Kieran Jones is a member of Team Hardwood Elite and is one of Rundle Sport's most energetic athletes. He plays an important role in the Hardwood Ski and Bike community by being both an inspiration to young skiers and a part of the mountain bike trail crew. After learning about his deep connection with Hardwood Ski and Bike and hearing rumors that he is secretly a Kiwi, we decided to sit down with him to learn a little more about his background and racing.
Hometown: Oro Medonte, Ontario
Sponsors: Rossignol, Alpina, Rundle Sport, Podium Wear, Rudy Project
Weight: 130 lbs
Favorite race course: Rikert, Vermont
Questions for Kieran
What got you into cross country skiing?
When I was 5 years old my dad would take me skiing on the weekends. I was an average Jackrabbit until I got into racing around the age of 13.
What are your goals for next year?
My big focus is the American Birkiebeiner. The Birkiebeiner is a special focus for me because the race has everything I love about skiing. It has an amazing atmosphere, brings together a community of amazing people and is a very challenging competition. A top 10 there would be awesome!
Where do you want to be 5 years from now?
Five years from now I still want to be skiing, training, and racing. I want to be on a professional ski marathon team. I want my future results to be good, but more importantly I want to be on the start line with the best racers in the world and performing at my maximum potential. In the summer I want to be working in my community doing things I enjoy like coaching and trail building.
What’s your favorite pastime in the off season?
Mountain biking, camping, and relaxing outside with my friends.
Do you have any tips for young athletes who want to make it on teams like Team Hardwood Elite?
Being a good skier doesn’t happen without committing to the athlete lifestyle. Your lifestyle needs to revolve around getting better every day, and you need to be dedicated for years.
What do you think makes a great XC ski race course?
I think flow is the most important thing in a good race course. I like hard race courses but they need to transition well and have graduals.
You’re part of the summer trail crew at Hardwood Ski and Bike. Can you walk us through an average day on the job?
My day is ruled by a white board that I check every morning. It lists all the trail work that needs to be done, things like removing trees, rebuilding bridges, repairing trail features, etc. Sometimes we have new trails or projects to work on and that is always a lot of fun. I spend most of my day in the forest with a couple tools and the Gator.
What’s the best bike trail at Hardwood Ski and Bike?
I think Sidewinder is the best trail. It’s super fun, fast, and has a lot of cool features. We hold a few bike races here in the summer and we set up different courses for each one. The race courses are usually awesome and I like riding them when I get the chance.
How often do you ride the trails you work on?
In the spring I do a lot of cross training so I’m on the trails at least three times a week. In the summer and fall I might only get out once a week.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank for helping you with your racing?
I’d like to thank my parents, my coach Ron Howden, and my awesome teammates. They’ve all given me so much and allowed me to experience a lot of amazing things.
Are you actually from New Zealand?
No? Where did you hear that?
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