While enjoying our first breakfast in Pontresina out in the sun, we realized that it was the 4th of July! A couple people had forgotten, but at least Austin and Anton had remembered and were wearing patriotic socks.

As part of the team went out to the first training, Anton, Austin, Martin, Evalin, Isabel, and Thomas were left behind to rest. Martin and Austin stayed at the hostel, but the other four, along with Tuulikki, took a tram-like contraption that goes up mountains to Muottas Muragl, 2454 meters above sea level. We had a good time posing for pictures with the American flag we brought in front of the picturesque mountains surrounding Engadin. Anton and Tuulikki climbed higher to get a better view, and Thomas only went partway before returning to the girls.

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While the rest of the team relaxed or explored, Asne, Julia, Michael, and Tyra went out for training at Zernez Selva. Everyone did some variation of the course, either skipping several sections or finishing early. It was a fairly simple training so everyone had individual things to focus on. The forest was easily runnable, and for the most part the training went pretty well. Once we were done, and after a quick visit to the river, we bought lunch at a grocery store and ate before driving back.

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With the exception of those taking the day off or not going to the second training, we headed out around four o’clock to Cinuos-chel for the second training of the day. After a long, just under 2k walk uphill, we were given an explanation of the plan by Erin. We were going to walk 1-4-5-6-7 together, taking note of interesting terrain and mapping features, as well as possible route options that could be used in the JWOC races, and then work on individual training for the rest of the training. We used this opportunity to learn as much as we could about Swiss terrain. We learned from Michael that staying in the less steep areas would give your route less fallen trees, we looked at ways to attack hills and reentrants, and we practiced a sidehill leg as well.

Upon arriving at control point seven, we split into the individual exercises. Michael and I ran the first two legs in control, then accelerated for the rest of the course. Izzy, Evalin, and Amanda focused on pacing for the rest of the course. Tyra’s training involved staying in contact with the map, and Julia worked on compassing and entering/exiting controls.

There was a bit of a bobble on the last control, as the mapping of knolls was a little confusing and the control may have been slightly misplaced, but it wasn’t much of a problem. We walked back to the cars and headed back to Pontresina to eat and rest. Michael, Julia, Tyra, Amanda and I had a bit of fun playing volleyball, followed by the team meeting. The team meeting went on quite late, ending around ten o’clock, and featured us drawing legs for one another on relevant middle terrain and a game of two truths and a lie. Due to the lateness of the meeting, we quickly headed off to bed to get some rest.

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