Monday, January 21, 2019

Just an opportunity

A letter from a HURT guy.


In a span of 9 days I got to see the full span of the nordic community that reaches into HURT country. As someone who is geographically removed form its epicenter it was quite a thing to see.
First, was the annual Mega-Relay at Garnet Hill ski center. It is truly amazing to think how this event has blossomed from humble beginnings (cut short from 8 hours to 6 hours mid-race in year one!...shout out to those folks that remember that day! woot!) to an 80+ strong race field that sits as a high mark for many citizen skiers. 
photo cred: stolen from Peter Minde's blog

One of the coolest things about this event is that it is a day for the Masters-Masters to shine.  Once your laps start counting as 1.5 or even 2 you are hot commodity for a team and those slick U18/U20/SR/M1/M2's start looking like major liabilities for squads looking to leave with the tasty prize packs. This year added the competitive and growing mini-junior component of the HURT club.  I don't know how many nordic 6 hour relay competitions that go from U6 to M9 there are, but HURT country might have the biggest.    


Honestly though, the greatest thing about this event is that it is an opportunity. An opportunity to access nordic sport at any level, at any age, at any ability, with your friends and community members. It is an opportunity to ski 60K, or do 6 x 4K @ L4, or to ski 4K and hang out in the pub all afternoon.  HURT has always been about creating opportunities and this is a real showcase of that.

This past weekend...a whole new community came to play in the snowy playground of HURT country.  Our JNQ weekend brought out the best of the best junior talent from all around NYS and even those Green Mountain PUGS from Mansfield country. woof! woof!
Thanks for traveling over to our show!
     
It was an opportunity for a whole different slice of the nordic community.  The driven. The passionate. The focused compteitor. With lactate searing through the body these 500+ skiers came to the hardest course in the area...and then stayed for racing in some of the hardest storm conditions I have ever seen.  (yep...that snowstorm) A HARDY bunch to be sure.  But the amazing thing was just how determined folks were to be there, to race, and to give it their best shot.  They just wanted an opportunity.   
visual approximation of the race course.   

Three weeks from now HURT will be looking to bring both of these parts of our nordic community together. In honor of a man who was all about providing opportunities.  A year ago marks the passing of dear friend, father, and supporter of all things nordic, Nino Manzella.  




While not an avid racer himself, he found the love for this sport by providing opportunities for his kids and their friends to excel and it is our goal to carry on that tradition with the Nino Manzella Memorial HURTathon.  Come to Gore on February 10th.  You want a tough race? We have it for you.  Looking to score points for your own ski club? Yep. Are you a BKYSL youngster? We have you covered.  Are you a citizen skier looking for a personal challenge without the "A" climb or the "S" turn? We have that too.  

We would love to see you there.And all the profits will go to provide opportunities for our youngest skiers and provide financial support to our Mid-A juniors pursuing their passion in far-flung locations.  Let's bring together the full span of the nordic community in HURT country. It would make Nino smile. 

-DPK




Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Up and Coming

With the club race season officially underway, and the local high school race circus reeved up to full steam, it is a good time to take a look at what is up and coming.  In an effort to bring some much needed excitement to the blog-o-shere universe we here at the HRT Newsroom has spent all our war chest cash to hire a new dynamic creative director, media specialist and 3D graphics guru (only recently rejected from CNN) to bring you a brand new blog and ski media segment called...


UP AND COMING*


*TM


So here is the down and dirty:

1) Great club races are up and coming to a course near you.  This Saturday NYSEF is hosting their season opener at Mt. Van Hovenberg where the conditions are PRIMO.  Worth any price of entry to ski on these amazing December conditions.  Get there.  Score points for HURT and have a blast. https://www.skireg.com/nysef-season-opener0 Look for more events up-an-coming here: http://nyssranordic.org/  


2) Maybe you are an up-an-coming ski racer? If you are looking for a fun spin on ski racing or ski training, or if you are looking to enter the scene without the pressure of a full race....check out this fun event by our Vauhti frenemies.  https://www.skireg.com/ghn-fun-do


3) Up-an-coming in HURT nation - Y'all may have glanced over the results the 300+ racers that skied during the Saturday of the North Creek Nordic Fest. But did you really look?  You may remember the name Grace Mattern who tore through NYS from Rochester last season.  And you may remember the name Bailey Gengel who rose to local fame last year as well.  But what about that name 4 seconds off Grace-pace! Boom! Maddi isn't just up-an-coming, she's here. And flying the green and white of HURT.  This guy has some adjustments to make




4) Up-an-coming from HURT nation - One of our all-time favorite inventions is coming up on January 12th. THE MEGA-RELAY!!!!  Woot Woot! The most fun you can have with your best buds on skis is the Mega-Relay.  So much skiing, so many K's, and this year we have some fun competitive wrinkles to get you math-ologists really thinking about the best team strategy to win the coveted prize packages.  Here are the new race details...

The HURT Mega-Relay is 6 hour team relay event.  Teams of 3-8 skiers will compete to see how many laps of the 5K race loop can be completed in the 6 hour event time.  This is a fun, exciting, and challenging race format that is great for all abilities.  

If you are ages 13-15, each loop you ski will count as 1.5 for your team.  

If you are older than 45, each loop you ski will count as 1.5 as well. 

If you are older than 65 your loops count x 2! 

*New this year* racers ages 12-and-under can ski laps simultaneously together and all count. So if you have five kochers ski one lap together that would automatically count as 5 laps.  Team rosters must remain under 8 racers. 

All other competitors will have their loops count as 1.  


Hope to see you up and out on skis in the next few weeks! 




Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanks x 10

Since some of the dedicated readers of this blog are planning (as I am) to mitigate 10% of your fall training with extra pieces of pecan pie tomorrow, I thought I might offer 10 reasons to be thankful during the upcoming 2018-19 ski season.  Perhaps it will motivate you to shake off the gravy-induced malaise on Friday morning as you clip into your ski bindings...

Which brings us to number 1...

1) No-vem-freaking-ber!!  Has there been a November so awesome for the East? I mean ever? Cro-Magnon scientific records dating back to the Pleistocene Epoch show that there was only one other time where there was this much great skiing so early.*  Those in HURT-nation that want future Novembers to be so awesome should remember they need to pack up the Executive Director and ship him out to the sub-tropical Mid-West until mid-December so he can bathe in his own tears while all-y'all pile on the early K's. **sob**

*debatable. less-than-accurate. 

2) Snow-making - In the last few years we have seen some serious infrastructure built to help our sport.  When this club began...there was bupkis.  Gore now basically guarantees Thanksgiving skiing and VanHo promises all the snow-cones you can eat as you calculate those fitbit laps.  It is AMAZING.  A huge thank you to all the folks that make those efforts possible.

3) Groomers - Come on.  Toast these hearty blokes this Thanksgiving.  From Crandall Park, to Queensbury, to Brookhaven, To Garnet, To Gore, to VanHo and all the other efforts in between.  It is  frigid work...let's make sure it isn't thankless

4) Kiddos - a new chapter of HURT-nation has opened in the last couple years as some of our club founders find Bill-Koch-aged skiers now hanging around their houses eating their food.  Thanks to some great leadership and creativity, Greenfield and Glens Falls are sporting droves of youngins ripping on skis.  And this year we get to show it all off at the Bill Koch Festival in March.  Be there for this one.  It will be a blast.

5) Aiming high - It is worth mentioning how awesome it is to have true nordic vision at the Gore Nordic Center.  They didn't just blast in a snowmobile loop like so many downhill venues around the country.  They SENT IT. Jerry glasses and all. There are not many places in the East (no, country) that can boast a FIS world-cup level homologated race course.  If you are an athlete in this area that wants to chase the dream, the course is laid out for you.  You should come share in the vision at our JNQ weekend in January.


6) Mega Laps - In the last few years Garnet Hill has come to play.  Massive improvements up there and a welcoming staff makes it a regional treasure.  All natural, yes...but keeps and gets snow when others miss out.  Conditions almost never disappoint.  The have welcomed us year after year for our fan-favorite MEGA relay and we look forward to seeing them again and thanking them for their effort.  Mark your calendars.

7) The Stuff - We have such great sponsors of this club.  Tokous.com has opened their warehouse of awesome and given us deep team discounts (If you haven't spent time here....you should).  Barkeater Chocolates keeps us feeling guilty.  Sportspage continually helps bring us the best at low-cost. Stewarts loves or juniors and kiddos. Polar and Rudy are all about the SWAG.  They help make our events great and skiers loving it.

8) The Snow - Keep the winters white.  Advocate and care for the environment.  Push and pressure everyone you know to do they same.  I am thankful for each flake and each voice in that chorus.

9) The Families - We have had many "first-families" in our decade and will have many more to come.  Whether or not your name is Yarsevich, Huneck, Beyerbach, Dixon, Duclos, O'Brien, Manzella, Halligan, Chrzan, Tomb, Luban, Blood, Underwood, Bordeau, Mares, Frielinghaus, D-H or P-K (and so so so many more) we have been lucky to have many incredible families bring their passion and enthusiasm to this team.  While we will be hosting our 2nd annual "Nino Manzella memorial Hurtathon" this year, and it will once again be a celebration of his memory, that event is really about the families that make skiing in our area so great.  You will be glad to make this a stop on your race calendar. 

10) You - and your ability to read.  Thanks to your literacy you can handle these long winded ramblings.  Thanks to all of you from all of us (...100's and 100's of us) that work in the HRT newsroom.

-Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.



Hope you can make it to Nordic Fest!





Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Decade and A Nation

 Over the last 10 years HURT has grown from a quartet of semi-delusional wannabe nordies to a hundred-strong community with skiers of all ages from under-2 to over-70.  Each year that we have been around has been a little different. Friend groups come and go. Events come and go. (how many of you remember the Cloppet?...or the West Mountain uphill ski race?) Races change and grow.  But through it all has been our mission to bring people together who love nordic skiing.

Even if you don't live in HURT-country anymore, or your life has a little less ski racing than it used to, we consider you part of HURT-nation and now we finally have a way to show it off...to show you off.

And 'yall can get PAY-YED!

This fall we are unveiling a new Training Leader Incentive Program.  It is all outlined here: http://www.hurtnordicskiing.com/incentive-program.html  but basically it goes like this...you are active with a small group, you share, you tag, you collect. USSA, Mt. Borah and Stewarts Shops are our first three companies featured in this program and are providing some sweet swag. (**update 10/24....we have more! Barkeater Chocolates, TokoUS.com Rudy Project!)

Too bad we didn't have this program back then....good points here for sure. 


So you might wonder who is this program for?

-Perhaps you have moved to train with a group of buds in another region but still yearn for the Green and Gray buff of HURT nation?...Train, Tag, Win.  You are HURT-nation.

 -Let's say you are a matriculated college student with little-to-no spending cash since last weekend's "study hour" and you really need some Stewarts gas for your 1992 Toyota Corolla.... Grab your housemates and go for a "run"....Train, Tag, Win. You are HURT-nation.

-Perhaps you are pushing a double baby stroller these days and you really could use a new pair of USSA mid-weight training pants.  Grab your parent-group and.....Train, Tag, Win.  You are HURT-nation.

-You're retired and you and your bridge club have plans to crush the M10 competition at the Sapporo International Ski Marathon.  You might as well get our free stuff too....Train, Tag, Win. You are HURT-nation.

-Maybe you are studying abroad in some Denmarkian location and you and your new commrades decide to take a set of communal bikes instead of the government subsidized solar-powered-silent-speed-train....That's training. tag it. Win it.  We will even pay for shipping. And send you a jar of our jealousy and sadness. 

-Perhaps you are a freshman in northern NY and you thought it was gonna be awesome being so close to the Adirondacks but then you realize all too late that all Potsdam really has is potatoes and apple trees.  Live the nordic dream and Train. Tag. Win.

-Perhaps you just live and breathe to get that 45 minute head-lamp rollerski, in the cold November rain after work.  Blackmail some friends and Train. Tag. Win.

Alright...you get the point.  This program is for everyone with a HURT connection.  We want to show how our club skis-like-an-American. We do it many ways.  Fast. Slow. Young. Old. Early. Late. Often. Seldom. 

Skiing like an American is more than just pre-Olympic dreamers thrashing the pavement.  It is our families, friends and community getting out to enjoy the outside, vitality and the nordic lifestyle.  We hope you have fun with it!

See you on the medias.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

A new model

July brings the reinvented HURT summer program and here is the skinny on what you need to know about our upcoming scheduled training sessions.

-Mondays are for training together -

If you are a member of HURT nation you are invited to our Monday "Strength and Speed" sessions.  These practices will be hosted by Coach Steve Tomb or a guest coach.  These practices will include a dryland component and a rollerski component for those equipped with skis.  They are open to all ages and levels and athletes are invited to take the skills and drills that are presented by our coaches and apply them at a comfortable level.  This is for athletes with basic, bronze, silver and gold membership.  You must be a NYSSRA member to attend a club training session.

-Thursdays and mini-camps  -

If you are a member of the Silver race team (silver or gold level membership) you are invited to attend Thursday night rollerski sessions with our HURT development coach Aaron Huneck.  You are also invited to participate in our 3 "mini-camps".  Coach Huneck and Coach DPK will host the first camp is this weekend (held locally) and the next two will move around NYS to take advantage of training opportunities with other NY nordic clubs.  Athletes should be NYSSRA members to participate at this level.

July is here.  We hope you are ready to jump on in.



       

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

One Skier

For long-time followers of HURT-nation and readers of this blog, the name "Brian Halligan" garners thoughts that hearken back to a time when a young U16 scamp zipped around nordic trails with friends Austin Huneck and Adam Luban....the original junior juggernaut that launched HURT to the world stage.

For those friends and families who have been with us for the last five years or so, the name Brian Halligan, is synonymous with top talent from HURT nation competing at world junior biathlon and on the cusp of USA Biathlon glory.

Those new to the game know Brian Halligan as a dedicated, passionate, and talented junior coach that continually aims to instill knowledge and passion for everything nordic in others.

Oh yeah.....and he's nordic media mogul  and exporter of the nordic lifestyle. 


In looking back through the HURT archives you would be hard-pressed to find one HURT skier more central to it's success, development, and current place in the NYS skiing landscape.

One skier really can do an awful lot.  It is with great pleasure that we watch Brian take on his next adventure as he moves to California to serve as Biathlon Program Director for the Auburn Ski Club.  We will miss his energy, his leadership, and seeing him zip by in a race.  All of HURT nation wishes him the best of luck.




On a personal note....Perhaps the finest thing about Brian's decade of involvement with the Hudson United Racing Team is that he has shown the limitless capacity to reinvent his involvement with the club and limitless capacity to creatively share his love of this sport.  In my view, everyone in HURT nation has this capacity and that is what makes us work.  Involvement and participation may wax and wane: juniors become collegiate-pop-ins, collegiate skiers become citizen racers, racers become parents, and parents become coaches, coaches become skiers again... the power of reinvention is what drives the HURT engine.

It is with this idea in mind, that I am happy to announce that our new Junior Program Director will be Aaron Huneck.  Yes...that Aaron Huneck.  The original Director. The Dictator-n-Chief....newly crowned Shenendehowa Nordic coach and adventure sport guru.

We look forward to working with Aaron and we know our juniors will too.

Bring the HURT Brian.  Bring the HURT Aaron.
             

         

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Lemonade from Lemons

Sometimes opportunity can blossom from the seed of disappointment. Any long-time competitive athlete has a story that can relate to that adage.

As it turns out, the same is true for organizers. 

The HRT Newsroom regrets to inform all of HURT nation that  the 2018 HURT Junior Summer Development Camp will be cancelled.  Due to many conflicts, the staff is unable to comfortably support the expected number of athletes and won't be able to provide them with high caliber camp experience that has become a marker of our event the last 7 years.  
  
Despite this very disappointing news, The Hudson United Racing Team has aims to still provide a quality summer training structure for committed and interested junior athletes. Instead of HURT camp, the HURT coaches have built a complete summer full of training opportunities that should provide even better continuity of training and better athlete development.   We urge junior athletes to take a careful look at the options available for HURT Silver team membership.  They should  take a look at our training schedule here as  summer plans are made. Know that specific details on ALL training sessions will be made in June.   
We sincerely hope to bring the HURT summer camp back in 2019 and are already looking to secure our staff and dates now.   

It is HURT's aim to make this summer full of lemonade.