Familiar Faces and Familiar Places

My two weeks back home (in the New England area) has been nothing but amazing! In just two weeks, I was able to ski at most of my favorite places in the east and reunite with many of my friends, teammates, and coaches. Spending most of the season on the road makes coming home that much more special.

While I was home I got to spend quality time with my parents, including a last minute trip to race the Bogburn, a 7.5km single-track classic race through the back woods of Vermont. My parents were very excited to be able to be my wax techs and coaches again for a day! Although I had not been in Promfret before, it is one of my new favorite spots in New England. I was also able to make a day trip to my favorite place to ski growing up, the Windblown Cross Country Ski Area. My former CSU teammate Corey Stock joined me for a distance ski in 70-degree weather as we reminisced on our long adventure skis followed by hot chocolate there when we were 6 year olds.

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Yup, it was that warm…it even got up to 73 degrees!
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Skiing with Corey in Windblown!
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The Bobgurn!
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Skiing buddies 🙂

After a few days at home (kind of at home), I headed up to Craftsbury earlier than planned in search for snow. Craftsbury is not only known for its’ incredible trail system, but its’ impeccable ability of making and preserving snow…even through the 60 degree weather spells when no one else can. Our SMS Elite Team was lucky enough to be able to stay at Elizabeth’s place so we could train on snow.

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Vermont is so beautiful!

Once again, after a few days I packed up my bag again and headed to Lake Placid, NY for my last Junior Nationals. Lake Placid has always been one of my favorite places (at least for summer training) because it was the place where I would go to camp once a year (for 5 years in a row starting at the age of 14) and I got to live and train with my ski idols. Crazy enough, a lot of those athletes I can now call my teammates..but they are still my idols! Not to mention, Lake Placid is also a 2x Olympic venue and the history left around the little town is utterly inspiring. *Lake Placid is also the place where my best friends and I dreamt of getting a medal in a relay together at World Junior Championships two years ago and it came true this year. The organizers did the best job hosting Junior Nationals that I have ever experienced in my 5 years, even though they had to move the races to their plan B site at the Olympic Jumping Complex. I packed up my bag before Junior Nationals even concluded and headed straight back to Craftsbury for a few days to get rested and prepped for my first World Cup starts coming up this weekend!

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Classic sprint along “flag pole hill” (Jackie Schneider).
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A final (Skiinyski).
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Podium Ceremony in front of the Olympic jumps!
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The Lady Bosses!
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Rob and I talking about sprint tactics (NENSA).
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Race hard, rest hard (Alex Jospe).

What has stood out to me most these past two weeks is the incredible ski community that I am lucky enough to be a part of. I played almost every sport imaginable growing up and nothing comes close to the enthusiasm, positivity, passion, and hard work that revolves around cross country skiing and I think that is huge reason why skiing has become my lifestyle. I have been in this sport long enough (and almost at every level) to know quite a few people wherever I go. Being back home in the east has been especially fun because there are so many friends, teammates, parents, and coaches that I ran into and enjoyed catching up with. I heard so many people cheering for me at Junior Nationals, from coaches, to parents, to coaches and athletes from other regions and many more people I have worked with over the past few years. I am truly lucky to be surrounded and supported by so many people!

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Rob (my high school club coach) and I post race (NENSA)!
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Rob and Amie…the unbeatable power team (NENSA)!
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NE women’s team (NENSA).
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Bringing back the Alaska Cup (no I am not sleeping, I must have blinked)!
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Hugging it out with my friend Leah post race.

I have now arrived in Quebec City, Canada for my first World Cup races just two days away! I am currently running my fundraiser for my journey to the World Cup. Making the World Cup is not just one race or one trip, it takes a lot of travel and racing to earn and a spot and I am hoping to offset some of the costs. As a member of the U.S. Ski Team D-Team, I am non funded athlete and I must cover all of my travel and race expenses, including the expenses to race on the World Cup. Please check out my RallyMe page for more information and please share the link with friends!

https://ussa.rallyme.com/rallies/6212/juliaworldcup

The races are on March 17th, 18th, and 19th in Quebec City, Canada and results can be found at http://www.fis-ski.com and for live video coverage on http://www.nbcsports.com. I hope to see some of you up here cheering in person! Thanks for your support!

NBC Sports Broadcasting Schedule on http://www.nbcsports.com (all times in EST).

  • Friday, March 17: Freestyle sprint (Heats starting at 1:15 p.m.)
  • Saturday, March 18: 10/15 k classic mass starts (women’s race at 9:40 a.m.; men at noon)
  • Sunday, March 19: 10/15 k freestyle pursuits (women’s race at 10:20 a.m.; men at 11:45 a.m.)

-JKern

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