I went to Mesa Verde and the Great Sand Dunes with my 4th grade classroom this past week and had a blast. It was so nice to spend time outside of classroom with these kids to see what they were like as individuals outside of being a 4th grader.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Posted by Sylvan Ellefson at 5:15 AM
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Ben True. An amazing running specimen.
I have had the opportunity to follow my ITA teammate's running progress since we graduated from college through Facebook, Twitter, and Google Searches.
A good friend of my dad asked me three years ago, first, if I knew Ben True, and second, if I wanted to be put on his email list for track and field results. It was the best mass email I have ever signed up for. Never have I seen such a following of a track star that he, even, isn't aware of.
I met Ben in college while he was attending Dartmouth and I was attending Bates College. Ben was consistently beating me my freshman year (he was a sophomore) despite racing on the sidewalls of his skis, which our mutual friend, Roger Knight, always joked about. Bottom line, whatever went on his feet, he was gonna make it work and make you look slow. I will still never forget the first race I beat Ben. Please see below for proof. I was ecstatic to say the least.
We kept battling it out for years after. Then he took a break from skiing my junior year and I think I was one of his greatest decisions. While we missed the competition and him helping push the eastern skiing and college skiing scene as a whole, it was probably one of the best decisions he ever made (I don't actually know that, just a hunch).
Our senior year Ben retired from skiing and while I was sad he wasn't continuing, I knew the road he was about to take was going to be a great one. He also gave me all of his old skis, which I wasn't going to complain about.
It has been a privilege to see Ben's successes over the past couple of years. I will honestly say that when things feel tough for me, I look at the perseverance he has, and try to embrace my inner Ben.
I look up to him.
This coming season will be the most important in my Nordic skiing career. I am excited for the road ahead no matter how it turns out. But you can assure I will be pushing as hard as Ben did on those sidewalls all those years back.
Posted by Sylvan Ellefson at 7:36 AM
Monday, April 22, 2013
I headed into the back country this past weekend and got back late last night!
I had a great time with some old buddies doing some skiing and hanging out around a cabin fireplace. We had great weather. I'll be further updating this blog when I get back to my computer and get some photos up from my camera.
Back to the classroom as well and I'm so excited about that. I'm also setting up a running club for the 4th and 5th grade boys at the elementary school where I work because there is already a girls program in place. I'm calling it "Fit and Fast Boys." Sounds like the boys are ready to do some running!
More to come! Check back this afternoon!
Posted by Sylvan Ellefson at 6:54 AM
Sunday, April 7, 2013
The past two weeks I have been in Canada and California. I arrived in California on the 29th and have had an amazing time since. I don't often get to visit much with friends during the ski season. It's usually quick coffee meet-ups.
This is my favorite time of the season because its when I really get to enjoy ski racing and be with good friends and teammates.
Super Tour Finals in California brings in the best skiers in America: college skiers, SuperTour skiers and the top juniors. It's always interesting to see who has held into their fitness or who has been holding into their "peak" for these races.
Our races have been:
15k Classic Mass Start
1.3k Classic Sprint
6km Skate Hill Climb
50km Classic Mass Start
Tomorrow we have our hill climb and should be one of the toughest races of the week. Pretty excited to be starting 6th in a field of very talented skiers. I'm hoping to hold onto this spot through our pursuit start.
Both of my ITA teammates Torin and Brian will be racing.
Some pictures from the week.
Posted by Sylvan Ellefson at 9:16 PM
Sunday, March 24, 2013
This past Thursday I flew to Seattle to be picked up by my friends Ollie, Matt, Anna, and Alex. They were nice enough to snag me from the Seattle Airport and being me up to Canadian Nationals being held in Whistler, BC. Whistler is home of the 2010 Winter Olympics and this course is just as beautiful as you can find in North America or the world.
The first couple of days we spent here, we explored the area and got some good skiing in on the Olympic Trails.
Our first race was held yesterday, yet I did not compete as it was a team sprint an I did not have any teammates here with me. However, Ollie and Matt teamed up an had a great sprint in my opinion. Just missing the lucky loser final spot by a couple of seconds.
Today we raced the 10k skate and it was a great race. I like how they seed the races in Canada much more than the US. Like the World Cup, the skiers with the eat points start last so they can see where the skiers are in front of them and get splits off of them. In the US we send the fastest skiers first in a completely random order.
The race today for me was great after not having races in over 4 weeks. I ended up 4th, 2 seconds out of 3rd place. I am happy with how things went and I only hope results continue to get better in the upcoming races!
Below are some pictures of the week!
Also excited to announce that I will be heading back to my classroom on the 22nd of April and I will be heading on a school trip to Mesa Verde in May; one I went on when I was in 4th grade. Also I will be heading a "Fit'n'Fun" after school program for boys in elementary school looking to do some fun running after school once a week!
Posted by Sylvan Ellefson at 8:45 PM
Sunday, March 10, 2013
The past two weeks, actually three weeks, have been pretty quiet. In terms of training it has been quite busy but in terms of March racing, it has been dead. There are many options for me to go places, mostly Europe, to race. My coach and I decided that it would be a good test and better option for me to stay home and train/taper for the end of the season races in Whostler and Truckee, CA.
I have had some good training the past two weeks and am looking forward to spending some time in the sun this week, as its supposed to get up to the mid-50's by the end of the week.
If not training I am working around the house I caretake. This week I finished shoveling and decided to build a luge track for the people-I-live-with's grandchildren. Looked like they had an awesome time which means I'm having an awesome time!
My wife, Sarah, just returned tonight to Colorado after being in Mexico with her folks for 10 days! It's nice for her to get away for a little while since she's cranking away on school work 89% of the rest of her time! I'm happy she's home!
Not much else to report unfortunately! Psyched to get to Whistler to race here soon!
Some pictures from the last two weeks below!
Posted by Sylvan Ellefson at 7:08 PM
Sunday, February 24, 2013
It has been quite quiet for 2 weeks. I usually try to use some time during the season to sit back, let all my training sink in, and enjoy the lifestyle that I train so hard for. Most times this leads to me getting into some fun backcountry skiing. The last week we went and enjoyed some backcountry skiing for my friend, Sarah's, birthday.
Otherwise I had been resting, catching up on some work and getting ready for the Birke!
The Birke this year I thought I had prepared the best for than I ever had. For those who don't know it is a 50km skate race from point to point in Wisconsin, finishing on Main Street in Hayward. Really cool scene at the finish. Because the prize money is so great, many foreigners come with their team to win some money.
This race is no piece of cake though. If you want to win the Birke, to have to have many things come together. For me this year unfortunately, not much came together except for my fitness. I, all blame on myself, picked the wrong skis to race on so much of the race. Was struggling just to stay with the lead pack. I also don't get my second feed bottle until 30k and when I finally took it, I think it was such a shock to my body, it didn't know what to do with it. I managed to lose the group around 40k, catch back up at 42k, crash, get back up to the group, and then lose them the last time around 6k to the finish.
Unfortunate but this race is a really great time and I love coming to back to do it. I'm looking forward to future years of the race!
Posted by Sylvan Ellefson at 9:47 PM