Former biathlete, current coach….all round nordic enthusiast!

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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Jericho, VT and Lake Placid, NY

First, I would like to take a moment to express my appreciation to Ski NH for their continued support of my biathlon endeavors!

After a bit more than a week on the road in Vermont and New York I am back in the county getting excited to take in some World Cup action in Presque Isle. Things are really ramping up around here with the races less than a week away now. Last night we drive into town just before midnight and got to read all the “Welcome Biathletes” signs at local businesses.

The last week + has been hectic and busy but also fun. We raced in Jericho, VT the first weekend where I took home a bronze and a gold in their sprint and pursuit races. My shooting went pretty smoothly but skiing still lacked a lot. It was my first weekend back racing hard after sick and feeling out a it for a couple of weeks so I was satisfied with the effort but hungry for more the following weekend in Lake Placid, NY.

During the week between races we stayed in Jericho to train instead of making the trek back to the county. Their range was in good shape and provided a nice quiet place to ski and focus for a few days. Highlights included the appearance of a deer carcass on the trails, a classic night skiing starting right from the barracks, dinner and lunch with my brother up in Burlington, a vicious game of Risk, and a day trip to ski at Craftsbury followed by a delicious lunch with my college roommate, Mary, at the Bakery/Deli at Trapps in Stowe.

In Lake Placid I had a great sprint race on the range, going 1, 1 (1 miss prone followed by 1 miss standing) for the day. Skiing again felt a little slow but Sunday promised to be better. Sunday was the first true pursuit of the season where I started 3rd, 1:08 back of Susan, Saturday’s winner. I started off a bit rough, missing 2 in my first prone stage but got a correction coming in the second time and cleaned, sending myself out on the course in a tight race. Susan, a Canadian and myself were all skiing within 20 seconds of one another and I was actually feeling pretty good on my skis for a change. My first standing didn’t go quite as planned, ending with three trips around the penalty lap. I would finish with two more penalties in my final standing and skiing into 4th place overall, 2nd American (Final shooting score 2, 0, 3, 2 – misses). Although I was skiing in a really good place during the race and didn’t manage to finish there, it was a good race for me. I finally felt good on my skis again after a month of feeling off.

Lake Placid was a short trip without much extra time for anything though I did get to spend some time with my parents who made the trip up to watch the races. They are coming up for the Fort Kent World Cups so I’m looking forward to sharing my MWSC surroundings with them.

The ice castle in Saranac Lake NY that I went to explore after a dinner out with my parents and some biathlete friends.

With my mom post-race in Lake Placid. All smiles....lots of snow!

After the race we hung out in Lake Placid long enough to eat, shower and pack up before taking on the +/- 9 hour drive back to the county.  Now we await U26 results from the last two weekends and get ready to enjoy everything the World Cup has to offer!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jalbert Athlete Residence: Nearing completion!

The house is not completely finished but it’s finished enough to be lived in and I’m all moved in. Phyllis Jalbert did an absolutely amazing job with this place…words just cannot do it justice! Her generosity has taken a concrete form that MWSC athletes from here forward will benefit from in ways that have yet to be comprehended.

My most sincere thanks to you, Phyllis.

A photo journal comparing what it was to the beautiful home it has become:

A sitting area near the back bedrooms

 The two new bathrooms on the top floor (above and below):

The living room before

The living room after a bit of demolition

New living room

Two person bedroom: top floor

Bedroom in the basement


Fireplace that used to be in the basement

The fireplace became a desk station for us to be studious in our free time

Amazing new dining room

Kitchen during demolition

Finished kitchen.....amazing. 

Outdoor view looking down on the front of the house

Old front door. I don't have any new outdoor pictures but they are coming. I promise. 

For now, my teammates are all away at junior events so I am alone in the new digs. Feel free to come visit….I’ll be around and am always happy to have guests! Just give a call.

This week will be filled with unpacking and setting up, doing some PowerPoint stuff for Aroostook county classroom visits leading up to the World Cups in Presque Isle and Fort Kent, training in Presque Isle (great coverage as of Friday morning), Fort Kent (racing here tomorrow…should be fun) and Madawaska (hadn’t skied much there till today…it’s awesome), dealing with car antics (a new battery and jumper cables later and she’s back to running nicely), volunteering for World Cup projects at 10th Mountain, and hopefully new skate boots! 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Races in Rumford

As you might have gathered from this entry’s title, I’m in a snowless Rumford, ME for the US National XC Ski Championships. I came up with my parents on the evening of the 1st to watch my brother Alex contest the classic sprint race the following day. Alex qualified for the U23 heats and finished first in the B final. Unfortunately I only got to watch his qualifier as I drove up to Rangeley in the afternoon to ski since there was no extra non-race course snow to be had in Rumford.

With the warm weather of last week Rumford and much of New England has turned brown and snowless, making the events here at the US Championships a challenge to put on. The classic distance events went off on a brown and congested 2.5 (hopefully) kilometer loop. The women’s race was 4 laps for a total of 10 kilometers and the men’s race was 6 laps for a total of 15 kilometers. My plan was to start the classic race but I have had a head cold so I sat it out in hopes of feeling better for Thursday’s 20 kilometer skate mass start event. I also sat out thursdays skate distance event but I'm really starting to feel better now so I might just get to race on Saturday if all goes as planned. 

These past couple of weeks have been very busy and have flown by. After returning from Minnesota I had a short but much-needed week at home with my family for Christmas. I skied at Gunstock and at Bretton Woods, both of which were great. I worked on a knitting project that was intended to be a Christmas present for my mom but didn’t get finished in time. I helped my dad with some grooming so that he could work on spreading snow on the Gunstock Nordic races trails….I successfully stalled and flooded the snowmobile engine so he had to come and give me a quick lesson on how not to it again. I decorated cookies with my and ate them with my brothers. I made a snowman in one of our fields and gave him a wacky hairdo made out of sticks. I made my first candle out of soy wax in a clear glass mug…it came out really nicely and even smelled good! I knit some more.

Our wrapping paper mess at my grandmother's house....after she told us it was all to go neatly in the LLBean bag in the center of the picture. Doesn't she know it's more fun to throw it on the floor or even at eachother? 

My dad enjoying his new head massager

Decorating tons of Christmas cookies with my grandmother

Paper Christmas star for our tree

Amazing painting of my grandmother's that she gave my parents for Christmas

Kaiya with her Christmas present

Is Alex growing a tail? 

Right after Christmas I headed up to Jericho, VT for three NorAm races. Even with some really crappy shooting I managed to pull off three podium finishes including my first NorAm win of the season. The snow up there was fantastic so coming back down to a brown and muddy NH was a little depressing. Little did I know at that point that I was soon headed for an even “browner” Rumford.

After staying with my mom in Wilton (40 minutes east of Rumford) for the first part of the week I've moved in with the MWSC gang in the Andover Guesthouse. I’ve been knitting a lot and finally finished the scarf for my mom…she likes it, it’s warm. While I was still staying with my mom we discovered that Wilton, ME is home to Wilton Lights, a house that has their Christmas lights synched to music on a radio station. Really fun to watch if you’ve never seen one before!  

Racing in Jericho

Lots of snow in Bretton Woods

Alex wanted to venture off the didn't last too long

Rehydration is important. 

Think SNOW!