Cochrans Glacier

It is always awesome to have training at a place like Cochrans, who’s owners have a passion for the sport that outshines the spring sun that melts their snow. We were offered a couple days of amazing training here on the east coast glacier located just off interstate 89. Cold nights led to some incredibly hard conditions where we got in as many runs as made us content with family members running snowmobiles to get us to the top. Incredible! Thank you Cochrans!

Cochrans Glacier. April 18 SL from Tucker Marshall on Vimeo.

Pictures of my most recent travels to come, and I am also hard at work on two more webisodes from the season. Stay tuned!

-Tucker

Lutsen

Lutsen, you are one magical place. You take kids starting in the 50s, and 60s, let them kick my ass (bib 3) out of flip, (31st), and have them score some of the best races of their lives. I wish I could say I wasn’t trying, but in truth, I brought the focus and intensity I would to an Olympic run, and admirably/depressingly, I wrestled my way to a hard fought 28th place.

I was left to wallow/trying to sell my skis in the parking lot, which inevitably reminded me of the steepest grade on the race hill, so I packed it in and headed home.

I shook my fist in fury/defeat at you as I drove away with my ego sorely bruised, and a promise on my lips to never, ever, return to such a forsaking place of my career.

More racers however were the opposite. They departed the famous Lutsen with a smile lighting up their faces, a career best (or four) under their belts, and are already looking into flights to come back at the end of next season.

To them I say… Hell. Yes. Congrats, and keep that momentum going into next season. You have the points, now gather that confidence and back them up.

To all the naysayers out there, chew on this.

Many words have been used to describe this hill and these races, the least of which being, “give away”. Honestly, it would be easy for me to name them the same; it would certainly save me some face. But the truth is that it is a generalization that is wholly inaccurate.

“Give away,” seems to insinuate that any of the top seeded skiers were purposefully slowing down to give the back of the packers a better shot at scoring. Refer to paragraph one as to my commitment to these races, and I can assure you that my fellow top seeded skiers shared the same dedication. Honestly, I wish bib 62 had slowed down for me! God dammit, I needed to score! Come on man…

Logan Mackie, (bib 62) had other intentions than helping this guy out though. Logan, whom previously had a world rank of 1,683 with a F.I.S GS point profile of 54, raced to finish 11th and 16th at the GS races. This will drop his points into the 20s and lower his WR by about 1,200.

Colin Martens starting 57th finished 10th and 13th respectively in the same two races, dropping him from 50 points, to 28 in just two races. That’s incredibly sick.

I realize some of these words are redolent of The Race of Dreams, but I said it then, and I will say it again. It is always deserved. Logan and Colin didn’t beat me because I was lax with my focus. They kicked my ass because they skied that hill a hell of a lot better than me, and many others.

Lutsen takes a different set of skills to be fast. It is not the usual steep, anything goes sort of hill. I can make sizeable mistakes on a hill like Main Street at Stowe Mountain, because it is a steep, technical hill where you can make up time at the next roll over. Lutsen however, offers no quarter when it comes to mistakes. If you don’t know how to be subtle with pressure and don’t know exactly where to put that pressure, you will be bleeding time the whole way down.

Some people understand these subtle nuances, and others are masters at it. It is those masters of this uniquely difficult terrain that prevailed last week and capitalized on what we were all striving for.

Hats off guys, and goodbye forever, Lutsen.

-Tucker

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NorAm Finals

Well, I’ve been up here in good ol’ Alberta for about a week now. News flash, NorAm finals are difficult! Not just the competition, but the hills are incredibly challenging as well.

Top of GS, with quite the view

The slaloms takes place at the Canadian Olympic Park which is right in the city of Calgary. Thanks to my Instagramming friends, you can see how epic it is up there.

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Today was the first slalom race, and tomorrow will be the second and final NorAm final before I get on a plane and head to US Nationals in Squaw Valley, California. Here is a second run from today. I think it might have played if I hadn’t hiked… Dammit!

NorAm Finals, COP. March 2014 from Tucker Marshall on Vimeo.

Anyway, I think I am ready to kick some ass tomorrow and bring my A game. Lets do this!

Stay classy,

-Tucker

Andrew McNealus and Robby Kelley

On our way to the COP

Sean Higgins and I getting some rays after the Giant-Slalom

Nolan Kasper checking out the score board

Robby Kelley likes SkiFlicks.com, and so should you!

7 Days, 7 Races

On Sunday I finished up a 7 day stretch of races, which started out with 4 NorAms at Stowe. Unfortunately it was a tough start to the series, not finishing 3 of the 4 races. I did however  get another solid top 15 result in GS, and was looking for a top 10 in slalom before things really did not go my way! (Alright, it was mostly my fault…)

tmarshall 2:6 sl 2 from Tucker Marshall on Vimeo.

Here is the GS from my first day. Run was pretty good. You know, besides the fact that I fell out of the start, onto my face, and picked myself back up 10-15 seconds later. That was a first for me, and hopefully a last.

Stowe GS Nor-Ams from Tucker Marshall on Vimeo.

After NorAms I headed to Dartmouth Ski Way for some University races. GS was not so spectacular, but I finished the slalom strong, scoring a year best 19!

The 7th and final race this week was the 77th annual FISK trophy race held at Suicide Six. I skied in my comfort zone first run, but brought up the intensity second run to finish up a strong 3rd place on the run, and 5th on the day. I scored a career best result 17, which will drop my points from 20 to 18. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but its a huge step, and I am happy with the progress I’ve had so far. I am looking forward to keeping that momentum in future races.

Stay classy!

-Tucker

Next on the docket… NORAMS!

Training has been awesome these past two weeks. The snow has been great and the skiing is starting to feel better and better. I’m starting to feel some real speed in slalom. Even though it is still a  little chaotic, I like where it is going! Here I am yesterday channeling my inner Henrik Kristoffersen. I’ve still got a little progress to make, (despite being 4 years his senior), but always getting faster!

SL Training, Sugarbush. 1/29/14 from Tucker Marshall on Vimeo.

GS is also feeling very comfortable for me, and I am excited to prove myself again in the Nor-Ams, which start up again on Monday. Here is a run from yesterday, and despite the unfortunate ending, I am happy with some sweet turns and look forward to continue to build that all the way to the finish.

Sugarbush GS Training, 1/29/14 from Tucker Marshall on Vimeo.

Another few days of training ahead of me and then 7 races in a row scheduled starting with Nor-Ams on Monday-Thursday at Stowe, Dartmouth Carnival Friday-Saturday, and I finish up with the Suicide Six Fisk race on Sunday. Looking forward to a great week ahead, lets do this!

Stay classy,

-Tucker