wcdf NEWS


Hi all, Mariah here!

I have been asked a good amount of questions recently about my participation in the Bozeman Marathon like how it relates to nordic training and what my motivation for it was. The reason I signed up for the Bozeman marathon was because my roommate and lifetime friend Aja want to qualify for the Boston Marathon to celebrate her birthday weekend there either this year or next. The Bozeman marathon was perfect because this year it actually gets you in to the Boston for ‘23 and ‘24. I have also wanted to race the Boston for a while and then missed the sign up last time I realized I could have! It was an obvious choice for me and a great first marathon for Aja to run.

The day went as good as it possibly could have! For instance there has been wildfire smoke in Bozeman the past week and it cleared up just in time for the race. And it has already come back this morning. I was also really lucky to just be feeling good that day and there were also such supportive people out there cheering on which really meant a lot to me! My parents drove up from Idaho, and the BSF team was out there roller skiing and friends were out there too- it all gave me so much hype!!

When I started the race my only goal was to qualify for the Boston and I knew I had to keep my pace under 8 minute miles for that. I have done 2 marathons before and both were with my dad and I ran with him for the first half both times before feeling good enough to run on my own. This time I started out a little harder than I have before and found a guy running a good pace to follow for the first portion, and figured if I blew up later at least I’d have a little buffer to be able to still make it. Luckily I never blew up and I found that I was able to maintain the 7 minute mile pace for the majority of the race! When I was getting to the last third of the race I totally got a boost from people cheering and knowing the finish was close. When I realized I could make it under 3 hours I really pushed it to the end and I do not think I could have run a second faster or or a foot longer!

It was surreal to me to run a sub-3 as I had initially been worried I wasn’t in enough running shape to possibly run under 3:30 (women’s qualify time). It just shows that the the training I have been doing with the BSF team is really doing good for me right now, and I hope that I can now bring this type of energy onto the ski trails as well :)

The whole experience was amazing. We took a bus out to the and then watched the sun rise while wrappedin the Bozeman marathon emergency blankets in a huge Montana field eryonewas just out there to have fun running. Aja ended up being stoked on her race and motivated to run another now! This race is so scenic for a qualifier marathon and the proceeds are also donated to a good cause :) I would recommend it to anyone! My focus on running is done for now, and am looking forward to sticking to ski specific training until our season starts in not so long late November!! Hope to see everyone out there

- Mariah Bredal

Blog post courtesy of the Bridger Ski Foundation

A family friend asked me last week why I am still ski racing.

It’s a very good question and one I had to think seriously about two years ago when I was deciding whether or not to commit to race independently on the World Cup circuit. The first part of this decision was to think about if and why I wanted to keep going.

Ski racing has been a pretty defining part of my life for as long as I can remember. Reflecting back on my early years there wasn’t much thought that went into the decision. I simply did it because it’s what my family did and my competitive nature made me give it my all and work to be as fast as possible. I had small struggles with deciding between ski races and training over birthday parties or normal high school events, but I always chose skiing. I remember struggling a little bit more with whether or not to give up soccer, but again I chose skiing and never had any regrets. Once I got to college, decisions to sacrifice things for skiing felt a little heavier, but the outcome was always the same. (I will note that school and education never needed to be one of these sacrifices, which I am very grateful for in retrospect.) Skiing was what I did, and I wanted to commit to that as much as possible to become the fastest racer I could.

Despite this consistent commitment, I never really stopped to think about why I was continuing to commit to skiing. I knew that it felt good to work really hard towards something and with skiing there was always another challenge. This fueled me for a long time. But two years ago, the decision got much more serious as the price tag to continue the dream at the World Cup and Olympic level rose drastically, and so I was forced to think more deeply about this choice. I had a similar period of reflection after last season.

The truth is there are a number of reasons I am continuing to ski race, some more tangible than others. I will do my best to try to convey them to you.

Ironically, the biggest factor today is consistent with what was sub-consciously pushing me to commit for so many years. Skiing challenges me in so many ways. It pushes me outside my comfort zone and forces me to grow to survive. From the relentless crashes, disappointments, setbacks and obstacles, skiing has also taught me many important lessons. I’ve learned to not let the fear of failure intimidate me from trying, I’ve learned how to re-evaluate what success means to me, how to get back up after failure, how to take my career into my own hands and how to be resilient in all possible ways. I have learned to be self sufficient, but also how to work with people who I don’t see eye to eye with (a very challenging feat for me), and most recently skiing has taught me that I can’t do everything alone, and how to be humble enough to ask for help.

Taking a step back, I also realized that because skiing is what I have committed so much time and energy to for so long, I have a unique opportunity to work towards being one of the best in the world at it. I feel strongly that I owe it to myself and the amazing community supporting me to continue to work towards World Cup success. And I firmly believe that I have the ability to compete with the best in the world.

I also feel that I have a lot left to give back to the ski racing world. I think there is a lot of potential for current World Cup athletes to share their experience and lessons with the next generation, in addition to using their platform to promote growth in sport for as many kids as possible. This is a huge part of my mission this year, and I am really excited to have already made meaningful steps towards encouraging young athletes (especially girls) to find empowerment through sport and to chase their dreams.

Finally, I still absolutely love ski racing. Racing as an Independent athlete last season was the best year I have ever had skiing for a number of reasons, and I cannot wait to make this one even better.

Reflecting on why I am continuing to ski race helped bring clarity to what my intentions for this year are. I also realized that I don’t know if it matters so much what it is we’re doing, but more why we’re doing it and what we’re hoping to accomplish by committing to it. There are so many worthwhile pursuits in the world, (and I certainly hope to find other exciting ones when my time with skiing is over,) but for now I am still as excited and motivated as ever to continue this journey. To continue to challenge myself to grow. To continue to learn as much as possible during the ride and to share that with others. To continue to push myself to capitalize on every opportunity given to me and to continue to use my platform to pay it forward to the next generation of rippers.

Follow Tricia on her blog;

Hi everyone! My name is Storm Klomhaus and I am a US alpine skier. I am excited to talk a little bit today about injury, its inevitable existence in ski racing, and how it has made me better.

A little bit about me and my experiences with injury - I just underwent my 3rd knee surgery since October, which was my 3rd ACL reconstruction and my 8th knee surgery in total. 4 years ago while I was skiing NCAA for the University of Denver, I blew out my knee for the first time. It was not dramatic at all, I didn’t crash or catch anything. I was just about to finish a race and felt pain, then slowly stopped.

I got my first ACL reconstruction a few weeks later. A few months later, a MRSA infection was found in the surgical joint and my first ACL reconstruction failed. This led to multiple surgeries to scrape the infection out and remove the ACL graft. I had a PICC line and daily antibiotic injections for 6 weeks to fully eliminate the infection before getting my 2nd ACL reconstruction. I made a full recovery and returned to skiing better than ever.

Fast forward 4 years, while training for the first World Cup of the year in Solden, Austria, I blew out my knee. Again, nothing dramatic happened - I hit some weird snow, felt pain, and tipped over. I feel lucky none of my injuries or crashes have been traumatic. Unfortunately, due to my previous reconstructions and infection, this injury requires a 13-month recovery and 3 surgeries. Some of the circumstances related to my injuries have been unlucky due to the infection, but luckily it hasn’t affected me or my career in the bigger picture. Today, my 3 surgeries are behind me, and have 7 months left until I get back on snow!

I just made the US Ski Team last April, so I was only on the team half a year before my season ended. Although it was a tough way to start out on a new team, I keep reminding myself that this could have happened before I ever made the US Team. If I wasn’t on the national team or a colligate team, I would be on my own returning to sport. Lots of athletes do this, but the road to recovery seems a lot longer and more daunting alone. I think just knowing I’d have support coming back is a big reason I wasn’t totally crushed by this injury. Either way, I know I can come back better than ever again, and I think that’s true for anyone with season-ending circumstances.

Injuries happen in ski racing. Every person I know at my level or higher has had some sort of forced time off snow due to injury. I don’t feel bad for myself, and every time I have gotten hurt has humbled me and made me a better athlete and person. I think this can be true for everyone who doesn’t let it become a negative thing. For me, injury has only strengthened my love and drive for the sport. It is easy to take advantage of what we get to do and the places we get to travel to, and all of this has made me appreciate every moment of it. It had also made me value my whole support crew that much more, including my friends, teammates, and coaches who have been there through every surgery this year.

WCDF and T2 have supported my career through all my injuries and different teams over the past 9 years. Without them, there is a good chance I wouldn’t have been able to continue ski racing due to its financial realities a long time ago, which is way scarier to me than any possibility of injury. The support from WCDF and T2 has helped me get back on snow every time and keeps my dream going, which is invaluable and appreciated more than I could ever say. I just hope to give back and pay it forward in my ski racing career.

Thank you all for reading! I am going to hit my rehab hard and will be back and better before you know it. :) A quick closing note - I am fundraising to help fund my unexpected medical bills from the previous surgeries this year if interested click the link below!