An elite athlete competing in the sport of bi

An elite athlete competing in the sport of biathlon: nordic ski racing combined with marksmanship

Friday, December 19, 2014

Minnesota Trials

After about five weeks on the road I'm finally back in northern Maine cuddling my kitties and enjoying the snowiest place I've been so far this winter!

First, I have some exciting news to share: Skhoop, a Scandinavian company that makes amazing women's winter wear, has joined forces with our women's ODT and PG biathletes this winter! We'll be wearing jackets, socks, and down SKIRTS from them soon…in the mean time, you can check out their site. I highly recommend their down skirts…I have one that I got in college and I LOVE it!  Can't wait to get our new stuff. It's supposed to come to our embroiderer today and I've been hitting the refresh button on USPS tracking in anticipation.


Brian was a little jealous of our new Skhoop supporters….he tried my skirt on just for grins. 

The last nine days of our stint on the road were spent in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. I have very mixed feelings about Grand Rapids….they have a pretty good course that usually has great cover for racing, even in early December. This year was no exception on that front. The part about Minnesota that gets me is that I've had very few pleasant days there in terms of weather and this year was no exception. Usually we end up with ridiculously cold temperatures during our December trials. This year we had the opposite end of the spectrum…warm, wet weather that ate any natural snow on the ground and brought out the dirt in the man-made ski track. Fortunately Mother Nature redeemed herself a bit on the last two days of racing, bringing us cold weather that refroze the track and made it seem more like a winter sport again.

My races went alright…I can't say I'm psyched with them because I never had great shooting but the skiing was consistently faster than I've been in those trials in a couple of years, so that was good. We're still waiting to hear how the team naming will go so I have my fingers crossed on that front. The four top ladies were within 98% on the final ranking list so hopefully they'll fill the spots allocated to the US and let us all get some better racing experience!

Pictures from MN:

Photo credit: Jakob Ellingson

Photo credit: Jakob Ellingson

Photo credit: Jakob Ellingson

Heading into Minnesota…there was some natural snow when we arrived but it all melted pretty fast when it got warm and rained. 

Racing in the snow-eating fog. Photo credit: Jakob (or Mikael?) Ellingson

Photo credit: Jakob (or Mikael?) Ellingson

The house we stayed in was right on a lake. When it rained the surface got really smooth and slippery so we did some exploration after training on our day off between races. 

The skating would have been amazing but when it cooled off the rain turned to snow and now it's covered again. 

That's our rental house. 

MWSC podium sweep in the mass start race. Photo credit: Seth Hubbard

I made the podium in all four races (clockwise from upper L): second (actually 3rd with my teammate Maddie, who is a junior but won the overall and isn't pictured) in the first sprint, third in the next, second in the mass start and third in the final race, another sprint. 

The view from our little plane on the way back into Portland yesterday. 

And the view just as it was getting dark on our way up Route 11 toward Fort Kent. Lots more natural snow than I've seen anywhere else thus far. 

Fingers are crossed for the team naming. Will post again when I know how it goes. 



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Mass start

Just a quick update because I don't know how busy I'll be this next week or when I'll get to posting again….

Today was the final day of NorAm #2 here in Canmore and featured Mass Start competitions. The IBU has changed the start format for mass start races so this was the first time we didn't have a double poling zone off the line. I think everyone on our team would agree that it was a much smoother beginning to the race.

While the senior women's category (my age group) was about the same size as every other North American mass start I've ever done, some of the other categories were quite large. The youth races for both men and women were so large that they had to have two waves because there are only 30 shooting points on the range!

My shooting in the race went better than in the two sprints we did yesterday (Saturday) and Thursday. I shot (1,1,2,1) - those are misses so I hit 15/20. My skiing didn't feel as good but the snow was softer (it was almost 40 degrees fahrenheit) and I was tired from the previous two days of racing this week. I finished second of nine women in my race.

Top:The start of the youth women's race (heat 1 of 2)….skating right off the line. 
No more double poling zone! 
Bottom (L to R): Maddie (center) took first in the junior women's 7.5k, Casey (L) took second in the men's 15k, and I (L) took second in the women's 12.5k. 


Tomorrow promises to be a long day on the road as we head east to Minnesota. We have to take a shuttle to Calgary Airport in the morning before catching our flight to Minnesota via a short layover in Denver. Hopefully everything goes smoothly and our bags make it there with us!