Houghton(4d)vs Big Sky Country(9d)


Last week had hard decision of racing the 30km mass start in Houghton or spending the week in the greater Bozeman area visiting with my oldest son and getting some legit training in. The smile above indicative of correct choice.

Face it upon return from 2 weeks in West Yellowstone end of November have been in the middle of a grey skied snow blighted Eastern seaboard.  The only time on snow is 5 days of climbing a scrap of snow at Whiteface Mountain. Which by the way is a daunting 5 hr drive from base.  Which would mean preparation for biggest race in the land so far, would be Mr Big  “Skatemill” and roller skiing.image

Although one the naysayers purports that I’ve come out here to avoid racing the 30km at Nationals and am racing for some chocolate the Teton Ridge Classic( although winning some chocolate would be nice) this is not the case.


The choice of doing a race on a maybe 2.5km loop or getting some legit training and catching up with my son was easy.  So far the Skiing has been superb out here have skied at Lone Mountain Ranch trail system and Bogart Ranch. It is simply amazing and impressive.  Will not want to leave.


“JackedUp” No More


Summit Little Whiteface Dawn Christmas Morning, after High intensity Interval session on Victoria in the predawn.

The following report cannot be corroborated, confirmed, and or denied.

Jackedup” no more.

The Al Jazeera news agency has dropped another bombshell. This time, the news concerns Masters skiing legend,Jackedupoldman, AKA Duncan Douglas.

According to Al Jazeera, due to “extreme wussyness”, Douglas is being stripped of his “Jackedup” title and is now being downgraded to “Oldmantraining”.

An unnamed source close to Douglas had this to say “All I heard about for the last 3 months was “I’m going to KILL everyone at the West Yellowstone Super Tour”. When that went sideways due to “Slow skis, cold temperatures, and my hat was too loose and sweat got in my eyes”, all I heard about was “I am going to win the 30k at Nationals”. Now, with the race a week away, he tells me, “I am blowing off Nationals, doing that stupid 30k would cut into my training. I think I will go train at altitude and go to the Grand Teton Classic race in Driggs Idaho.”

According to this confidential source, Douglas is now focused on racing lower caliber fields in an attempt to win prizes, specifically, Chocolate. “He told me “I have skied for glory, I have skied for country, now I ski for chocolate”. Nationals didn’t have anything but money, medals, and a trip to the World Cup for winning, but this race in the middle of nowhere is giving a BIG Hershey’s Chocolate bar, WITH almonds!”

Even worst, and the main reason Double D as he is also known, is being stripped of his “Jackedup” title is that in this unknown race in the middle of nowhere, he won’t go “All In” and double pole the mere 28k distance.

When questioned about his plans for the race Douglas said this “Yeah, so what if the best skiers in the world double pole 90k events, I want to work on my glide and stride, just in case I might ski another classic race this decade”.

While his legion of fans are sickened by this new attitude, it should come as no surprise to those closest to the man formerly known as “Jackedup”.

“I could never figure out how he could train 4 hours a day, burn 6,000 calories – and gain ten pounds” said another close associate. “Now it all makes sense, chocolate was bringing him down”.

Another unsubstantiated rumor also has Douglas skipping Spring Distance Nationals to race in a undisclosed event out west on Easter Sunday where the first place prize is reported to be a “three foot tall chocolate Easter Bunny”.

Al Jazeera concluded its news report by saying “The fall from grace was a sudden one for the former Jackedupoldman, but clearly, he is now “Oldmantraining”.

Summer in December

Last 2 weeks have been spent looking at weather around the U.S. and trolling social media looking for skiing.  Have been spending the time Rollerskiing on the roads and on the Skatemill.


Was able to escape to Lake Placid and get re-energized with some Whiteface Energy.  Due to the lack of snow skied up the alpine area to the top of Little Whiteface about 2600′ vertical with some extra ups.  Was joined by aspiring Nordic Skier Cameron Cogburn.  Although currently his technique is a little rough, Cameron is working hard and improving all the time.  We had a little situation on initial descent. Cameron was struggling but making steady progress.  After a couple of falls and learning how to sideslip a little and stem christy a little  the Mountain authorities made the executive decision to evacuate him in a Toboggan!!!

We convinced them to let us self extricate to summit and evacuate with the Gondola.  Still laugh at the picture on my mind of Cameron strapped in to the Sled for a 2000′ ride.  We learned about the uphill pass which is 25$ for the year to ski uphill prior to opening and that one needs metal edge skis. Luckily didn’t inadvertently  get into much trouble.

We did get permission to utilize the Beginner hill prior to opening the next morning with uphill passes. We passed Colin Delaney a nationally ranked Nordic Combined  skier skinning up Excelsior, and he joined us the next morning for an easy 2 hr ski with 3,000′ vertical gained at the base of the mountain.  Love the Nordic Community.


Of note he started biking as an undergrad at Cornell U in upstate NY and rose to near the top in cycling with very impressive results.  We’ve been working on technique and train training ideas all fall.  Cameron  definitely makes me remember how hard it was to start XC skiing at age 20.  Would no the surprised by any results this guy posts in the next couple of years. This past weekend also gave him a wax clinic and introduced him to the TOKO line.

Earlier in the week was able to work with the World Famous Honeoye Falls Ski Team on Waxing Knowledge and Technique.


Upon return to Base. Was able to get a robust interval session on the Skatemill and also to Get Cameron on it also.  He learned the the harness system worked as advertised when he got to the end of some vigorous intervals.


Was able to get my smallest out on the mill. He did quite well too.





Back from West Yellowstone thrust into a snow blighted Western NY.  Reality sucks, although always  love every second of it.  Relegated to dryland training in a cold grey damp wet world.  Luckily almost  decade ago invested in a Skatemill ( 8×14’Rollerski Treadmill)  Since 2009 fall have utilized it maybe 2 x to 0 a year.  It actually is a great medium for XC training.


Toko Powered. Rossignol Powered, Craft Powered

A little longer clip 16km/hr 9% grade using Jeremy Teela’s race skis to get fast tempo

Training impetus reinforced with new found invigoration  after spending the greater part of 2 weeks training with Brian Gregg out West.  Tuesday afternoon did 6*10 min threshold rollers in the rain at Victor Hills area in spitting rain into darkness. Faced with rain and darkness after work got reacquainted with old friend Mr. Skatemill.  Started with 2 hour over distance Skating Wednesday, a couple of short sessions also, then a great interval workout after dark with 11yo megalomaniac  controlling the speed.


Before heading West during last classic rollerski workout had a real old classic rollerski wheel give out, was hoping there would be snow upon return.   Since have major challenge in racing 2 classic ski marathons for CXC Marathon Team this upcoming winter( Being a Skating Specialist) Out West skied about 45% Classic Technique with at  least 20km of striding without poles, great for developing good kick.  Have been getting nervous not roller skiing classic since returning. Found some old V2 Jenex 910’s and Salomon boots from around 1990 and skied classic to warm up for a power workout last night. It was very awkward at first classic skiing on the treadmill albeit was using skating poles(ova only one pair with tips modified for skate mill use.

Will keep watching the weather forecast, thinking about finding some snow.  This week looking forward to start utilizing Firstbeat Software to directly alter day to day training. This should allow for more optimization of matching rest to training stimulus.

West Yellowstone Mini-Camp Culiminates in Brian Gregg Earning World Cup Start in Davos and with JackedUp Going Half-Speed

Start Polesimage.jpegPerfectly awesome 2 weeks training in the winter wonderland, ski-paradise also known as West Yellowstone. TeamGregg teamed up with CXC Marathon team member JackedUp to get the jump on some preseason and final race prep for the first USSA Supertour Races.


JackedUp came straight from manning an Anesthesia Machine 8-16 hr a day to masquerading as a Worldclass XC Skier.

Training approximately 4 hrs a day. Usually a day consists of prebreakfast run and core work, morning ski  afternoon ski sometimes combined with power strength sessions.

Great opportunity to get used to and test out this years new equipment

Responsive skiing with great technique due to Rossignol Skis and Boots, hands kept warm with this years line of TOKO gloves over mitts and mittens, Rossignol skis gliding fast and kicking great with TOKO wax and tools, great vision in sun and clouds due to Rudy Project Glasses, pushing forward with stiff well swinging  Start Poles, kept dry and warm with hard training in extreme conditions with Craftsportswear long underwear race suits and trading clothes, feet kept warm with Fitsocks.

Second week most of immiediate family came to celebrate Thanksgiving.

The 2 weeks of training Culminated in 2 Supertour races. Brian crushed the 15km Skate Supertour Race beating out training brother Matt Liebsch by 5 seconds and getting a Worldcup start in 2 weeks at Davos 30km individual start skate race.  Brian also had a decent sprint race finishing 10th.

Meanwhile JackedUp raced at Half-speed to finish in the top half both days. Got to meet up with more members of the CXC Team, Coach Andy Keller getting us squared away for the season. Superstar Kyle Bertraud getting his season going. Fellow Marathon Racer Andy Brown and Alice Flanders also the Russion phenom Natalia.  Also pictured is the Mad TOKO Scientist/Magician Chris Magerl giving a wax clinic boosted with with whiskey tasting and flames. Not a recommendation generally.

Was extracted back to reality in the East through Park City and got to get a short 10mile tour of the area with old friend Bill Demong and his superfast Canine.

Folks hopefully this story is just beginning approximately 80 days to the Birke.



Mini-Camp Continues

image Second week on snow. Family arrived just some photos. During the first week when there where less then 10 skiers Brian noticed a free raffle for a Turkey checking out of the semi-deserted Grocery Store. Pictures with the Turkey we won the next day.  West Yellowstone what a great place to train in November.  Been coming here almost 30yrs now. Great memories. In 1987 after Olympic Biathlon Trials we had a blowout party. Some flashback highlights smoking cigars with John Engen and Dancing with Tuck Millers deceased Father. If you knew him and I that was atypical to beyond the Max.  Anyway enough mental meandering. Turning a new leaf.  Training smart, training hard, time to get some results.    image image image imageimageimage


JUOM has joined forces with 1/2 of TeamGregg for preseason on snow camp, currently the other half is not patiently awaiting the start of the World Cup  in Sweden.

Although Mean Greeny is off on another presumably important Mission,  Mr Gumby has made intermittent cameo appearances around West Yellowstone.

Currently getting familiar with on snow technique and altitude, starting intervals in the near future.

All While  awaiting the rest of the CXC contingent to arrive. Have gotten to also pair up with Bill Bowler