For Britt Bailey, designing and developing a cross-country ski training program is a sort of a dream job.
The Thunder Bay, Ont. native, who is working towards her Master of Public Heath degree at Memorial University, is heading up the Effective Nordic Development (E.N.D.) cross-country ski program operated by The Outfitters Experience Adventure.
“It’s nice to work and do something you love,” said Bailey, who was hired in October to run the program that will continue until March.
She said she got the job after showing up at the Outfitters store.
“I was in the store shopping and I asked about some local running trails. I mentioned that I cross-country skied and they asked if I was looking for a job and that was it,” Bailey said. “It was an opportunity I was very excited to accept.”
Bailey skied her first race at Tapiola Ski Club in Thunder Bay as a two-year old and has been racing ever since.
She won the Ontario provincial cross-country championship in 2009 and has had several top 10 Canadian national championship finishes.
Jonathan Simon of the Outfitters said, “adding a coach with her super credentials certainly adds a higher level of professionalism to the program.”
Bailey said her job is putting together a comprehensive program to prepare skiers for the provincial marathon in March.
It involves some cross-training such as roller skiing and biking.
Located at 220 Water Street, the Outfitters E.N.D program advertises that it strives for success through fitness, motivation and tactics.
The focus of the E.N.D. program is on fitness, ski technique, increasing on-snow efficiency and designed to encourage a fun group environment.
The program covers a variety of activities and exercises including RPM classes, core strength training, stride analysis, time trials and distance training.
In addition to the physical side of the program, it also promises to help participants along the way with race preparation tips, race pacing and tactics, in-race nutrition, ski waxing and technical ski apparel knowledge.
“It’s a very high level training program, but it’s sort of geared down to more recreational skiers. It’s a ski training program for adults of all ages and ability levels,” Bailey said.
She said part two of the program involves twice weekly workouts together.
During that time, Bailey provides technical feedback and, “a lot of blowing whistles telling people when to stop and start,” she added with a laugh.
There are about 30 people in the group.
“I hope I can pass on my enthusiasm for the sport and the knowledge I have gained to the participants in the program,” Bailey said.
The 22-year-old Bailey, who came to MUN after four years at Lakehead University where she completed her undergraduate degree in Biology, competed for the Sea-Hawks’ cross-country running team this season and said she enjoyed the experience.
Bailey, who also ran at Lakehead, said she met a lot of “cool people” and made a lot of friends while competing with the MUN team.
“I don’t run to cross train for skiing. I run because I love to run,” she said.
“The East Coast Trail around St. John’s is very beautiful and I feel lucky to be able to run neat trails like the Signal Hill loop on a daily basis,” she said.
In fact, Bailey said she “absolutely loves” physical activity no matter what it is.
“I’m very excited that we are already on snow and I’m looking forward to the famous St. John’s winter that everyone has been telling me about.
“Although I am unsure where I will go with skiing in the future, I can say with 110 per cent certainty that it will always be an important part of my life.”