Meredith Edwards is a fellow Dynafit USA athlete based out of Jackson Hole but currently spending a season racing in Europe. She is the lone athlete representing Team USA on the World Cup so far this season and has performed admirably despite that. We tracked her down coming off the most recent World Cup in Italy for a quick racer profile so we all know who is standing up for North America in Europe. Read on…
In her own words:
My background and favorites
I am originally from Pennsylvania but based out of Jackson, WY. For the 2013/14 winter I am splitting my time between Chamonix and Beaufort, France.
My Favorite place to ski in the US is Grand Teton National Park – Teton Canyon, Table Mtn to be exact. In Europe, I have really enjoyed my time in Beaufort. It’s everything you would hope France would be. Beautiful town, great mountainscapes and wonderful people.
For the past 5 years I have worked with mental and behavior kids at a school in Jackson. Basically, I teach life skills. I have a degree in Exercise Physiology from University of Louisville. I was a two time Division 1 athlete in Field Hockey and Track & Field.
I started skiing at the age of two and started racing around 8. My father was my coach when I was in my teens and I raced till I was 18. When I moved to Jackson in ’07 everyone told me I need to do the skimo race at the village. It took me a couple of years to get the gear but my first skimo race was at Grand Targhee with powder skis mounted with race bindings and second hand race boots 🙂 Pretty much after that I was hooked.
I had some injuries a couple of the years but as of last year I started to take it seriously. I’m an ultra-runner during the summer and skimo is the perfect sport to stay in shape in the winter and easy on the body. I feel it’s a perfect fit for me.
My favorite race in the US is a hard choice between Jackson Hole and the Wasatch Powder Keg in Utah. I think Chad Brackelsberg puts on a hard but fun race. The course is a lot of fun with different terrain and technical climbs. It’s also great to have three days of racing – sprint, individual, and teams. As for Jackson, climbing out of Corbets Couloir is always fun and Alta Chute and Tower Three are always a great ski. In Europe, the Verbier World Cup (next year’s Worlds course) is great. It’s steep right from the start to a gliding section to a beautiful peak. It’s long and technical. I think its going to be a great course for Worlds.
This season and racing in Europe
I am currently a Dynafit summer athlete and sponsored by my home gym: Mountain Athlete. They have been great at making me strong and getting me back into shape. I was unable to run this summer due to ankle surgery and they really worked hard with me to keep me strong and going. You can check them out on Facebook. I ride on all Dynafit equipment and really love how they perform. I race on Dy.N.A. and train on PDG. I love my PDG’s – I literally take them down everything and anything.
I find the courses in Europe are very technical for me. I have worked very hard this season to change my stride. I don’t glide well and when you have a course like this past weekend where it is very flat you need to glide.
The Pitturina World Cup went ok for me. The sprint is not my race but I am definitely improving. I missed the semi-final by a couple of seconds and I just need to get faster at my transitions. In the individual race, I had a great start and was in a small pack of women but on the start of the second ascent I broke my pole. I didn’t receive one till the top transition. I find for me, coming from the US, it’s hard to compare myself to the top women but if I look at the gap between me and them and focus on closing the gap, I see that I’m improving a lot and closing in on time. I was 16th in the sprint and 15th in the individual.
Overall, it has been my hardest season but also a great learning experience. I have never had gear issues before racing in Europe but this year I have broken three poles and a binding! It’s a huge part of racing. Every race is filled with new experiences and things to learn and it has helped my overall ability.
Up next, I will be coming back to the States to race the North American Championships (Wasatch Powder Keg) and US Nationals (Crested Butte). I thought I would do only three World Cups but looking at my overall ranking there are four women with the same amount of points and I think if I finish out the next two races, I will definitely be in the top 20 (currently I am 22). I would love to do Pierra Menta but I am looking for a partner, and the week after I will be doing Tour du Rutor.
Thanks Meredith and good luck!