After coming back with great news from my recent race camp in Sweden, I came down with a bang in Switzerland. I always knew it was going to be tough as the races were in my least favourite style of classic and I knew I'd have to pull off some absolute personal bests to come anywhere close to being competitive in the races. However, what I hadn't prepared for was that the best of Europe to be attending and for the races to be all pretty brutal.
The reason for the high calibre of entry was due to lack of snow elsewhere in Europe, so the best of the Italians, Germans and French were all attending the camp in Goms where they were also trying to qualify for various competitions or teams.
Thats said, when I look back, I think I did ok and I certainly learned a lot from the trip. One big issue was the extreme temparatures and no wind so at -12C when you're breathing hard it hurts and I couldn't suck in enough air when I wore a buff over my mouth - so that's something I'm going to need to find a solution for. I also need to find a solution for dealing with someone falling down in front of you in a race and landing on your skis that you cant continue for about a minute while they pick them selves up - not something I'll solve overnight but again added to the fustration of my 10k race on the Saturday.
On a more positive note, I've been shortlisted for the 2017 Trespass Snowsports Blog of the Year awards. I was lucky enough to win this award last year and absoluteley delighted to have been nominated yet again. This year I'm up against fellow British Nordic athlete Callum Smith, a couple of the top GB alpine skiers and a snowboarder so competition is tough, but whatever happens it's great to be nominated and shortlisted.
If you get a chance to vote go to: https://goo.gl/0v6jKk and you find me under Snowsports.
Also on the back of my recent crowdfunder campaign, I was delighted to be contacted by one of the local businesses in the town where I live to say they'd like to support me and provide some sponsorship for the coming season. So, I've now got my first official sponsor and delighted to have Sinclairs of Rhynie as part of my support team - thanks guys.
I'm back to school for 4 days before Xmas and then its only a couple of weeks until I head off to Slovenia for my next set of races. This time the races are in my favoured freestyle (skate) style so I'm looking forward to those but the last race of the weekend is a 20km skiathlon where you do half of the race in one style and then swap skis and poles for the 2nd style for the second half. The changeover is a little like F1 when they come into the pits although I don't have a crew to swap over the skis, I have to do it myself.
Looking forward to it and hope to kick start the New Year with some great results.