NASTAR National Championships

I’ve been out of town for a week and I’ll let you in on where I was. I often hear, “I haven’t seen you all year” well even if I’m not at Deer Valley, I’m always skiing! I have had the fortune of partaking in the NASTAR finals in Winter Park, CO for the last four years. No, I didn’t qualify, I’m invited to be one of seven pace setters. This entails trying to set the pace against, AJ Kitt, Jake Fiala, Doug Lewis, Ted Ligety, Picabo Street and Steve Nyman. The adventures begin Friday where we are paired up.  I was with Doug (Mr. Universal Sports) and he had me laughing the entire time (not hard to do). We start by setting our new handicap with two runs then we go to our designated race arena. Somehow Doug and I had the most courses. Friday & Saturday we took 14 runs. These aren’t free skiing, easy runs these are behind the wand race runs. Remember we are trying to beat each other, I must be getting old. We also have receptions, sponsor dinners and awards ceremonies that take hours. I’m not complaining just trying to shed some light on our busy days. Although the days are full it’s a blast to be around all these successful skiers.

(Heidi and Doug Lewis)

Some of the highlights of the weekend were seeing so many Park City families participating. Thankfully I see them at home because there is no time to catch up at the finals. I have seen one mother since being back and her comment was, “all of you are in your element, so fun to watch”. Another was my little buddy Colby Starr placing second in his age group. He was nervous on race day and I got to inspect the race course with him. I think it might have calmed his nerves. And the Sheppard family came through with bells and whistles to place two kids in their age group and top ten in the family events!

(Heidi with the Sheppard Family)

Being paired up with Doug kept me laughing and on our final run after we crossed the finish with both laid down. People asked if we were tired? No we answered” were icing our backs”! The first day the courses were soooo tight. I blew my line all weekend trying to keep up. One time was I was going so slow Doug caught up to me and asked in mid-racing “how’s that turn working for ya?” I love going to the event (as we all do) because it lets us see over 1,200 people who love the sport. We try our best to say hi to all of you. It also allows us to catch up with our fellow teammates and be silly again.

(Ted Ligety and Heidi just before pacesetting)

As I approach this next week at Deer Valley it will be the last of my season. For Spring Break were going to enjpy some sun and fun in Disneyworld! Should be interesting. I haven’t been there since I was the same age as my oldest son. I’ll understand what my mom went through. However,  I will be home in time for closing weekend and closing day. I have a feeling the last day will be a snow storm. Should we make a bet? Maybe one of the best powder days will be April 15th. I look forward to a break in Florida but excited to always close the ski season at Deer Valley.

See you on the slopes.

Heidi Heads to NASTAR Championships

I just realized how time flies and I haven’t posted an update for a while. Where does the season go? I guess it’s spent being busy on the mountain! I’m not complaining. I was able to demo Blizzard’s new Samba ski recently. First I had to go into Cole Sport and make sure my bindings were adjusted correctly. I tried tuning them myself, which anyone who knows me knows was a mistake. I can’t tune a ski, I’ve never had to tune my own skis. But I do know a well-tuned ski and a ski that performs. Let me say skiing the Samba is like doing the Samba dance! So much fun! I also had a peek at next year ladies Black Pearl. If they ski anything like their top sheet cosmetic, they will perform beautifully.

Heidi Head to Head with Doug Lewis this winter a .01 separation.

I was looking at my calendar and realized I’ve been skiing almost every day and we have just over 5 weeks left to the season. Only 34 days left to ski. Out of those 34 I’m on skis 25 days from the looks of my schedule. Out of the 25, 5 are days at the NASTAR Championships.  If you haven’t registered yet make sure you do, the deadline is March 14. If you haven’t attended the National Championships before, it’s a great time to be around people that love skiing; or simply a great opportunity to take some time off from your regular routine. It will be really fun this year because NASTAR has added two new events, Return of the Champion Family Challenge event and a Pro-Am with old and current U.S. Ski Team athletes. Come and watch the old and young battle it out on the mountain. I’m excited to catch up with Sarah Schelper who I haven’t seen since my last race 15 years ago! NASTAR Championships is a social event.  I’ve been involved for four years and look forward to it every year. It’s a great way to catch up with past teammates and fans! I think the new Pro –Am will be so much fun and a great addition. How cool will it be to have a current U.S. Ski Team member ski with you on a team for the day? Go to the NASTAR website and see who you can pick. By Tuesday you’ll be tired of the “pacesetters” and will be looking for fresh fast skiers. I’m also looking forward to The Family Challenge. Just think, you could earn the title of the fastest NASTAR family nationwide. I think that deserves some bragging rights. I hope this excites you to join the party go to nastar.com and sign up!

Make sure you come by Deer Valley’s NASTAR Race Course and get a few practice runs in. I usually go there to make sure I can still turn them. It’s a great way to get the rush of racing and prep for the finals. Even though the NASTAR Championships are all about fun, we all still want to be the lowest handicap. It just won’t happen for me when I’m racing against Ted Ligety, Sarah Schelper, Aj Kitt but Doug Lewis.

I hope to see you at NASTAR finals and the NASTAR Race Course at Deer Valley. I will let you know how the Championships end up. I have two weeks to practice!

See you on the Slopes.