From Sept. 27 to Oct. 11, Canada’s Rocky Mountain Racers headed to Park City, Utah, for their annual fall training camp. The team, which is made up of twenty biathletes and cross-country skiers from across the country, took advantage of the region’s high altitude while putting in big volume hours and intensity.
Coaches John Jaques and Luke McGurk led RMR athletes during two grueling weeks of training with 3-5 hour volume days up Mirror Lake Pass, Wolf Pass, Emigration Pass, and Big Cottonwood Pass. For intensity sessions, the team went to Soldier Hollow, where the former Olympic venue’s paved rollerski track and biathlon range provided an opportunity for the biathletes and the cross-country skiers to train together.
For many RMR athletes, this was their first time coming to Park City.
“Skiing at Soldier Hollow was one of my favourite parts of the trip,” said Donny Boake, 15-year old RMR skier from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. “The rollerski track there has steep climbs and technical descents, so it was a great place to practice attacking the climbs and taking the descents aggressively.”
For returning athlete Ember Large, the camp provided a great opportunity to connect and work as a team.
“It was great to have the entire team together for two weeks, both for intensity and long easy days,” she explained. “Having everyone there made for a really fun atmosphere, and we were able to learn a lot from each other.”
This year, the team added something new to their training camp: agility practice. Armed with empty parking lots, sharp corners, and sidewalk curbs for the athletes to jump off of, RMR coaches prepared obstacle courses for the athletes to help improve their confidence on rollerskis. The sessions focused on honing the athletes’ ability to ski in a pack, corner, navigate obstacles, jump, and rollerski.
According to Coach McGurk, the agility sessions allowed athletes to “become more comfortable on their skis and give them the confidence to make decisions quickly when faced with a difficult situation.”
“The camp at Soldier Hollow is always an excellent starting point for the year as it offers a wide variety of terrain that we can use to test our athletes as well as most of our athletes will be in attendance,” he added.
The camp finished off with a sprint time trial at Soldier Hollow, where RMR athletes were joined by Wasatch Nordic Ski Academy for the day. Athletes completed a qualifier, three heats, and another qualifier to finish off the day. Heats were organized according to qualifying time, with similar speed athletes placed in the same heats to make for optimal competitiveness.
“It was a great experience to be able to race with some other girls that we don’t get to see in Canada,” she said. “It was a tough course with lots of hard uphills and downhills that really helped improve my skiing.”
Now done their last camp of the season, RMR athletes have headed back to Canada for some final training on Canmore’s Frozen Thunder before the season kicks off at the end of November.
Rocky Mountain Racers
Racing Season: Part II
The second half of the 2014-2015 racing season was an exciting one for RMR. Many of the athletes were scattered around the world, having qualified in the early season for various international and national competitions. Here are some RMR’s exciting results from the season.
Western Canadian Championships
The races were an excellent opportunity for RMR athletes to prepare for next year’s World Cup events, which will be held on the same courses.
Eastern Canadian Championships
FIS World Junior/U23 Championships
FIS World Championships
Lahti World Cup
Canada Winter Games
International Biathlon Union Cup
World University Games
Western Canadian Championships
World Junior Championships
Canada Winter Games
After a relaxing month of rest and recovery for both athletes and coaches, RMR training has just started for the upcoming season! On the calendar this summer and fall include dryland camps in Creston, B.C., Canmore, AB., and Park City, Utah, as well as on-snow training at the Haig Glacier and Sunshine Meadows.
RMR would like to extend a huge and heartfelt thank-you to all of its sponsors. Each and every one of you helps contribute to the team’s success; we would not function without your support.
The results from a very soggy first race in Edmonton!
Rocky Mountain Racers
Training Camps and Early Racing Season
Led by coaches John Jaques and Luke McGurk, the RMR athletes have had a busy training season filled with multiple camps and an exciting start to the racing season.
Sunshine Ski Camp
Throughout May and June, RMR athletes were fortunate enough to be able to ski on fully groomed cross-country trails in the meadows at Sunshine Village near Banff. The team took advantage of this opportunity to focus on volume and technique while on snow, skiing for 3-5 hours every day. The athletes and their coaches also were lucky enough to enjoy some beautiful early morning crust skiing on the Sunshine meadows.
Creston Bike Camp
RMR athletes headed down to Creston, B.C. at the beginning of July for a high volume road biking camp, aimed towards improving the athletes’ endurance and leg strength. Supported by their coaches and by parents and team volunteers, athletes cycled up to 150km each day, with workouts lasting up to 6 hours. The camp was the team’s first trip away from Canmore as a group, and was a great opportunity for athletes to work together and enjoy training as a team.
Haig Glacier On-Snow Camps
The team attended three on-snow training camps throughout July, August, and September at the Haig Glacier, where they took advantage of the skiing opportunities to focus on both technique and volume. Each day, RMR athletes completed a 1-hour hike to from the base camp to the glacier itself, followed by 3-4 hours of skiing. Athletes also took advantage of the glacier’s high altitude (over 2400m) to boost their endurance and stamina.
Park City High Altitude Camp
RMR’s final training camp of the year took place near the end of September in Park City, Utah. The Park City camp, known by RMR athletes as the “hardest camp of the year”, combined high altitude, high volume, high intensity, and strength in a final preparation for athletes leading up to the racing season. Athletes completed a variety of time trials, intensity and strength sessions, and 4-5 hour distance skis throughout the camp. The trip ended with an epic 30km trail run at 9000 ft. elevation, lasting 4-5 hours.
For the biathletes and cross-country skiers, the first two months of racing involved a variety of selection races for Canada Winter Games, biathlon and cross-country World Junior Championships, World University Championships, IBU events, and World Cup events. RMR athletes succeeded in having some outstanding results, proving that the team can compete with Canada’s best high-performance training centers.
Canada Winter Games Trials
Duntroon NorAm / XC World Junior & U23 Trials
NorAm / Biathlon Calforex Cup #1
RMR would like to extend a huge and heartfelt thank-you to all of its sponsors. Each and every one of you helps contribute to the team’s success; RMR would not function without your support.
For More Photos of RMR in Action check out RMR photo gallery!
Here are the results from this weekend's NorAm/Calforex Cup Races!
Here are the RMR results of the first on snow biathlon races of the year. These races were held to select the last few spots for the Canadian IBU World Cup Team and IBU Cup Teams.
Dave was the Head Coach for RMR from 2001 – 2004, and made a significant contribution to the club during his tenure. He was committed to the athletes and supported them in every way possible. The athletes had great respect for Dave and his coaching abilities. He had a wealth of experience with Cross Country skiing, and with RMR had the opportunity to also coach Biathlon. He was totally committed to the high performance philosophy, always demonstrated enthusiasm and innovation, and knew what it took to win. Dave will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him through RMR, and amongst the Nordic community in Canada.
I was Dave's athlete for most of my teenage life. He was fondly "Coach Dave" and I think he coached us all in sport and in life. He began coaching RMR at a difficult time in his life but brought an energy and enthusiasm that was infectious. He designed diabolical workouts, carefully laid out training programs, and took us all on some pretty wild adventures. He taught us how to work hard with a smile, to win and to lose. He took me on my first trip to Europe, was there through my graduation and lived in my basement the first time I moved away from home. He was there through my first breakup, my worst injuries and, whether I won the race or not, was always waiting at the finish line with a big hug. He would drive for hours to visit me in Rocky, play techno music and chase me up insanely steep hills while I did squat jumps. He was always supportive, always had an opinion and good humour and made every experience memorable. It's been a long time since I've been in the periwinkle van but every time I fail or succeed I have Dave with me. He made a profound impact on my life and I am forever grateful for his dedication, commitment and love.
Dave Battison was a coach, friend and true supporter of all his athletes'. He had an ability to connect critical technique elements, create challenging yet possible training plans meanwhile asking his athletes' to understand why and how they would achieve their goals. He was always welcoming, with a smile even at 6:30 am in the wax hut prior to a race. Dave had an ability to incite interest, create comedic relief and make skiing engaging. At RMR, Dave led a group of young athletes' to achieve significant improvements and results. On numerous occasions he helped athletes' who needed support and guidance with sport, but also personally. In addition, Dave participated himself in long-distance running and coached Ultra mountain bike races. Dave truly loved his vocation, his athletes and the sport. He will be sadly missed."
I remember training and spending time with Dave in many different locations; doing many different activities. A few stand out. We were doing plyometrics (a brutal workout devised by Dave) at the Canmore Nordic Center on a blustery autumn day. Always seeking improvement and increased performance, Dave created a bungee cord system in which he could harness the athlete and pull from behind to create resistance. I remember his encouragement each time I faced the hill, and while I inched my way up. After completing the workout, I felt an enormous sense of accomplishment and pride that we had done it together. For me, whether out skiing or in life, Dave will always be behind me, urging me forward."
A quick hello from the mountain cluster at the Paralympics. We're just down from the Laura Nordic centre where Mark Arentz got a silver today in the Biathlon 7.5 km sprint. Congratulations to Mark, and there will be celebrations at Canada House which is located at our hotel.
Very warm here, it was +10 at the race site this afternoon, and the course softening up.
The Russians love our Canadian flag; we are in countless photographs.
At the NorAm/Calforex Cup races this last weekend, Rocky Mountain Racers earned their way to the podium 11 times in 13 races. All our biathletes put in great races at the Canmore Nordic Centre this last weekend and the full RMR results are listed below.
This is where the latest RMR news will be posted. Postings will be contributed by numerous RMR athletes, RMR volunteers, and the coaches.