Since we're here in Canmore for so long, I am now the proud owner of a Canmore Nordic Centre season's pass! Oh, and I've been renamed KatErina!
This past weekend we had our first official races of the winter biathlon season. Yes, I did jump into a race the previous weekend but it was a trials race for the Canadians and I wasn't planning on doing it until I arrived at the venue that morning. Thus I don't count it as a real race! Both race this weekend were Sprint races (two shootings, 3 ski laps totaling 7.5km for me) and I hit both ends of the success spectrum with my results.
Saturday's race went horribly on the range. Probably the worst sprint race I've had in two years. I missed four targets in prone and another three in standing for a whopping total of seven misses. That means I also got to ski seven penalty loops, adding over a kilometer of extra skiing to my race. I finished 5th in the results and was less than psyched with the experience as a whole. I did ski faster than I had in the Canadian time trial but all my efforts on that front were completely thwarted by my poor shooting.
Sunday I went into the race with much higher expectations of myself. I had talked over Saturday's shooting performance with my coach and had plans for how to remedy it. Plus I also know that I can shoot better….in three of my previous four time trials I had one or fewer misses so my goal for Sunday's race was no more than one miss. I focused on not changing anything…still approaching the range confidently and quickly, having a fast time to my first shot and then shooting with a normal (one breath between shots) cadence. And it worked! I hit ALL my targets and finished second. The woman who beat me, Emma Lunder, also cleaned and has been on snow a lot longer than me at this point. She lives here in Canmore so she's been skiing since the middle of October. Not an excuse, but I was happy to be competitive with her through so much of the race. It was only in the last loop that she passed me.
Raleigh (L) shooting and Maddie, who is pretty excited to be here in Canmore.
Me out on the course somewhere...
Casey (L) in the leaders bib and Raleigh skiing out of the stadium area.
The guys on my team also had a successful weekend. Casey took first on Saturday and second on Sunday, making him the overall NorAm Cup points leader at this point. Russell, Raleigh, and Omar also landed podium positions with Russ taking first on Sunday, Raleigh taking third on Saturday, and Omar taking third on Saturday in the Paralympic division. I'd say it was a successful first race weekend for the MWSC biathlon team!
Omar (L) and Russell both skiing hard.
After the race Sunday Omar met up with another Para athlete who is from Japan. Keiichi is missing his left hand (Omar is missing his right arm) so Omar gave him his right glove since he has no use for it!
Goofing around before the awards ceremony on Sunday.
Medals and chocolates (given out here in Canmore for clean shooting stages)!
Women's podium on Sunday.
Laughing because my teammates were chanting my name….Thank you Omar for starting that and thoroughly embarrassing me!
Day off today and then back to the grind with training tomorrow. We have another NorAm Cup weekend here in Canmore next weekend and then a few more days before we head east to Minnesota on the 7th of December. Keep checking back for pictures…and stories. This place is pretty awesome!