One of the great perks of being an athlete it being able to travel to new countries and meet new people. I had never been to the Czech Republic before and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. The stadium in Nove Mesto was absolutely magnificent- it was HUGE! Here's a aerial of it:
The first race was the 10km sprint and I was a little stressed. I think this came through in my skiing as I had a very slow last lap. I hit all 5 targets in prone, but missed 2 in standing, leaving me with 8/10 and not a very happy athlete at the end. The course here was very tough. Up, up, up and then a lot of down. If you didn't ski smart, you would totally blow you
In between races was great as I was living at the same hotel as my old Canadian teammates (not in the age sense, although I did have a birthday and am now on the dark side of my twenties). We would eat together and when some of us did not qualify for the pursuit, we were able to enjoy some glasses of apple juice and play charades- just like back in the day when there was no internet. It was lovely.
|Thanks Glen Crawford for the amazing photo!|
|Right before the race...This is what a focused Murphy looks like. Thanks Glen Crawford for the amazing photos!|
I found the cross-country atmosphere very different to biathlon. It was not as organized as biathlon, but I will say the staff and coaches cheered a lot more for every athlete, not just their own. It was a really nice experience. Thank you very much to the Canadians for waxing my skis- they were super! And the race? Well, it was hard. I found it a lot harder than any biathlon race I have done this season. I think it is very beneficial for me to now do some xc races, not just for my speed, but also mentally to have to keep pushing through the whole race. I was last. Yep....at the very end. And far behind. But someone just told me it can only get better from there...so that is a positive :)
Thank you again to everyone for the amazing support! Even though I was last, I am still feeling the love from everyone :) xxxxx Here's to things getting better and better and 25 more years of fun and excitement:)