Thursday, January 31, 2013

More videos

It's a bit cold outside ... time for some motivational videos.

The 2013 Nordic World Championships are only a few weeks away.  Here are two videos from the last Worlds in Oslo in 2011.  The first video is Canada's win in the men's team sprint.  The second video is Therese Johaug's victory in the women's 30K.  If these don't make you want to get out skiing, nothing will!

training cancelled tonight

Technique training is cancelled tonight.  I'll post some videos later to watch instead.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tales From Flin Flon

Congrats on all the racers at the Manitoba Loppet on the weekend. While a bunch of your race in beautiful temps, one Downtown Nordic member was braving a little cooler temps at the Sask Cup Races. For me it was my first time skiing in Flin Flon and I was impressed. There are a lot of climbs and a lot of fast descents. I would say it is a lot like skiing at Birch but with the beautiful Canadian sheild around you. Here are some photos from the races. Take care and may the fourth point be with you. Tim

Monday, January 28, 2013

Downtown Nordic Pinawa Race Report - From Esther

I asked our club secretary Esther to write up a report on the Manitoba Loppet held in Pinawa on Sunday.  This is what she sent me (she also included her photo) ...

Downtown Nordic was well represented at the Pinawa Loppet, with over 15 members participating.  Congratulations to some of our members who switched genders just prior to the race.  Welcome to the new girls Coreya and Jimma! Unfortunately, the Pinawa folks were more conservative, and decided to have Corey and Jim race as “men”.

The organizers proved to be rather deceitful.  The original race notice promised a civilized 25 km event.  On the day prior to the race, the organizers reported that the distance was now going to be 30 km.  Post-race, my Garmin yielded 31.67 kms!!!!  Obviously infuriated, I had to investigate further.  Research at the Manitoba Archives revealed some interesting history.  It seems that 120 years ago, the Chief of the Pinawa area promised the hand of his homely daughter (Pinawatta Wintoniw who had a pet bison named Loppet) in marriage to the one who could ski the distance of 31.67 km the fastest.  Several young bucks stepped forward to take on the challenge, with a studly Norwegian winning the event (Steve’s great great grandfather, Bjorn Scolesy).  

Incredibly, our world-renowned coach Steve took first place overall today.  Well done Steve, although it was a toss up in the first loop of the race with Brian Horton taking an early lead.  It was a clean sweep for Downtown Nordic with Steve, Brian, Jamie and Corey taking the top finisher positions in the 30 km event.  The winning continued with Junior Downtown Nordic star Levi Nadlersmith taking first place in the 15 km event.  Corey won the “Clumsiest Finisher Award” with a nose-dive-face-plant combination on the finish line, which drew applause from all seven spectators in attendance.   Mia wins the “People Magazine Celebrity Award” for bringing along her own personal coach Susie.  Gyula wins the “Now Dating A Tree Award” for his intimate relationship with forest at the bottom of “The Screamer” hill.  He claims to have bumped into the ghost of either Pinawatta or her pet bison Loppet, prior to the romantic rendezvous with the tree.  Kristin wins the “Hollywood Stars Hallucinations Award” for seeing stars throughout her race.  Way to go Kristin for not listening to the accompanying voices. Finally, Freddie won the prestigious “Most Time Spent Enjoying The Race by Voluptuous German Skier Award”.  

Seriously, the Pinawa Loppet was an incredibly upbeat experience, with positive
energy all around.  The trails were well groomed, and the hills provided plenty of challenges for those of us now accustomed to the vast mountains of Windsor Park.  Thanks to the Whiteshell Ski Club for putting on such a well organized world-class event, with wonderful hospitality and five star food.  I would strongly encourage other Downtown Nor dickers to participate in upcoming races. They are a great venue for trying out the skills learned during our practices, and also provide an awesome social outlet for us otherwise socially awkward individuals.  


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thursday training is ON! New time 7:30 PM

OK, it looks like people want to do some more technique training.  So ... we will be doing double-pole technique at 7:30PM.

The plan is:
10 to 15 minutes in the sunroom going over the fundamentals on the new double pole technique.

30 minutes outside doing double-pole drills

Open ski for anyone who wants to head out on the trails.

Videos on the new technique
Here are a few videos demonstraiting the new doble-pole technique.  The videos are quite long, so I've noted the point in the video to watch.

To me, the new technique is like your body is a whip with your hips as the handle of the whip.  The hips start the motion and the rest of your body (lats and arms) follows on a slight delay just like the end of a whip.  The hips then are the key to the recovery phase as your hips move first up and forward and the rest of your body follows.

The first video is the 4 top long-distance double-pole skiers in the world.  These guys win 90 km ski races by double-poling the entire way.  The video is actually of them doing a race on a indoor double-pole machine

The race starts around the 1:30 point.  Notice how the movement starts with a drop in their centre of gravity.  The second skier (in black shirt with yellow on the sides) actually sits down quite a bit.

The start of the motion is very critical ... because most of a movement is just getting over the initial inertia.  By starting the movement with a drop in your centre of gravity, you are using the free energy of gravity to overcome the inertia rather than your muscles.

The second video is of last year's Vasaloppet in Sweden ... often called the SuperBowl of skiing (By the way, the Vasaloppet of American Football is in 2 weeks between the Ravens and the 49ers :).

As an aside, at around minute 18, you get a feel for how massive this race is.

At minute 20, watch the skier on the right in white double pole up a long hill.

The final video is the end of the race that was featured in the pictures I showed in a previous post on double poling.  The infamous fourth point is that the recovery of the motion is originated in the hips (your most powerful muscles).  The two russian skiers really demonstrated the quick and forceful hip motion that starts the recovery and then the arms follow through and up into place to start the double-pole motion again.

Go to minute 50 to watch the impressive double-pole finish.

The new double-pole technique is still very new and as you may have seen on these pages ... controversial:)

The above is my interpretation of the new technique.  All comments are welcome.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Training this week

Tuesday training is on this week.  Plan to have completed your warm-up by 7:20 and we'll meet down by the bridge on the first fairway.  These intensity workouts are a great way to stay fit on the colder days.  it's a compact, but hard workout.  See you on Tuesday!!

Desperately Seeking Ski Racing

A busy week-end of ski racing.  Saturday in Vermont at -2 celsius and Sunday at Birch at -22 celsius.

Meet Ben VanDenBosch

Now that's an icicle!!

The skier is Ben VanDenBosch.  That was from last Tuesday at Windsor Park.  Just to be sure, that icicle is from Ben's moustache and not his nose.  I believe it sets a new Canadian record for a face icicle!  Do we call that a facicle?

Some background on Ben for those who don't know him.  Ben has been a long-time top triathlete and cyclist in Manitoba.  For over a decade, he held the course record at the Morden Half-Ironman triathlon.  Last year, he set his sights on the American Birkibeiner ski race.  In a chance encounter at Bird's Hill one day in late 2011, I invited him to join our fledgling ski club.  Little did I know that it would open up a whole line of cyclists and triathletes (and then rowers) joining our club.

And for setting a new facicle record, Ben is this week's Downtown Nordic Skier-of-the-Week!

Hello from Tim

Hello from the great white North!!! It is cold up here, but I hear it is just as cold back in Winterpeg. So far my experiences have been great. Skiing a lot with school kids on groomed trails, to trails we make ourselves, and on top of snowmobile trails. My camera has not been working other wise I would post some photos from the adventures so far. I got to drive on my first ice road the other day. Exciting!!! I have learned that the kids up here are tough. Most of them are out skiing with bunny hugs (hoodies), ball caps, and no mitts. Makes me feel a little soft, but trying to toughen up. It seems most of the weekends are cold here and races have been canceled, but I have managed to get in one loppet, which took place yesterday. It was suppose to be a 30km race in Prince Albert. The starting temp was -40 with the Windchill. Yikes cold!!! They shortened the race slightly and I think we ended up doing about 22kms. It was one tough race. Groomed the night before with a light dusting of snow over the tracks. Of course I was out front breaking trail for the first half (what a slog). The second half improved slightly skiing on tracks that that shorter distances were going. I could actually double pole on the flats which was amazing. The other exciting thing is there are hills here. So much better than just skiing on flats back home hahahahaha. My first week got my skiing in La Ronge under the lit trails which also had hills. -5 were the daytime temps which meant for some beautiful skate skiing. Hopefully the weather turns around and we get in some great skiing to this already awesome season. And remember to always listen to what Steve has to say. Cheers Tim

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thursday training canceled

I've decided to cancel the thurday technique session due to the cooler weather.  See you next Tuesday for intervals.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Training & Stuff

Tuesday - intervals - warm-up at 7:00 and we start the intervals at 7:20 on the first fairway.

A few things to note on interval training:
It is very important to get a good warm-up before the intervals start.  This is your mother speaking.

I'm going to start ramping up the level of the intensity training next week.  This will be your last "easy" week.

Thursday - double-poling technique - start at 7:00 at the training grid

The Birch Open is this Sunday.  Registration closes on Thursday at midnight.

Race Suits
I will have the race suits to hand out after the Tuesday training.

Roller Skiing

Here's a video of Downtown Nordic's summer roller-skiing program.  You can even see that we do some of the same downhill drills as we do in the winter.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Racing in Minneapolis on Sunday


Notice the snow-making in the background. (photo courtesy of

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Training this week -- THURSDAY NOW AT 7PM!

Thursday training is now at 7PM (it used to be 7:30PM).

This Thursday (10th) we'll be doing more downhill cornering drills and some "fun" stuff to challenge your downhill abilities.

Next Thursday (17th), weather permitting, we'll be doing some double-pole technique work ... recapping what we went through a few weeks ago and adding "the fourth point"!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Skier of the Week

It was a tough call this week with three very deserving candidates.  After several gruelling hours of deliberations, the Downtown Nordic Skier-of-the-Week is Levi Nadlersmith! 

After taking the bronze medal in the classic race on Thursday in Thunder Bay, he topped that by taking the gold medal today in the skating race.  Outstanding accomplishments Levi!   Levi is a very important part of the Downtown Nordic junior team ... partly because he is the only member of our junior team.

Andy Dwilow was first runner-up.  Andy Dwilow played a critical role in figuring out how to regain access to the damaged Downtown Nordic locker that had all of our new toques in it.  If you have ever wondered how many Downtown Nordic club members it takes to open a locker ... it is exactly 5!

The second runner-up was Paul Lapointe for winning the inaugural Windsor Park Grand Prix.  Paul is making a comeback to ski racing this year and took his first win in 10 years!  Here is Paul (on the right) next to Brad Pitt:


Important note: the roles of runner-up are critical as they may have to step in if the winner is not able to fulfill their role as Downtown Nordic Skier-of-the-Week.

WindChill Windsor Park Grand Prix

Toques off to the WindChill club for putting on a very challenging course at the Windsor Park Grand Prix on Saturday.  Downtown Nordic had some spetacular results ... particularly by those who are regular attendees of our Tuesday night intensity sessions (hint hint).

results here:

Tim Tribute

Our Head Coach and President Tim Wintoniw is now in Saskatchewan, where he'll be for a few months.  As a tribute to Tim, here are a random listing of photos with descriptions that may or may not be true

2010 Vancouver Olympics:
Tim coming up with the idea of starting a club called Downtown Nordic:

2004 Athens Olympics: 
 Tim Wintoniw

Tim in his early rapper days (Ice-Ski)

Tim's publicity photo from his days starring on Young and the Restless:

Tim on the dive to locate the Titanic:

... andTim hearing that we were going for beer and wings:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Team Photo

Incredible training session last night!  Everyone was pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone on the downhill cornering drills.

Here is just half of the Downtown Nordic club:


Levi Takes Bronze!

Levi Nadlersmith, part of Downtown Nordic's junior team, took home a bronze medal in the Haywood Noram Cup on Thursday in the 7.7km classic race!

Levi at Lappe Nordic in Thunder Bay wearing the Downtown Nordic race suit (pictured beside co-coach Cory Kolbuck):


Levi receiving his bronze medal:


Apparently there was lots of interest in this "Downtown Nordic" club!

Well done Levi!  This MAY be enough to make him DN Skier-of-the-Week :)

Levi also races Friday in a classic sprint and Sunday in a skate race.

The Conversation

A cartoon rendition of the conversation Tim and I had after the practice two weeks ago:

Comments welcome!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Fourth Point continued ...

Here is a great photo of a recent world cup classic race in Germany (Photo courtesy of

The two Russian skiers are leading the race and demonstrating the new double-pole technique.  In a way, this is as good as classic double-poling gets!

Skier 5 is midway through the double-pole technique. Now look at Skier 8. Skier 8 is just finsihing THE FOURTH POINT and is soon about to start the first point.

What do you think the fourth point is?   Let's see your answers in the comments section ...