Neverest, the hardest day of my life

I’ve done plenty of hard things in my athletic career, from 12 hour skis, to 60km races, to 700km of bike riding in 4 days, to extremely painful interval sessions that make me want to vomit. None of those come close to this. I’ve been tired before, but nothing like this. I’ve collapsed to the…

Wieder Dahoam – und ein großes Dankeschön

*English Translation Below* Danke an… Dieser Post ist das erste auf Deutsch in diesem Blog, aber zum Ende meines Aufenthalts in Deutschland muss ich etwas für die Leute in Deutschland schreiben. Mehr als 14 Monate nach meiner Ankunft in Deutschland bin ich wieder in Australien, um ein neues Studium zu beginnen, und ein Kapitel in meinem…

Crashing into walls at the Dolomitenlauf

As my European season draws to an early close, I once again headed off to a race weekend, this time to Lienz in Austria, to race the 42km Dolomitenlauf and the 700m Dolomitensprint. Both of them involved impact with barriers on the side of the course… The Dolomitenlauf is a founding member the Worldloppet series,…

Racing on home turf

One of the main differences in racing in Australia is the ‘home-course’ advantage, where we race every year on the same race courses, learning how to approach particular parts of the course both mentally and physically. For most of us when we come overseas, the season is a series of unknown or vaguely familiar racecourses,…

The Jizzy Fiddy

Relax, it isn’t the name of my debut rap album, although if I had one I would definitely call it that. It describes rather the Jizerská padesátka (the second word means 50) held in the Jizera (pronounced yizaira) mountains. It is normally a 50km classic race, held on a large loop near the town of…

Slush Slogging (Hochfilzen Race Report)

The early part of a European season often involves a lot of Australian Team athletes in many different places. I had planned to do this long weekend of Alpen (European) Cup racing basically by myself, with wax support from the British team, similar to how I did these same races last year. However, I decided…

The Future of XC Skiing? (La Sgambeda race report)

One of the more interesting developments in XC skiing in the past years has been the emergence of the Ski Classics series, a group of ski marathons, using classic technique, which feature professional teams, sprint points in the middle of races, group tactics, and a helicopter as part of the TV coverage. If it sounds…

The Descent of Winter

Normally people think of the arrival of winter as a question of time: you just watch the days tick over as it gets colder and colder until we get to a point where we decide it’s cold enough to be winter, or we just wait for a specific date. Others will think of it geographically:…

Merkel’s Finest Hour

I know in writing this I risk incurring the wrath of those who believe the Greeks to be fundamentally not at fault for their problems, but I’d like to speak about a less controversial side of German politics, namely its openness towards asylum seekers. Germany has not been the perfect land of welcome, as evidenced…

My Winter in Summer

One of the things I often had to explain in the first half of the year was my answer to ‘how long are you staying in Germany?’ The answer is that I’m in Germany for 12 months, but broken up into a 7 and a 5 month block, with 10 weeks of Australian winter sandwiched…

The Rollerski Train, and other summer training highlights

Summer is in full swing in Germany, which means spells of warm, humid weather, where every afternoon brings a thunderstorm, and spells of cold, wet weather, which can bring snow to the tops of the mountains. I am back in Australia now about to start skiing for the winter, although this post was written a…

Athens, Sparta, Minas Tirith? Learning to drive like a Greek

One of my favourite time wasters is plugging flight details into various websites and seeing how cheap they can be. I then dream about going to the destination in question, but remember all the other things I have on that I absolutely can’t miss. Last week, on Wednesday night, I found some extremely cheap flights…