From September 27th to October 11th, one of Canada’s high performance racing teams, Rocky Mountain Racers (RMR), headed down to Park City, Utah for their two-week long high altitude training camp.
RMR is comprised of just over 20 high-performance athletes in both cross-country and biathlon from all across Canada. Led by coaches John Jaques and Luke McGurk, the team’s athletes focused on both high volume and high intensity during their camp.
Long 4-5 hour workouts were completed on the various mountain passes surrounding Park City and Salt Lake City while intensity sessions, time trials, and shooting practices were reserved for the excellent facilities available at Soldier Hollow.
Because of RMR’s cross-country/biathlon mix, Soldier Hollow was the perfect place for training sessions to occur; coaches were able to co-ordinate shooting practices for the biathletes with simultaneous roller-skiing sessions for the cross-country side of the team.
Utilizing Soldier Hollow’s biathlon range, extensive set of roller-ski tracks, and advantageously close proximity to Park City, RMR held several intensity sessions and time trials at the former Olympic site. The hilly climbs the facility offered also gave the athletes an opportunity to have a dry-land time trial with a course very similar to what they will face during the ski season.
“It’s inspiring to train in the exact spot that I saw my Olympic heroes win medals at during the 2002 Olympics,” RMR athlete Andrew Brisbin stated. “[Soldier Hollow] is the most difficult and technical rollerski track that I’ve been on, meaning it most closely resembles a world-cup caliber ski course through its lung and leg busting climbs and quick descents.”
Andrea Dupont, RMR skier and one of Canada’s top female sprinters, also enjoyed training at the former Olympic site. “I’ve had some of my best time trials and intensity sessions at Soldier Hollow. The high altitude and challenging courses make it an excellent place to train.”
When not focusing on intensity sessions or shooting practices, the team explored the many other mountain roads available for roller-skiing in the area, including Mirror Lake pass, Wolfe pass, and Guardsman Pass. They concluded their camp with a 4-5 hour altitude run at 9000ft. on the trails above Park City.
With their last camp of the season complete, RMR athletes are now in their final stages of preparing for the racing season and the upcoming NorAm races at West Yellowstone, Bozeman, Rossland, and Whistler.
For any athletes or coaches interested in exploring Soldier Hollow as a future training possibility, please use the following contact information:
Maya MacIsaac-Jones, RMR cross-country skier
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