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Athlete Blog: Brendan Hauptman

Well, another week, another track I havent been to in forever, and theyre nothing like I remember. Not that the tracks have changed. No. Theyre still the same. Kreisels that went left, still go left. Right hand curves, are still right hand curves. Straightaways are still straight. When I say the tracks are different, what I mean is, everything is that much faster from real World Cup heights.

The last time I was here in Altenberg, 5 years ago, was on the Junior World Cup circuit for Junior World Championships. Back then, Womens start was the highest I had to go, since theres some rule somewhere stating that juniors cant go from the same heights as Seniors. It was a great rule back then. I loved it. I got to go from a nice forgiving start, lower down on the track, allowing me to not have to deal with the fear of going top speed down a strange track I only had nine runs on (I may not have finished all of them). It was a much less stressful time.

Fast forward 5 years to now. When we first arrived at the track, I was cursing whomever it was that came up with the rule not allowing me to race off the top all those years ago. Now I had to deal with the stress and the fear of having only six runs to be race ready, on what to me is not at all the same track I was at 5 years ago. Everythings faster, harder, and the lines are nothing like the ones I like to think I remember from way back then. It was a lot to adjust to, and I had little time to do it.

Now I sit here, the day before the qualifiers, hoping that I made the most of the few runs I was allowed so that I may go as fast as I possibly can, which, hopefully, is faster than everyone else who may or may not have been doing this since before I even knew what the sport was. But, what can I do? Just go fast, and do it again next week, I guess.