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

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Season complete but yet it continues!

While my racing season might have been complete going on two weeks ago, the winter season has a strong grip on the east coast yet! Here in Fort Kent we have about 4 feet of gorgeous fluffy snow on the ground still and the forecast doesn't look like it'll be leaving any time soon. Most years we end our racing schedule just in time for crust cruising to start so we effectively miss any opportunity to really play during the best parts of winter. Getting this extension of beautiful February-like weather is a gift from Mother Nature that I plan on making the most of…but it has to warm up above the current -6 F temps first!

Here's a quick recap of my last month via pictures that I've been collecting:

Just prior to World Junior/Youth Championships in March I did some school visits with area classes who came to watch the races. It's always fun to teach kids about biathlon because they get so psyched about it! Here I'm teaching kids at Mapleton Elementary about target sizes for prone and standing.

I got a bag of Mapleton potatoes as a thank you gift! Those will last a while!  

And, despite my insistence that I wouldn't be racing in Presque Isle, they (ALL) wanted my autograph. 

During World Juniors/Youths I helped the US team:

Opening ceremonies with the US crew!

Local cheer squad decked out in appropriate colors!

On the first day (youth sprints) we watched in awe as Maddie took home 4th place in her first race against an international field. I think she even surprised herself with this one! 

Maddie and Mikaela after the flower ceremony. Sometimes it can be tough to watch others get the success you desire yourself but Mikaela was a first-class fan for Maddie and she has my utmost respect for putting on a huge smile for her friend, teammate, and roommate. 

I have tons of pictures from the remainder of the races in Presque Isle but I won't bore you with those, as they're all much the same. Right after the events in PI concluded I drove south-west to Vermont to help with a development camp for new/up-and-coming biathletes and to compete in the US National Championships. We got pretty lucky in the weather (in that it was warmer than the previous weeks) but Mother Nature did grace us with a sizable snowstorm right before the races kicked off. 

Fresh tracks down to the barracks through a foot+ of fresh powder…

Maddie and KitKat, two of the campers from Casper WY, enjoying a trek during the storm. 

The of the boys from the camp playing in the snow…I believe this was Pete (CA) and Christian (WY). 

The second race at Nationals was a night sprint, a rarity on the domestic circuit. We zeroed before dark and then women raced first so it wasn't too dark yet when I was shooting. Their trails are reasonably well-lit but there were a few spots that were definitely the exception, leaving you wondering where your skis were and if there was anyone right in front of you! 

Podium from the night sprint! 

The final morning of racing was a mass start that found me feeling exhausted from the quick turn around of competing the evening before. I skied as such but shot really well (I believe I only missed 3 shots) to complete a National Championship sweep (3 wins) on the weekend! 

Leaving the range after my final shooting stage of the season. I shot on point 16 and cleaned…such a good way to end a winter of mixed results. 

One more gold! 

After Nationals I went home to NH to visit with my family for a few days. I'm working on finagling some pictures from my stay, but it was a packed stay filled with house remodeling, a birthday celebration, a snow storm, plumbing lessons, and some crust skiing! Check back for an updated version of this post that will hopefully have some pictures. 

Our kitties (Luna on the left and Eva on the right).

One of my latest creations: bullet earrings made from the spent casings during zero at World Juniors in Presque Isle. 

Now that I'm back in the County we're making the best out of this extended winter. Last weekend we joined a crew of MWSC kids for a trek to Will's family cabin in Washburn. We built a campfire, cooked elk meat and hotdogs, shot stuff and played in the snow!

Building a fire on the pond...

Sarah, trying to harvest pine bows for sitting on around the fire, but struggling with skinny skis and REALLY deep snow!

Hanging out by the fire while the boys attempt to take down some targets in the background. 

Devo Girls are all smiles! 

Will's dog, Castor, enjoying all the extra company for playing in the snow! 

Our cats keeping each other company under the table...

We have just a little snow left here in Northern Maine! 

After we shoveled our way into the garage to retrieve the snowblower...

The path down to the house after Seth cleaned it out again….

Clear afternoon that doesn't really resemble spring at all (March 21st)!

Seth widening the driveway after the drifts tried to take over (again). 

Since I started writing this the temperature has risen to 0 degrees so I might yet make it outside before lunch today (it's 9:30am now). What to do: snowshoe or ski? Maybe both!