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  • Writer's picturerganderson915

First World Cup - Highlights, Lowlights, Takeaways

I just finished the last race of my first World Cups in Canmore, Alberta. This was COOL. I'm so grateful to have had this opportunity in the big leagues.

The Canadians and US fans were extremely supportive throughout the whole week and made these races feel very special. Having so many US parents (including mine!) around made the atmosphere supportive and homey.

Lisa's shades though

Here are some highlights, lowlights, takeaways from each race.

Skate Sprint: 40th out of 55, 7th American out of 12

Highlight: This was my best skate sprint of the season, feeling-wise and results-wise. It was a short sprint which I think suits me a bit better than the long ones. (I go all-out in every sprint, so I usually blow up if the course ends up being long..)

Lowlight: I feel like I skied the downhill a little too cautiously.

Takeaway: This race truly felt like a different level - the atmosphere, fans, other athletes, and start-area logistics were all different enough that I can see why World Cup racing can take some “getting used to.” I found myself a little distracted and excited by everything going on - mostly a really fun feeling, but I could see how being more desensitized/less stimulated by the atmosphere would yield better results. But for now, I’m taking it all in!

Intimidated but good at hiding it, maybe

Classic 20k: 37th out of 39 finishers (44 starters), 9th American out of 12

Highlight: I started and finished! I was originally an alternate for this race, meaning I didn’t quite ski fast enough earlier in the season to qualify for this start. But some teammates decided not to race, so I got put in.

Lowlight: This was pretty brutal. I’m not quite at the level of the world-class distance skiers yet, so it was a long 20 kilometers on my own, with my thoughts. A mental-toughness battle for sure.

Takeaway: Gaining racing/life experience is good, even if it’s not a glamorous experience.

I like to think struggling in a race has some inspiration (or at least entertainment) value, and any day crossing the finish line is a good day.

Solo race in the mountains. Could be worse :)

Classic Sprint: 36th out of 55, 4th American out of 12

Highlight: Things went well all around today - good warmup/race prep, good skis, and a good race. I was right "in the mix" with some tight time margins, and kind of close to qualifying for the heats (2 seconds away from the top 30).

Lowlight: The finish stretch felt like eternity!! That’s where I lost most of my time. This was a taxing sprint that hurt throughout the whole body.

Takeaway: There is a lot of emphasis on “making the heats” in sprinting (top 30). Some people asked if I was disappointed not to qualify - no. I think it’s absolutely necessary to appreciate improvement in any form, and not take it for granted. This was a great race for me, and it would be absurd to arbitrarily decide that it was disappointing because it “could have been better.” The never-satisfied outlook is worth consciously rejecting, if you ask me. Anyway, making the sprint heats seems to be within reach...someday! 

Thanks to Joe Bianco for this pic!

I’m headed to Minneapolis now for another sprint on Saturday - the first World Cup in the US in over 20 years. Huge!! I hope to see you there.

Thanks for reading.

Love, Renae

video screenshot..busted

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