Hannah's Journal – Part 3
Sat. Feb.27, 2016
I enjoyed playing soccer with the Finns and the Norwegians this morning. The Norwegians were good soccer players but apparently too good for defense and stayed near the net waiting to score a goal.
In Bucharest, Romania we went to the second largest building in Europe, the Palace of Parliament. Over 3000 massive rooms, diamond chandeliers, different colour marble and oak, and ornate designs covering the ceiling in gold leaf basically describes the palace. I can see why it took over 14 years to build.
I would like to thank all of you who have been reading my updates. It has been a pleasure to stay in touch with home. A special thank you to my Sovereign Lake family and ski community for your support. I would not be here racing in Romania if it wasn't for all of you. Also, thanks to my dedicated coach Darren Derochie for working with me for about five years now helping me to reach my goals. Thanks to BC Team coaches Chris Manhard, Graham Maclean and Adam Elliot for helping me get here. Big thanks to Ron and Theresa at Stussi's Sport and Fisher for top notch equipment. Lastly, I am incredibly grateful to Cross Country BC for their help with this trip.
Overall it has been an amazing experience. Racing, learning, and enjoying Austria and Romania with the Canadian team!
I am exited to come home. Traveling makes me appreciate what we have in Canada.
Fri. Feb. 26, 2016
Team Sprints rocked today! Only Natalie and I raced because the other 2 girls were not feeling well. I had the first leg so I got to start. I sprinted hard to stay with the top girls. Up the hill I fell into the rhythm with them. A girl fell right in front of me so I gingerly stepped around. On one downhill, I was so close to a Norwegian girl that I could see the patterns on her suit! They weren't going that much faster than me! It was so exciting!
Note: Hannah skied the first leg and finished her 2.5 km lap in 5:30.07, only 10.6 seconds behind the leader. She finished in 9th spot,
WJC Women’s Results: http://medias4.fis-ski.com/pdf/2016/CC/3093/2016CC3093RL.pdf
Fri. Feb. 25, 2016
Note: The races changed from skiathlon to skate competitions due to the snow challenges that have prevailed. The day dawned with a clear -5 degree C. day, providing some normalcy for the weather that has featured rain and double digit temperatures.
The 10km Skate race today was tough. The first couple of laps I was only 10 seconds from top 30. I was on the move! Then in the beginning of the 3rd lap I fell. My legs were like jello and I was struggling to stay on top of my feet. However, I kept on fighting. People said I was smiling under my grimace. The kind of race when I know I can do better, makes me hungry for more.
I'm excited for tomorrow's team relay!!
WJC Women’s Results: http://medias3.fis-ski.com/pdf/2016/CC/3091/2016CC3091RL.pdf
Hannah Mehain at left
Last night I went to the Opening Ceremony. The rest of the Canadian cross country ski team decided not to go so when I arrived I was the only Canadian there. Apparently you need two people so they got one of the volunteers to carry the Canadian sign while I carried the Canadian flag. I enjoyed talking to this Romanian and he even tried to teach me some of the Romanian language. ‘Mulțumesc’ means ‘thank you’ in Romanian. Then some Canadian ski jumpers showed up and took his place. We were called forward to march across the arena. Canadadada!
Today I went to the Bran Castle, supposedly the one Dracula hid out in back in the 14th century. There were numerous narrow passage ways, tiny windows and secret staircases and doors leading to 57 small rooms. The stairways were barely wide enough for two people to squeeze past, and were very steep and winding. Fascinating indeed.
This afternoon the Canadian team had a mandatory fun activity. We all got to pick a piece of paper out of a bag that had something like "baseball" on it and we had to act it to for our our team to guess. The more we could do the better. We had a few good laughs.
I was really happy with my 5 km classic race today. I started my warm up 1 1/2 hours before and it was really good, even though we had to do it running on the grassy patches. We got to ski the 2.5 km only once before our race and that is when I got behind a Norwegian skier and I watched her technique with a snappy kick and a strong pull with the arms. I tried to keep that up the whole race and I managed to catch a few skiers and pass them. In the stadium we were running through puddles of water and it was splashing up onto my suit, but it didn't matter, I just tried to ski my best anyhow.
WJC Women’s Results: http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=CC&raceid=25974
WJC Men’s Results: http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=CC&raceid=25974
U23 Women’s Results: http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=CC&raceid=25972
U23 Men’s Results: http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=CC&raceid=25973
Feb. 22nd, 2016
I never skied anything like it before (Sprint race day). It was very difficult for me to push to my max. It was very warm and the snow was extremely deep and sugary, especially on the long gradual climb out of the stadium - and it was so slow coming down. My legs felt heavy but I think I did well. During the warm up they were draining the stadium of water.
WJC Women’s Results: http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=CC&raceid=25964
WJC Men’s Results: http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=CC&raceid=25966
U23 Women’s Results: http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=CC&raceid=25968
U23 Men’s Results: http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=CC&raceid=25970
Feb. 19th, 2016
It's my second day in Romania and as you can see from the photos there's not much snow here. The small country road is one of the places where we have been running. They are busy hauling snow from the mountains and we should have a 2.5 km loop that we can ski and warm-up on soon. The race course is really neat. From the stands you can watch most of the race as the course loops through the stadium numerous times.
I had an excellent rollerski today. A grand total of 30 min. because there are five rollerskis for the twenty of us. The coaches were fortunate enough to rent five pair from the local club. And Coach Charles led the best stretching core yoga workout ever.
I was also playing soccer with the Australians today. Everyone on my team asks me how I know the Australians. I'm gradually making friends from across the globe. When I see someone on my way to where we eat I ask them, "Do you speak English?". So far I've successfully met two Finnish girls and an Estonian. How cool is that??
Feb. 18, 2016
I'm writing as we're driving to Raşnov, Romania. Snow is scarce. Big difference between Austria and Romania. Austria is very neat and clean and tidy. Here in Romania there is lots of litter on the side of the road, stray dogs everywhere, flocks of sheep, medieval looking buildings, gardens at almost every house, horses pulling wagons, people selling produce at the side of the road.
I actually find it much more interesting than Austria.
A couple of hours later...
We arrived at our hotel and went for a little jog checking out the race course. Most of the stadium is covered in snow and some of the race course. Other than that there is grass, dirt, and gravel. We are not allowed to ski on the trails until Sunday. Darren (my coach) was serious when he said that we should keep up our running legs through the winter.
Update you later. Going to dinner now.
Still in Austria Feb. 15, 2016
I am soooo glad I'm able to speak French because half the time (or more) the conversations are in French and I am able to follow along.
We visited Innsbruck this afternoon. All the buildings along the river are in a row and painted bright pastels. All the colors remind me of Silver Star Village. Old Innsbruck has cobblestone alleyways and expensive shops that line the streets. I lost the group while I was looking at scarves. Luckily Old Innsbruck is very small so I found the big red Canadian hats again.
The Australians are also skiing in Seinfeld Austria this week. I've seen then twice on the trails now. The alactic sprints felt good today, especially the double pole. I'm feeling like I belong on the team and there is no place I'd rather be.
Happy Valentines Day from Seefeld Austria!
I skied today and there were so many skiers on the trails. I would love to see more of that back home. The trails are a five minute walk away from the cozy little hotel we're staying at. The town is remote with snowy mountain peaks all around. The buildings look as if they're from another century. Some have a little mural on the front or painted designs around the doors and windows.
Being with the team is so much fun. I am a little shy and untalkative but they manage to keep me in the conversation by asking me questions.
This place is unique and beautiful in its own way. I stand proud when I am with the team.
Feb. 13, 2016
Hi everyone! I am now on European soil!! We're just listening to the German radio on our way to Seefeld, Austria. I forgot they speak German here and tried to ask a lady where the water fountain was. Got a blank look. It's neat hearing people around you speak a different language.
Glancing out the window, sometimes I see the odd patch of castle-like houses painted in pale yellow.
Flights went smoothly for the most part. My hummus went through customs three times without a problem. Had to really hustle in Toronto to make the flight. Luckily, there was another skier going to worlds, Jack, who helped me navigate the crazy massive Toronto airport and get through customs in a hurry. Enjoying the trip so far. Trying to stay awake. Thank goodness for helpful team mates!