There are a few things that come to mind when I hear the word "Oberhof." One is spectator count, one is the climb right out of the stadium, and of course the wind, rain, and fog are safely in the mix. Unlike past years, this year brought us enough snow and it doesn't look like it's going to rain while we're here. The wind has made it's presence felt every day so far. Instead of rain we've trained and almost raced in heavy snow fall. As always, this made for a "could have been better, and could have been worse" kind of result.
The men's sprint race was yesterday. It was snowing sideways for the majority of zero and warm up. The coach and I had to screwdriver the ice bits off my bolt to let the firing pin work consistently. All ten shots left the barrel without a glitch. I didn't have take clicks in prone, but had one miss in a mediocre 45 second range time. Standing had a slight breeze. Enough to acknowledge, but not enough to blame two misses on (let's go with one miss and call it even). My rear sight had some snow in them and I had to blow it out. This, coupled with some off timing cost me two misses and a less then capable range time. Still, I wasn't the only one with a few too many misses and ski speed was feeling good. The lack of snow falling from the sky at the start of the race only favored the later starters. It's rare when this happens, but every once in a while an early start isn't the advantage. I was pleased to have the 25th fasted ski time. 46th overall on the day, safely in the pursuit and within striking distance of WC points.
I was very pleased with the outcome of the sprint. I wasn't expecting to be named to WC4, so just having a start was a plus. While the conditions did favor me, the spring in the legs was better today than it has been so far this season. Shooting has room for improvement and lately the chance to improve feels more plausible than it has in the past. With so many parts that could go wrong it's hard to believe a perfect race could happen, but this applies to everyone. The women race their sprint today and both pursuits are tomorrow. Feel free to tune in.