Now I can say I've raced in Poland. Long story short, I can not say that much success has been had racing here. From the start, the Individual competition was reduced to a sprint on a 2.5km loop. The sprint that was originally planned on Saturday was held, but only on a 1.3km loop. And the pursuit was just never held at all. The fight for snow continues. Not unlike the fight for a better race.
Travel could have been worse. All of my gear made it over in one piece. That's asking for a lot from United these days. After leaving Chicago they discovered that our plan wasn't fit to fly over seas and had to turn around 90 minutes in. So no flight to Munich until the following afternoon.
Skies were off the mark on Friday’s sprint. It was unusual to see the pair that I choose not perform the way they had been in December. But slow skies coupled with three misses in standing made for an sub decent result. Saturday's sprint required our techs and coaches to count our loops for us. It seems simple, but you don't want to risk disqualifying yourself for being unable to keep track of when you should go into the lap, shooting, or finish lane. Skies and shape felt better than Friday, but the final result was still off of what I thought I could do.
It rained for the bulk of Friday night and Saturday morning. With so little snow the pursuit was up for debate. The decision was to have the race on a 2.5km loop or not at all. Before 8 am this morning we had the official word that there would be no pursuit. Had the race gone as planned Wynn, Sean, and I would have started within five seconds of each other. Most of us went for an easy run and did some hotel room strength instead.
On the plus side it was nice to have the rain stop before our race. Just above freezing temps with rain is not my favorite. Our hotel owner speaks great English and always around to help. The internet is temperamental, but more functional than central Europe. The course atmosphere is nice. Closed in with lots of spruce trees. Try skiing in Vermont or the Nordic Heritage Center in the winter and tell me you don't prefer to see more conifers. The venue lay out is also well done. Nothing is too far away. Conversely The wax rooms could use some rearranging. More chairs, and less icy flooring.
Next week was supposed to be in Langdorf, Germany. A place I haven't been to in years. The Langdorf option was out of the question a week ago. Oberhof was the B-site option. As of this morning they were unclear if they would be able to host the IBU Cup 5. It wasn't until dinner an hour ago that we found out Oberhof was out and the plan C was the new race destination. This brings us to Ridnaun, Italy. Wouldn't be the first time I've competed there. We leave early tomorrow morning for the nine plus hour drive. Aside from that there is nothing to complain about. No one hates racing in Ridnaun.
Motivation has been in the fog for the new year. A solid result might help, but who knows. At this point it's a day by day strategy. If the conditions are hard packed the way they usually are in Ridnaun things could start to turn around. If they don't, such is life. With a day by day process worrying about next week is a non factor. For now it's just finishing up with this blog. That and my most favorite activity of all: Packing! Your welcome to try and contact me, but keep in mind we're headed into the heart of the globe's internet blind spot that is central Europe. This is me still hanging in there.