Ending One Chapter and Starting Another New One

How many times in your life have you heard someone say, “Life is short” or “Boy, did that summer fly by!”? I have heard it a lot and it is not how many times, but how I have changed or reacted when I have heard that. The truth is life is extremely short and we really won’t ever know what the next day will bring. In the past year, I have seen a lot of loss and it has been a difficult one. I lost my Mom, two very close friends and colleagues in John Hugus and Igor Badamshin, and I lost my marriage. It is time for a change.

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Bill Pierce, CXC Elite Coach

It is very bittersweet as I really love working for Central Cross Country and the Midwest and with the staff that forms those teams. The relationships that have been formed with many people, colleagues, and athletes cannot be matched or replaced. I loved all aspects of the position but most of all I really enjoyed coaching the Master skiers. They truly are trying to find enjoyment and re-creation in this sport and it was so rewarding to see progression and enjoyment from these athletes and people! I want to preach a little here about Central skiing. There are a lot of great people trying to enhance, grow, and spread the sport of Nordic cross country skiing. All are meaning well and trying to contribute to some part of it. Get involved either with your time or your money. It is a sport in the US that will never be main stream because it won’t sell huge quantities of beer, chips, or soda, and because of this, organizations need your help. Central

Cross Country is an organization that you can get involved in! CXC is doing more for skiing than any other organization in the country!! That is not an opinion, it is a fact. If you get involved and learn what they are doing, you will see that and be amazed! Everything from youth club programs, elementary school introduction-to-skiing programs, across the board adaptive programs, junior skiing programs, elite skiing programs, SuperFit retail programs, summer Junior camps, Masters coaching programs, coaches education conferences, club development seminars, event organizing (2015 Para World Championships and the 2016 US Junior National Championships), and a lot more in between is all part of what they are doing. All this is building the base of Nordic skiing and promoting the sport to athletes and the general public that do not even know what Nordic is! So when an opportunity presents itself to you for time or money, do one simple thing….please give. You will enhance your life and someone else’s all at the same time.

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Colorado

As of October I will be calling Colorado home. I have been presented the opportunity to be the Nordic Director at Snow Mountain Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies. It is a great position with all the aspects and skill set requirements of what I have experienced in skiing and development my whole career. It is an organization that focuses on a healthy mind, body, and soul and the outdoor activities that re-create that on a daily basis. I am super stoked to take this position in an environment that is breath taking! I will miss the day to day contact that I have with people in the Central region and specifically Seeley, WI. I have been here and called this home for almost 20 years working with the ABSF and CXC. A lot has changed over that time and most of it for the good! My friendships will stay intact and Denver is an easy trip to anywhere in the Midwest! I look forward to a new adventure, trips back to see family and friends, and trips out to visit and explore. Life is enjoyable, awesome, and most of all, too short! Do what you love, love what you do!

Thank you so much everyone for your support!!

- Bill Pierce

Canmore Training Camp Update

by Bill Bowler, CXC TEAM

My training camp in Canmore has gone quite well. After living here for 2 years of my life (2012-2013), it has become like a second home to me. It’s a great town for a skier, and a nice place to escape the heat and humidity for a little while! I have had a break between summer and fall classes, so the goal has been to get in as much training as I can during these 2 weeks. Most days have consisted of around 4-5 hours. The trails at the Nordic Centre are conducive to all types of training, and with over 100km of trails it is difficult to get bored.

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Canmore Nordic Centre trailhead

Perhaps the best thing about being here is discovering that I still have the ability to train well. After last season’s struggle with injury and disappointing results, I took about 5 months off with little to no training. Gradually, the desire to get back to some training and racing has returned. At this point, however, I am just grateful for any solid training day I can put in while staying healthy. It has really made me appreciate skiing from the standpoint of intrinsic enjoyment as opposed to cutthroat competition against the world’s elite.

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Canmore IBU Cup 2012

Another benefit of training in Canmore is the rollerski loop that includes a biathlon range. This top-notch facility allows for what we biathletes call “combo” training. I’ve been able to test out a new stock for my rifle, and can see great improvements there already.

Overall, I have to say that my time here has been very productive. It will be nice to be back in the Midwest though!

Thanks for reading.

- Bill

 

CXC Continues To Partner With Rossignol

CXC is proud to announce the continuation of it’s important sponsorship with Rossignol, thru Group Rossignol North America for another season. “We are thrilled to have the support for our athletes with Rossignol, a worldwide leader in the cross-country ski sport. Their support means more of our athlete’s get exposure to World Cup quality gear, that helps them ski better and faster.”

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Rossignol, which turned 100 years old in 2007, is a company that supports the mountain lifestyle mission with passionate commitment coupled with a professional and authentic mountain branding.

“Partnering with CXC was a very easy decision for Rossignol,” said Ryan Green, Nordic Division Manager for Rossignol North America, saying… CXC is a steward of the sport and continually works to create opportunities for people to discover develop and excel within the sport. This is true whether it is an elementary school student trying skiing for the first time with the youth program, a club utilizing the training center or a new high school coach attending the Level 100 certification. These efforts are increasing accessibility and participation in skiing along with improving the experience of all skiers.”

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 10.15.00 AMGreen went on to praise the CXC Team calling it an important part of their racing program. “We work with CXC on every aspect of equipment selection with the athletes and ensure we have open communication throughout the process. We start with product education and selection in the summer, validate with on snow testing in the early winter and continue to test throughout the winter. Working with Bill, Andrew and the athletes has been a very rewarding experience and is a part of our continuing education. All of us feel confident that when we work together and learn from each other we have the right skis in the bag and, more importantly, the athletes know which skis to use based on conditions and terrain. This allows us to be more efficient leading up to the race start.”

CXC Head Coach Bill Pierce feels strongly about the Rossignol brand.

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I have worked with quite a few different ski companies and reps over the years. Most companies have good product and can get you skis that can run well. Then last year with Rossignol has been that and way more. There are a few reasons that I add the “More” to the last statement, but I will only mention two. The service that we have received as a racing team is unlike anything I have had or experienced before.

Paul Clark is the best race services director and tech in North America in my opinion. He fulfilled all our expectations and much more. We not only received extremely high quality race product, but we got it early, tested it, and received better if we were not satisfied. He helped us pick, test, and retest until we ended up with the best ski fleets possible. Second, after one year on the product, I feel it is the best quality in the business. Bottom line, the skis are light, responsive, and FAST! The boots are light, give great ski feel, and still they are really warm! Just what an athlete is looking for.”

By: Peter Graves, CXC Public Relations

MARWE to TEAM UP with CXC

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CXC Regional Elite Development Camp Rolls on Marwe

By: Peter Graves, CXC Public Relations

Marwe roller skis enjoy a strong international reputation as being used by the best of the best. The Marwe name has been recognized as being one of the best roller skis and training tools on the market. That’s why we are happy to announce that Marwe roller skis will become the official brand for CXC programs and that’s welcome news.

The Finnish-based brand is imported in the United States and Canada by importer Finn Sisu.

CXC Executive Director Yuri Gusev announced the sponsorship today saying…”We are really pleased to have Marwae join our program. We are continuing to grow our family of sponsors with high quality products and with sponsors like Marwe that sharing our vision to excellence in cross-country skiing. This trusted collaboration will make a huge difference to our athletes, and we take pride in that.”

Kevin Johnson oversees the program for Marwe and said today….”CXC is at the heart of development of cross country skiing in our region.  Through their junior and masters training camps, coaches education programs, elementary school outreach programs, state-of-the-art training center and the racing team, CXC is working to improve skiing at every level of the development progression.  We are excited that CXC is choosing Marwe Roller Skis.”

“I’m constantly seeing pics on Facebook, Instagram, and various blogs with the top skiers in the world using Marwe Roller Skis.  From top US skiers including World Champions Kikkan Randall and CXC Alum Jessie Diggins, to the likes of Legkov, Saarinen, the Norwegian and French biathlon teams it is becoming clear that Marwe is simply the best!”

“Most people don’t know this, but Marwe is a leading industrial rubber manufacturer in Finland.  They got into the roller ski business when one of their executives realized that roller ski wheels wore out much too fast.  They got together with Peltonen to make the shafts in their ski factory and Marwe supplied the know-how for the wheels.  With Marwe you get a smooth riding roller ski with wheels that are incredibly durable giving you an experience that closely mimics skiing on snow,” Johnson added.

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CXC Head coach Bill Pierce has had more than a decade of experience using Marwae roller skis and is thrilled by the new partnership.

- “I have been training and coaching on Marwe roller skis for about 15 or so years and I’ve  been on and demoed almost every other brand that is sold in North America.  My preference is based on years of quality experience and service from the product and the supplier.  The Skate 610C and the Combi are the skis I prefer.  Both have a light weight feel and flex of something similar to snow skiing.  The honey comb shaft construction softens the ride and feel of the ski and makes for a pleasant experience on rougher surfaces.  The stiffer the shaft of a roller ski, the more road vibration and discomfort that comes through the ski to your feet.  The wheel durability on all Marwe skis is unlike all other brands.  Skiing 4-6 times per week during the dry land season I have been able to get years from the life of the wheels.  Most of our training time on skis is classic and the Combi is the ski of choice for myself and my athletes.  Though most of the classic work is double pole, the time spent striding or kicking feels much more like snow than the longer classic skis produced by most companies.  Having the front wheel closer to the binding point of the ski gives the athlete more control and more of a snow like feel for kick follow through and forward drive to a gliding ski.  The bottom line is the Combi is lighter and has a more realistic snow feel than other longer classic skis.  My choice of Combi over Classic for striding is just my personal experience and preference from years of skiing on both. “

Pierce has some really passion for the brand, noting “ with what I have seen on the market over the years, nothing beats Marwe for performance, maintenance and adjustments, and local service.  Finn Sisu sells and distributes the product and has done so forever.  They know the importance of service and stand firmly behind the product and the athletes that use them”.

Marwe offers their world famous vibration damping composit frames and a full line of roller skis and parts. To order a Marwe please refer to finnsisu.com.

Quotes from CXC Team athletes:

Nichole Bathe: I choose to ski on Marwe rollerskis because they feel the most like skiing on snow and help replicate the technique I want for snow season. They also ride more smoothly than other skis I have tried and tend to hold up better than most rollerskis.

Bill Bowler: I choose Marwe rollerskis because they provide the closest replication of snow skiing amongst available rollerski brands.  They also give you a variety of options in terms of rolling resistance. I’m a big skier and I tend to break shafts, so it’s also nice to have aluminum shafts as an option if desired.

Testing, 1, 2, 3, Testing…

The 2014-15 Nordic season got kick started for the CXC Team last weekend. Testing, adventure, and more testing made up the agenda for last weekend.

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On Friday, athletes met at our Madison training facility and had time both in testing and technique. Time was split on running and roller ski treadmills. Physiology tests for heart rate training zones and double pole frequency as in relation to those zones were conducted. Double pole frequency is determined by computer sensors in the pole grips that measure both the force applied and the strike frequency. Knowing frequency is beneficial in interval and strength training when designing dry land exercises that meet a cycle tempo goal. Knowing an athlete’s training zones and measuring every 8 weeks helps us to determine the focus of training. Adjustments in plans for what works and what needs improvement is much easier to understand if one tracks the training. We also conducted some technique work for both classic and skate. The athlete is able to view themselves both from the front in a mirror and from the side in a live video feed. Coaching cues that are given can have an immediate response and the athlete can feel and see what happens with a directed pattern change. Nothing is better for changing and improving technique!

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Saturday morning, or late Friday night (2:45am), started our adventure to Muskegon, MI. The Earth, Wind, and Tired 5k is sponsored by Lake Express Ferry out of Milwaukee. We loaded the ship right after 5:30am to depart at 6:00am. The trip only takes 2.5 hours and is really a unique way to experience the other side of the lake. The race is a trail run and what makes it so difficult is the soft dune sand. 99% of the trail surface is soft dry sand. Athletes that can run a 5K in 15 minutes end up running the event in around 25 minutes. To say the least, it is a very tough but enjoyable challenge! Nordic athletes shine at this event because of how much strength the running requires! The rest of the day is about relaxing, eating, and listening to live music at the park while attending awards and waiting for the “last boat” home. This trip could be anything from an endurance sport weekend, a winery or orchard tour, a golf outing, or a tulip festival! So much is to be seen across the lake and avoiding an additional 3-5 hours of interstate through Chicago makes the ferry so worth it! What an awesome weekend getaway one can have!!

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 3.17.15 PMOn Sunday, we conducted some more athlete testing and also got in a great over distance ski in the hills around Blackhawk ski club. Overall it was a very productive and enjoyable three days getting started for another great season with the CXC TEAM, its sponsors, and supporters!! Thank you Madison and Lake Express!!

Here’s a few photos of the camp and adventure.

CXC Collegiate Summer Training

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What: Summer training opportunity in the Hayward/Cable, Wisconsin area.

Includes three elements of a great summer of focused training and life.

  • A place to live.
  • A training group with coaching.
  • A job opportunity that fits a training schedule and maximizes earnings.

Summer 2014: Housing and coaching will begin on May 24th, 2014 and will end August 22nd, 2014.

Housing Fee: A rental fee of $175.00/month for your housing, Total $525.00.

Coaching Fee: $250.00 fee for the summer of group training.

Scheduled Coaching Sessions:

  • May 26, 28, 30
  • June 3, 4, 6, 10, 12, 17, 19,24,26
  • July 1, 3, 7, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 25, 29, 30
  • August 1, 5, 7, 8, 19, 20, 22

Athletes that wish to obtain their own housing can also join in the summer training and programming for a fee of $275.00

There are only 5 residency spots available for males and 4 for females. 10 additional training slots are open without the housing option.

CONTACT : Bill Pierce, bill.pierce@cxcskiing.org