The Racers at Winter Training Camp

racers in Nelson

The Fernie Nordic Racers recently participated in a training camp coached by Graham Maclean and the Fernie Nordic Racers coaches. Graham Maclean is a professional national coach and technical waxing consultant from Golden. He came to Fernie to help us improve our skills.

On Friday January 29th, we worked on our classic technique for 1 hour and a half. Graham taught us some drills we can use to improve our double poling and diagonal stride technique. We practiced changing from different gears and going up and down a flat hill. We also had fun playing Dodgeball at the end of practice!

racers in Nelson
Fernie Nordic Racers in Nelson

On Saturday morning, we separated into groups by level, the first group went with Graham, Helen, and Rob to do some time trials around the 1.2 km Cedar Loop. Graham filmed our classic technique to give us some feedback after the time trial. Coach Johnny took the second group to ski and do some drills to improve their classic technique. The third group went with Megan Lohmann to practice downhill skills. Then we switched, so everyone could do all the activities. The time trial was adapted depending on skill levels.

After the morning session, we went home to rest, eat, and hydrate. During the afternoon, we went to the cross-country ski trails at Fernie Alpine Resort, and we separated into two groups. The younger athletes went with coach Johnny to work on their one skate on a flat section while the older athletes worked on their offset with Graham. After an hour we switched to practice all the techniques. When we went down, we did a human slalom and went down a big hill which was super fun. Then we went home to rest for Sunday’s big day.

On Sunday morning, we went for a long easy ski and we stopped to do some sprints on the way. They were around 10 seconds sprints with 2,3 or more people. Then we skied up to Boomerang chair and went back to the hut to eat some good soup, chili and bread. We watched our videos from Saturday’s time trial with Graham. He gave us some advice and tips on our techniques and then we played a big game of manhunter during the afternoon.

In conclusion, we thank Graham for all the coaching he did, the tips and advice he gave us and mostly all the fun we had! We are very grateful for this experience, and we hope to get more opportunities like this one.

article by Aurélie Smithson and Louison Dubief

Fernie Racers compete in Kimberley

Fernie Racers compete in Kimberley

The Fernie Nordic Racers had a great weekend at the Kootenay Championships Tier 2 race in Kimberley competing against the best skiers in the Kootenays and southern Alberta.  Great efforts were put in by numerous Fernie racers with several making the podium for their age group.

Podium finishers

  • Isla Sauve – 2012 girls – 2nd skate,  3rd classic
  • Graham Etue – 2010 boys – 3rd skate, 
  • Ella Fuller – 2009 girls – 1st skate, 2nd classic
  • Noah Glickman – 2009 boys – 3rd skate, 3rd classic
  • Louison Dubief – 2006 girls – 2nd skate, 2nd classic
  • Aurélie Smithson – 2007 girls – 3rd  skate, 3rd classic
  • Wes Robinson-Shaw – 2005 boys – 2nd skate, 1st classic

The team will be taking part in a training camp here in Fernie this weekend January 29-30 with National team technician and Cross Country BC coach Graham Maclean, then off to Nelson February 5th and 6th for Kootenay cup # 6 and 7.

submitted by coach Johnny

Louison Dubief
Louison Dubief at the Kootenay Cup race in Kimberley BC

Read the Free Press article about these races HERE.

The full results are displayed at the Zone4 website.

Interviews of Fernie Nordic Racers

Wes at Nipika

Article by Aurélie Smithson and Louison Dubief


Hello, here are some experiences shared by our teammates. We interviewed Ella Fuller, Marley Robinson-Shaw, Wes Robinson-Shaw, and Ezra Gibb, they shared their experiences and their goals.

Ella Fuller: Ella started Nordic skiing in kindergarten, with the Jackrabbits. She joined the race team in grade 4, when she was 9 years old. Ella likes the race team because it’s fun, you get to spend time outside, and you get to meet new people in the team and at races. Ella said: ‘’I learned to persevere in races and try my hardest.’’  Her goal is to make the Talent Squad and to compete at a higher level. Ella says: ‘’Always try your hardest.’’

Marley Robinson-Shaw: Marley has been skiing since she was little, she joined the Jackrabbits when she was 6 years old. She has been on the race team for four years, but she had to take a two-year break because of her concussion. Marley said: ‘’ I like many things about this sport, it’s such a great workout, and like my dad says, ‘Why do cross-country skiers chew gum when they race?’, ‘Therefore, they can move every muscle in their body.’ Marley added that cross-country skiing work a lot of muscles and it is very good for you. She also said: ‘’You get to be outside in nature, which is really nice, and races are very fun.’’ From being on the race team, Marley has learned that she must stay motivated and be diligent. It is her responsibility to go to practices and train on her own time. Finally, Marley said: ‘’When you get injured, you must be resilient, and you need to keep trying.’’ Her goal for this season is to not get injured and go to many races. 

Wes Robinson-Shaw: Wes has been skiing since he was 5 years old. He has been on the race team for about six years. Wes said: ‘’I like to race, I like to train, I like the winter because it’s not hot, and I like the people on the race team.’’ He also said that he likes being outside, moving fast in the snow, and having fun on skis. On the race team, Wes learned about hard work, motivation, and skiing. Wes said: ‘’ I would like to make the BC team, have fun and be proud of my races this year. I want to train hard leading up to those races.’’

Ezra Gibb: Ezra has been skiing since he was 4 years old and started the race team when he was 10 years old. Ezra said: “I like the snow and how fast I feel when skiing.” He also said that he enjoys how the team is very supportive and fun. From being on the race team Ezra has learned how stressful it is to be at the start line of a race and how to ski better. His goals are to become a faster skier and go to bigger races.

In conclusion, we thank them for sharing their experiences.

Our young Nordic Racers are full of energy

fernie nordic racers fall 2021

Aurélie and Louison from the Fernie Nordic Racers team are inviting more young racers to join this dynamic group of young athletes. They explain that the key benefit of the club is having fun while training for races.

“If you enjoy Nordic skiing, racing, and the outdoors, you should join the Fernie Nordic Racers. We are a very encouraging group of people, and we all support each other. Each athlete has their own goals to reach. You should join us and reach yours” say the girls.

The girls outline two good reasons for joining the club. They explain the first reason is “Fernie Nordic Racers is a wonderful group of athletes and coaches, that are always enthusiastic, and ready to train. Our coaches: John Shaw, Jeff Williams, Naomi Lentz, and Helen McAlister, coach a group of athletes ranging between the age 9 and 18 years old”, with coaching targeted to two age groups — under 12 and over 12.

The second reason is the comprehensive fall training program. Both groups meet on Tuesday with the under 12 group going for a 45-minute run on the trails around the Aquatic Centre while the older group trains with the Fernie Secondary School cross country running team. In addition, the older group also trains with the running team on Thursdays. “Our workout (as older athletes) is formed of a warmup (10-minute run + A’s, B’s, C’s), a running workout (hills, tempo runs, intervals, etc.…), and a cool down (5-minute jog, and dynamic stretching). On Fridays we have a dryland training with the whole team for 1 hour. We start with a 20-minute fitness game then we roller ski for 40 minutes. Sometimes the older athletes have a long and slow run, on Saturdays or Sundays. Some older athletes also use Training Peaks to keep track of training outside of practices. We also go training camps, which are fun and instructive,” say the girls.

Article by Aurélie Smithson and Louison Dubief

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