Tere (TEHR-reh), or "hello" from Estonia!
After a VERY long trip getting here, I've been training for three short days before our first IBU Cup race tomorrow. My trip, which started on December 30th from Fort Kent, lasted almost three days!
First I drove from Fort Kent down to Portland, which should have taken about five hours. Due to heavy snow falling just south of Bangor it took me closer to six hours. The following day I flew from Portland to Dulles but because my flight out of Portland was delayed I missed my connection at Dulles and had to switch my trans Atlantic flight. Instead of flying directly to Munich as planned I flew to Manchester, England and then caught a connecting flight to Munich. Again, this switch made me miss a connecting flight, this time from Munich to Helsinki, Finland. Instead I hung out in the Munich Aiport for much of the day (from about 10 am till 6:40 pm) and caught a much later flight to Helsinki. Then I had to spend the night in Helsinki and catch an early morning flight to Tallinn, Estonia where we were picked up by a shuttle organized by the hosts of the races in Otepaa.
It turned out to be a good thing that I had to wait in the Munich Airport all day because of my check bags, the one with my biathlon rifle in it, never made in on my plane at Dulles. They figured it out pretty fast and were able to get it rerouted through Frankfurt, Germany and it arrived in Munich in time to get put on my evening flight to Helsinki with me!
Another upside to missing my Dulles flight was that my teammate Hannah also missed her flight so we got to travel together after that.
Here's Hannah after 24+ hours awake. We were pretty excited to finally have beds for a few hours in Helsinki, Finland. As we were landing in Finland we got to watch some New Years Eve fireworks from the plane...kind of neat!
This is the xc ski stadium in Otepaa.
And another view of the xc stadium...
And the biathlon stadium!
Looking back toward the xc stadium and wax building from near the biathlon stadium.
The whole competition complex is called Tehvandi Staadion. They like their double letters here: consonants or vowels, doesn't matter.
Flags of all the nations competing here...
Our hotel, right across the parking lot from Tehvandi.
View from our hotel back toward Tehvandi.
My messy half of the room.
And Hannah's half.
That's all for now. Tomorrow is our first race: and individual. Four shootings. No skied penalty laps, just a minute added to your ski time for each miss. Oh, and unlike every other biathlon race, the individual is prone, standing, prone, standing instead of PPSS. Hopefully I don't forget that mid-race!
Wish me luck!