Usually it takes until after Thanksgiving camp for the dark, foreboding rain and cold temps to arrive in Canton. We've gotten a taste of it these past two weeks, however, so now it won't be such a surprise when we return from endless Ks of skiing in Quebec to wet dirty roads and sleet from the sky...I mean, there's always the chance we'll keep skiing after Thanksgiving week but I know enough from experience to say that is about a 2-in-7 chance.
We had a 2-hour run from campus scheduled during last a volume week last Thursday, and to change it up Ethan and I set up a scavenger hunt around town...different routes for the men's and women's teams that had them crisscrossing paths all over Canton. Everyone embraced the weather!
We had another grey, cold day at Higley for some specific strength. We are doing a lot of classic specific strength this fall: all prep for the long classic races this season, which we haven't seen in a while. Triceps, triceps, triceps! Here's frosh phenoms Dana Hatton and Sliz Landry putting the muscles to work
The rain and cold reached its zenith on the day of the St. Regis uphill running test...of course. The trail was a waterlogged stream bed with stone sections turned into zen waterfalls of cascading slop. I've never competed in one, but it seemed like a "Tough Mudder" course for sure. Last year featured perfect conditions and broken records everywhere, so I think we were all a little leery on expecting good times. Turns out we underestimated the fitness levels here...Blaine put up the 4th fastest time ever, Meng the 7th and Kyle the 11th, with freshman Drew Houx having a great race to crack the top-15 historically. That's out of 103 total finishes for this test over the course of 10+ years!
Blaine and Meng both broke the 30 minute barrier despite the gruesome conditions: before last year's test, only Tom Lepesquer had done so in 2006...now in the past 2 years 6 more sub-30s have been recorded!
Coach Terko demonstrating trail conditions on St. Regis
On the women's side both Kate and Erin went down an older section of trail (heat of the moment, clouded judgement, you know...) but were both racing fast and furious, with Kate posting the 11th overall time historically in the crummy rain. Taren was out with a sprained ankle but the freshmen girls definitely held their own for their first summit of the "Reg"...what a day to have a first experience on this mountain!
While the weather has been a little doom-and-gloom, the team spirit has not been. Before St. Regis the Townsend family invited the team over for the now-annual cookie decorating event. Hot cider, sweet treats and a warm family kitchen made for a great escape from campus for many. While competition was tight, the vote for best cookie went to Calvin Swomley's masterpiece "Jorts Cat"
Chumley's magnum-opus "Jorts Cat"
The weather is warm today but trending cooler as the week goes on. With the loop at Foret Montmorency being spread out we are eagerly awaiting our first taste of real skiing...the forecast for Star Lake might hold some potential this weekend, and it even snowed on our rollerski the other day! If you can call some hail-ish ice pellets snow, which I do in this case:
The first snowflake of the North Country!
As always, for more photos and tales, be sure to visit and 'like' the team Facebook page!