By Johan Trygg
In spring, Thea Krokan Murud announced that she is leaving her old Visma Ski Classics Pro Team, Team Ragde Eiendom, after just one season.
It has been speculated that she would return to traditional skiing, but that will not be the case.
“I will continue with long-distance skiing. Soon it will be decided in which team I will be,” says the 25-year-old Norwegian.
After the abrupt season-ending, it became clear that Thea Krokan Murud and Emilie Fleten left Team Ragde Eiendom after only one season. Fleten went straight to Team Koteng.
For Thea Krokan Murud, it has been speculated whether she would go back to traditional skiing. She has good results both as a sprinter and in distance races. In 2017, she took silver at the U23 World Cup in the sprint and she also has several good results in the World Cup.
“I will continue to go long-distance races. Maybe there will be some traditional races before Christmas but then I will go Visma Ski Classics,” says Thea.
Is it for an already existing team or a brand new one?
“It will be in an existing team. It's not decided yet, but will be soon. I can't say more at the moment,” tells Thea.
Will it be a Norwegian team? A Swedish? Or maybe a maybe non-Scandinavian team? Soon we will know.
The first winter in the long-distance skiing tour gave a lot of experience. Thea soon realized that she had to get better at double poling.
“At first, I thought it would be easier to just focus on double poling. But I felt the opposite, that there were more things to focus on.”
“Double poling has not been my strength, I've been better when using my legs.”
Despite this, she regrets that she used kick wax at Kaiser Maximilian Lauf.
“I probably should have chosen to go with only glide wax. It was such a shame that Birken and Reistadløpet were canceled. I had been looking forward to those races.”
Now Thea is focusing on getting better in double poling for Visma Ski Classics season XI.
“I usually do a lot of running during summer season, but I will reduce it and spend more time double poling on roller skis and strength training.”
What Thea likes most about being in a Pro Team and racing in Visma Ski Classics is to know in which races she will compete already before the season starts.
“It is nice to not have to be unsure whether you can go to competitions or not. As a traditional skier in Norway you have to perform first on Norway cup, then Scandinavian cup and world cup. Even then, you still don't know where to go next weekend.”
Last winter, Thea had a stable season in Visma Ski Classics with, among other good performances, a 5th place on La Diagonela and 7th place in Kaiser Maximilian Lauf and Vasaloppet.
Which race was the most fun?
“Vasaloppet! It was such a nice atmosphere at the start and to see all the recreational athletes behind us. After the race there was also a great mood. It was a big day for the team when Petter (Eliassen) won.”
What do you bring with you from the year with Team Ragde Eiendom?
“It was nice to be able to join a team with so many resources and with extremely good athletes - the best in the world. I bring a lot of experience with me and I really appreciate that the team decided to give two young girls an opportunity to race and learn."
“There is no hard feeling between us. Everything has been done professionally and it will be fun to meet the team on the tour this winter again.”
When the season ended so quickly in March, Thea hooked on the Norwegian trend to go extremely far in skis. She skied 347 kilometers in 24 hours at one time.
However, such a workout is not something she recommends to anyone else.
“At first it felt pretty good but after a week I found that it costs more than it tastes. To be honest, it was pure idiocy, but it was also an interesting experience of what you actually achieve if you decide on something.”
Even after that long workout, there has been a lot of skiing this spring for Thea. There are still really good snow conditions in the Lillehammer area.