I've never seen so many people up there. We then finished up with Lincoln and Little Haystack and decended the Falling Water Trail on very tired legs having done 12 miles for the day. A quick stop for ice cream and then dinner at the Tilton Diner made a great end to a great weekend. Tentative plans for next year are for the Carter/Wildcat Ridge. Stay tuned!

Pictures are at:

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Alex Plays in Vermont

Alex's latest fun summer training report is on her blog at:

It strikes me that Alex is having way too much fun this summer!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Freeman Fitness Test

The Freeman Fitness Test, organized by Rob Bradlee with many CSU volunteers, was a success! On a warm and humid day, 15 skiers ran up the access road at Mt. Sunapee to test their fitness against the best distance skier in the US, Kris Freeman. Kris has been using this course for a couple years as a standard test of his fitness level. Today, instead of Kris going by himself, he had other skiers from J2s to Masters to chase up the mountain. The format, dreamed up by Zach Caldwell, had skiers starting in 3 waves. If you were slower than Rob in ski races, then you went in wave 1, if faster then wave 2 four minutes later, and if an elite skier, wave 3 eight minutes after wave 1. The idea was that Kris would catch up to and pass everyone by the time he reached the top. Almost, but not quite! A couple pretty fast people showed up who managed to finish ahead of Kris, although he still managed to finish 2nd overall, with Justin Freeman finishing first. CSU's Andy Milne was first master male, Heidi Henkel was first master woman, CSU Jr. Blaire Robinson was first overall woman and CSU Jr. Jackson Rich was first Jr. boy.

Results will be posted under the results link.

Photos are posted at:

Monday, June 25, 2007

Alex Jospe's Presidential Traverse

Alex has nice pictures and a story about her Presidential Traverse at:

Mt. Washington Road Race

Last weekend's Mt. Washington road race was held on a great day. I volunteered at the finish line while a bunch of CSUers ran the race. I confess I decided to volunteer after I saw the weather report for the week. Mighty nice running conditions, even if a bit warm down in the woods below the half-way point. Full results of CSU can be seen under the race results link.

Jonathan Schefftz, as always, takes the real prize since he got on snow again and skiied in Tucks on his way down. Here are a couple of his photos:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Walter Page's All in One Workout

The attached photo shows the prototype of the new mobile CSU training system. Developed by Walter Page, it has all you need for a full summer of training ANYWHERE. You bike, and on the bike you bring rollerskis, boots, poles, medicine ball, and stability ball. No more excuses for missing core strength - you're ready anytime and all the time.! NO EXCUSES!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Freeman Fitness Test, Mt. Sunapee

Hilary, Jackson, Marsha, and John Rich plus Ben Haydock joined Rob Bradlee for the first Freeman Fitness test on Mt. Sunapee. The rain was pouring down on Rte 93, but when we got to the mountain the sun came out. (You never know unless you go). Ben's comment: "that was harder than any workout or race I've ever done". There were still patches of old manmade snow on the trails - I have photo of the team "on-snow" in May! This uphill run is a pure test of aerobic conditioning. We'll do more of these over the summer.

Mt Sunapee Benchmark Hillclimb
Benchmark Standard

11/2/2006 Kris Freeman 20:49 100.00% 96.52%
Date Name Time FF WCF Comments
5/16/2006 Kris Freeman 22:16 93.03 % 89.31%
7/15/2006 Kris Freeman 21:35 96.32% 92.71% VERY hot day
7/15/2006 Justin Freeman21:56 94.64% 90.97% estimated time
8/21/2006 Kris Freeman 21:05 98.72% 95.19%
10/3/2006 Kris Freeman 20:50 99.92% 96.44%
11/2/2006 Kris Freeman 20:49100.00% 96.52% 3"snow on second half
5/16/2007 Kris Freeman 21:50 95.12% 91.47%
5/20/2007Jackson Rich 30:04 55.56% 50.54%
5/20/2007Rob Bradlee 30:59 51.16% 45.98%
5/20/2007John Rich 33:20 39.87% 34.30%
5/20/2007Ben Haydock 34:20 35.07% 29.33%
5/20/2007Hilary Rich 38:46 13.77% 7.29%
5/20/2007Marsha Rich 42:42 -5.12% -12.26%

The Billygoat!

Yesterday was the 29th annual billygoat. The billygoat is an orienteering race that is a little unique--you can follow people (in fact, following is "explicitly permitted"), and you can skip one control. Which can get you in trouble if you're following people and they skip a control and you don't notice, or variations on that theme. The other thing about the Billygoat is that if you finish in under 3.5 hours, you get a t-shirt. Its a pride thing too; its considered a DNF if you finish in after 3.5. So, Ed and I drove over from Vermont the night before, got our numbers, read the instructions, and headed to the start. Its a mass start, and basically, everybody just runs in the same direction as the people in front. Which would suck if the people in front went the wrong way. But, they went the right way, and we sort of all got to #1 in a big strung out pack. I decided that since this was the first running I had done on my shin (I had compartment surgery about a month ago) I was going to take it pretty easy, so I backed off to just run my own race. I was feeling relatively confident in my navigational skills, and it was sunny out, so I was in a relaxed sort of mood. I ended up running most of the course with adventure racer Tracy Olafson, I think of; she had a daughter ski at UNH, and we sort of know each other, so it was a pretty chatty race all in all. I was hitting each control spot on, and if for some reason I felt likeI wasn't going in the right direction, the woods were so muddy you could just look for the elephant trail where the lead group had gone through. Eventually we had it down to a group of four, with me doing most of the navigating. Around control #13, I took a better route over a cliff, and dropped that little group. I ended up putting about 10 minutes on Tracy and co., but I lost some time on the woman who had only been about 4 minutes ahead of us at the feed station. I ended up running controls 14-25 alone, just doing my own thing, and mostly navigating pretty well. My shin held out great, and I finished in 2:23, well under the 3.5hr cutoff. Ed finished soon after, in 2:35 or something. This was a considerably nicer course than the other two Billygoats that I've run--there were some long legs, and some slightly technical ones with no catching features if you overran it, but overall, it was a very runnable course. Plus, it was sunny. Did I mention that already? After all the rain we've been having, even if the woods were insanely muddy, the sun felt great. Here is the map, except for #20 which didn't fit apparently. Scanning credit to Peter Gagarin, an orienteer who posts his maps online. A muddy, but extremely fun, course! You should all consider doing this next year, because it is a great course for skiers! Fitness counts, and since you can follow people, you don't really need to know how to orienteer.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Alex Jospe's Moosilauke hike

My brother came to visit last weekend, on his way from Colgate to London to Rochester to Seattle to Los Angelos to Lima Peru. And you thought I travel a lot? He couldn't show up until saturday afternoon, and left monday morning at 6:30am, but he wanted to go hike in the Whites. So, we went up to Moosilauke Sunday, since none of us had ever climbed it and we heard it had a good view on top. Of course, there was a mtb race that I wanted to do AND an orienteering meet I wanted to go to, but its not every day that I can see Christophe. Sometimes, sacrifices must be made.Moosilauke is 4800 ft, which is pretty big for around here. I figured that meant that it would be a pretty challenging hike, and had minor qualms about my leg acting all funny after a couple hours of hiking. I also figured that it would take us longer than the suggsted 5.5 hrs, since none of us are really in shape, and I was guessing there would be snow. Christophe and Ed were convinced there would be no snow, and Christophe even wore shorts... Dummy :). We had about four feet of snow while in the woods once we'd gotten up to about 3000-3500 ft, and there was one long section of trail that had a river running under the snow. This meant that although I could walk on the snow without any problem, being the small person, the guys were breaking through occasionally, really slowing things down. After they had cursed at the snow enough, we got to someplace with some dry rocks to sit on and ate lunch #1. I thought we'd have a ton more climbing since so far the ascent had been really mellow. Practically flat. But no, that was it for climbing. We kind of rolled for a bit up a ridge to the top of Moosilauke, which was all open tundra with a stiff wind. Shot some pictures and then headed down, mostly just sliding on the snow. That actually takes a fair bit of concentration--I thought I was going to totally lose it and go slamming into the trees or rocks a couple times, but I held it together. The weather was pretty much the best hiking weather you could ask for, with the exception of the wind on the top. Great day to be climbing mountains! My shin held out great for the hike, so I'm feeling pretty positive about the Billygoat, which is next weekend. The Billygoat is an orienteering race that has to be completed in under 3.5 hrs to get your t-shirt. Its typically long, hard, hot, gnarly, and demanding both technically and physically. I think my first and only true bonk came at the Billygoat a few years ago, when I started with only a redbull and a brownie for sustenance. I don't recommend that one. I finished, but I finished in 3:34... after falling down a lot, bumping into trees, and having visions of oreos and apple juice floating before my eyes. As I said, I don't recommend that strategy. This year, I'll be eating a full breakfast and bringing food and water with me... normal actions, I guess, but sometimes the skier superiority complext gets the best of you. Now I'm going to go ride my pinarello in perfect weather :).
Posted by Alex at 1:35 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

CSU at the Run of the Charles

Several CSU skiiers took part in the Run of the Charles canoe and kayak races again this year. In the 24 mile relay the victorious Quinobequin Boat Club with Wes Denering (picture below) paddling legs 2 and 3 and Rob Bradlee and Jamie Doucett paddling leg 5 took home top honors once again this year, by 8 minutes. The Quinobequin Boat Club exists only for this race. We team up with several paddling friends and make it an international effort as several of the paddlers on the team are from Nova Scotia. This year we were short a couple people so Wes had to double up. However, once again we easily dispatched the competition. The water was very high and conditions were fast.

Other skiiers seen during or after the race include Mark Jacobson, who was 4th Master in the 19 mile Oympic class kayak race, Michael Melnikov (picture below) in the 19 mile recreational canoe race and Aims Coney in the 24 mile relay. Eric Shultz (4th) was down from the environs of Craftsbury racing the 9 mile kayak race. Eric took a swim at the broken dam in Waltham, a short white water stretch that caught some people off guard given the high water volume.

This is a great event with races from 6 miles to the 27 mile pro canoe race and supports the very worthy causes of the Charles River Watershed Association. Think about putting together a team for next year!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

CSU Steps It Up at Windblown

Several CSUers found some pretty darned good skiing at Windblown today on Step It Up day, including Bob Hamel, just returned from 4 years in the South Pacific about as far away from skiing and snow as its possible to get on this world!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Canoe and Kayak Racing!

Looking for a different training activity? Need to work on that upper body strength, but not ready to rollerski? Want to just go out and hammer on the water on a hot summer night instead of sweat to death running? How about giving canoe and kayak racing a try!

Every Wednesday evening starting in April and running until ski season, Charles River Canoe and Kayak (CRCK) and the Charles River Paddlers hold informal races starting at CRCK in Newton. Races generally start at 6:30 and a typical Wednesday will have recreational class and racing class canoes, olympic class, open and recreational class kayaks, both singles and doubles. Several local skiiers, including myself, Wes Denering, Mark Jacobson, Tom Clemow, Dan Rabinkin, Aims Coney and Terry Myers race along with a great group of other paddlers, some of whom ski when the river is frozen. The course is approximately 4.9 miles (38 - 60 min. depending on your boat and fitness) and the start is run exactly like our Tuesday night races....start the clock and go at 1 minute, with paddlers self-seeded and self-timed.

If you'd like to try one out come on down! The group is glad to get new people involved. Rent a boat at CRCK if you don't own one. People are great about helping newbies and oftentimes you can catch a ride in someone's canoe if you'd just like to try it out, with some advance warning. I started by canoeing with Wes in his racing canoe a few years ago and am now working up to racing an ICF olympic class kayak......if I can stay upright! They are tippy buggers.......

Stone Grinding

Mark Jacobson is organizing a stonegrinding order to send up to Zach Caldwell's service in Vermont. He would like to have names of who is interested and how many pair of skis you'd like done. To check on the grind menu, go to Zach's website at:

Email Mark at:

Monday, April 9, 2007

The New CSU Ski Section News!

After many years with no CSU ski section news I've decided to try a blog for a newsletter/website. I'm hoping to help keep the CSU ski community connected a bit more, particularly in the summer. The goal here is to be able to post photos or links to photos of CSUers, links to videos such as Bob Haydock's excellent videos on Utube, race results, a schedule of upcoming events and training sessions and anything else that might be useful and keep us the vibrant ski community we are, both in season and out of season. So, send me your stories, photos, results, or training events and I'll get it up here. In addition, I might post some old stories, blasts from the past, since I keep finding old newsletters down in the basement. Check out the following story!

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

I unearthed this 1996 gem while cleaning out my old tax files.

I gleamed in my new lycra racing suit. Its blue matched the color of the spring sky and the splashes of purple gave it added flair. I topped off the outfit with a pair of dark Oakley's to give that slightly mysterious and threatening look.

We were gathered at the Putney School in Vermont for a a 30K skate race in early March. We lined up at the start in our brightly colored suits and charged up the hill when the starter shouted "Go!". I pulled myself up near the front as we flashed by John Caldwell, dean of American ski racing, who watched approvingly from a lawn chair. Soon after we entered the woods we shot down a steep hill which has a lovely banked right-hand turn at the bottom. I careened full speed into the corner, but was horrified to find myself suddenly on my side. Alright, I thought, sure I've fallen, but I'll just slide along, get up, and jump right back into the race. But the hard-packed snow was slick. Sliding on my lycra suit like a kid on a snow tube I shot straight as the trail went right. I found myself sliding off the trail and over the edge of the embankment. I heard Bob Haydock shout my name as I disappeared from sight. Quickly I realized that this was a south facing hillside on a sunny spring day. I oozed down the muddy face of the hill bumping to a stop at the bottom. In only a few spots did little bits of blue and purple peek out from the uniform brown muck that covered me. I leapt to my feet. As I stood I was eye-level with the boots of the other racers whizzing by. I herringboned franticlly up the muddy bank to the trail. Racers were still flashing past leaving precious little room for me to stand on the side of the trail and absolutely no room to begin skating. There seemed to be more room on the inside of the curve. I waited for a break and sprang across the trail. Just as I gave my final pole push a skier whipped past me neatly severing my pole in tow with his thigh. I picked up the pieces of my pole. For only $95 I could replace the shaft if I rescued the tip and handle, so I had to save them. I slowly skated down the trail. A vision in brown clutching the splintered pole parts in my formerly yellow Saloman racing glove.

I managed to skate my way around the loop back to the start/finish line. I had completed one of nine laps in a 30K race. Should I go on? As I came to the line Caldwell's weathered face brighted to a big smile. He ran to my ski bag and helped me retrieve my extra set of poles. "Here", he said, "after such a good start you can't quit now!" I sighed and skated off down the trail in dead last. With luck perhaps I could catch the elderly woman skiing in the woolen knickers.

Rob Bradlee

Sunday, April 8, 2007

April Strength Work

Here are Rob Bradlee's suggestions to get ready for Monday strength workouts starting in May.

CSU Individual Strength Program: April

We will start group strength workouts in May. During April you can do some general strength workouts to build your strength and be prepared for the more specific strength work we do in our group workouts.
Twice per week is all that is necessary, although you can do three times per week if you’d like. If you do the strength workout right at the end of a running, rolling, or biking workout then you can skip the warm-up that I’ve suggested below. I suggest just doing 1 set of each exercise during the first week, two sets in the second week, and three sets thereafter. I also highly recommend that you either do some double-pole rollerskiing, OR use elastic bands for upper body conditioning specific to the poling motion. You just spent the whole winter getting your arms in shape. Don’t throw that conditioning away!


10 minute run
15 Wood-chop with Medicine ball
15 Standing Rotations with Medicine ball
15 leg swings on each leg

Primary Stabilization: 30 seconds to 2 minutes each (as long as you can hold good form)

Static Front Bridge
Static Side Bridge (both sides)
Static Back Bridge
Dead Bug (lie on back, flatten spine against the floor, move arms and legs up and down)

Leg Strength

6 to 12 squats with no weight
6 to 12 lunges
6 to 12 step-ups

Arm and Core Strength:
One to three sets of:

10-15 Overhead press with dumbbell. 15 to 30 lbs as you are able.
5-10 Wide pull-ups
5-15 Dips
5-15 one-arm rowing with 15 to 30 lb dumbbell.
10 Lateral side-ups on gym ball
15 Backups on gym ball
15 V-sits with medicine ball (or small weight)
15 Scorpions on gym ball