Four-time Olympian Kikkan Randall of Anchorage is best known for her sprinting -- she's the World Cup champion in that discipline, three seasons running -- and freestyle is her favored technique.
Sunday in Oslo, Norway, though, Randall produced the best result of her World Cup career in a distance race in the classic technique by finishing 12th in the 30-kilometer race at the Holmenkollen.
Randall was clocked in 1 hour, 25 minutes, 13.4 seconds. Norway's Marit Bjoergen won in 1:20:55.7 and topped the field by 1:41.
"My classic skiing has been all over the place this season,'' Randall said in a U.S. Ski Team news release. ".I’ve had some really good results and some tough ones. It is still something I really need to work on but today's result is encouraging.''
The Holmenkollen is known for its huge crowds and knowledgeable fans.
" Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, out on course knows your name,'' Randall said. "The cheering is super loud and you just get a sense that you're racing on one of the most historic courses in ski racing.''
Randall remained fifth in the World Cup overall standings heading into the finals in Falun, Sweden, this week. She has 750 points, which puts her just behind Norway's Heidi Weng (776) and just ahead of Finland's Kertuu Niskanen (730).
Randall's teammate with the APU Nordic Ski Center, Olympian Sadie Bjornsen likewise delivered the best distance result of her World Cup career. She finished 14th in 1:25:23.5 and was delighted with her performance.
"Today was probably the most fun race of the season,'' Bjornsen said. "The vibe that Holmenkollen has is very special. With so many fans screaming on every inch of the course, you get to experience one of the most special venues for our sport.
"I was really pleased with my race today. I have been struggling to stay healthy these past few months, so I was more than excited to be able to pull together a 30k for one of my best races of the season.''
Bjornsen is 38th in the World Cup overall standings.
Anchorage Daily News