UBC Nordic glides through Western’s and into Reading Break!

Some of the team after a Coast Cup race at Whistler Olympic Park

After battling through 3 straight weeks of ski racing and some midterm action the UBC Nordic headed to Western’s for our second biggest race of the year. Unfortunately, due to some non-ski related (maybe the dark side of skiing related) injuries and a few poorly timed projects, we were down to just Kat, Claire and Cary for this trip. Luckily for us, the small numbers allowed us to take advantage of some last-minute room availability at the swanky Cove Resort on Lake Okanagan. We obviously would have rather had our teammates there… but anytime you stay in a hotel that provides you with bathrobes is a good time.

We were also graciously supported by Vancouver’s local race team, Hollyburn Racing, and we are extremely grateful for all of their help. All of their parent volunteers were unbelievably welcoming and helpful.  Safe to say we would join their race team in a heartbeat just for the baked goods – not to mention the speedy wax.

Skate Sprint

The weekend began with a skate sprint on a very front heavy 1.3km course. After racing the qualifier in the morning, all three UBC athletes made it safely through to the heats, even though they all felt they were missing an extra gear. In fact, shortly after, Katia Lumb said “I’m pretty sure I could have held that pace for another 10k”.

Luckily for us old university folk, we tend to get faster as the day goes on. This was best demonstrated by Claire Grall-Johnson making it all the way to the A-final and finishing 4th overall on the day (2nd Senior!!). Carrington Pomeroy nearly equalled that feat, but pulled a “Junior Boy move” and cruised into the finish of his semi final thinking his 3rd place was good enough to move on… turns out the heats were timed and the other semi final was faster…

Claire on the Senior Women’s podium!

Cary starting off his skate sprint

Kat gliding over the course’s first hill












Classic Mass Start

The second day of racing brought a 10k Classic Mass Start on a course that began with a long gradual climb up to the high point before a couple of fun downhills back to the stadium. Katia made good on her earlier quote by putting on a classic striding clinic and moving up to finish as the 8th university skier. Claire continued her fine run of form and finished as the 3rd senior woman (4th university skier). Cary settled for 3rd in the university category after skiing in a group containing the top 3 university skiers until the last 500m when they decided to use their fast twitch muscles and he realized he didn’t have any anymore.

Kat showing off some smooth striding

Cary(right) on the University podium

Claire trying to get to a double pole section as fast as she can














The last day of racing featured a provincial relay which gave us a great opportunity to meet some of the other west coast skiers. Highlight of the day was for sure Claire having the fastest women’s 5k course time. I’m sure the national team skiers are stoked that Nationals doesn’t have a 5k skate. Pretty sure Cary is also stoked that he doesn’t have to race Claire in one either.

When/where can you see us tear up the trails next? Up next for the team will be the Coast Outdoors P’ayakentsut on February 23rd 2019 before we head to Ottawa to throw down with Canada’s best at Nationals.

Athlete Profile:

Name: Blakely “Bakery” Browne
YOB/Racing Category: 1996, Senior Men
Hometown: Leavenworth, WA
What are you studying: Human Geography and español
Skate or Classic: Squats
Favourite spot you’ve xc skied and why: Soldier Hollow, Utah, ‘cause it has a crazy cool stadium setup that makes you feel like you’re racing NASCAR.
Go-to breakfast meal: Patatas a lo pobre n’ a banana smoooovie
Favourite seasoning/sauce: Ketchup
Favourite studying building: The Gym
Smooth or crunchy pb: Crunchy. I like to sit on the couch and pick all the crunchy bits out mmmm.
Trip/race you’re most looking forward to this year: Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet in Salmon Arm… I need redemption!
If you could go to the olympics for one sport (other than xc): Freestyle rapping.
Favourite board game: Chess.
Fun facts: I am 9’ 8” and I weigh 1234 lbs

Quote(s) of the Month:

“Oh wow, that Timbit was very sweet, I think I’m going to have to take off my hat!” –  Hollyburn athlete, Freya Orban

“You’ve gotta sleep as you can, when you can,  as much as you can” – Kat

Potluck Dish of the Month:

Anything the Hollyburn parents made and Claire Grall’s chocolate-less chocolate black bean brownies

Non-Training Related Highlight of the Month

Kat winning Roll up the Rim was HUGE