Friday, December 22, 2017

December in Pictures

Race photo credit goes to Karen Brown. 

Mass Start 1st loop

Mass Start 3rd shooting stage

An overcast day of classic skiing up Lake Louise. 

The train went by our hotel several times a day.

All things cold, this is Mt Itaska Colerain, MN

And finally, some sloths, because why not. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017



* Last race was another sprint.

* The hope was that this would be the warmest race yet.

* The hope was crushed when it was obvious the wind chill wasn't going to let up

* Legs were tired and were not in the mood for the fourth race in five days on the same course.

* It snowed the night before and made from some soft conditions

* Still unsure if ski choice was the well made.

* Was pleased to get out of prone with only one penalty

* Standin
g was a different story. Missed the first two shots and had to fight to hit two of the remaining three.

* Would have like to have seen range times because I suspect mine was not so fast.

* Didn't dominate the race, but overall the races were good enough

* More details and pictures to follow.

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Three down, one to go.

* Another win today! 

* Shot 85%. Missed last shot in second prone and two in the first standing stage

* Race came down to the last shooting stage. Jake Ellinston and I both cleaned. Then it was a 2.5km ski race

* Little warmer today. That was nice

* Skis were little better than yesterday, but still not dominant.

* Energy wasn't there, but I suspect no one was immune to this feeling after two back to back skate races. 

* Tomorrow is... not a race day!! How nice is that!?

* The plan is to take it easy. Test a few pairs of skis, shoot a few rounds and then go back to resting. 

* One more sprint format race to go. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017


Hello again

* Better race today, but not good enough

* Slightly faster prone and standing states

* Missed one target in both

* More energy on the ski

*... But skis were not taking the fresh snow so well.

* Cold! But slightly less cold than yesterday

* Tight results, but still very much in the running

* Much like yesterday the next race is tomorrow. This time it's mass start

* What happens happens. Won't this be fun!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Race I

It's late and I'm tired so...

* First race is down! Good enough to secure a win.

* Super cold out!

* Shot very slowly in prone. missed first and last shot

* shot slowly in standing, but didn't miss anything. Only clean standing in mens race!

* skiing wasn't great or all that bad. Just need to keep raceing

* Interesting course. No long gradual sections. Just one transition after another.

* Next race is tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Some Thoughts

        The entertaining part of our sport is soon to be underway. That is, for me and this season in particular. December is not without it's important races, but there is a lot of waiting around for them to start. We left Canmore last Saturday and eventually made it to Grand Rapids, MN. We were in Canmore for the sake of a couple races and a lot of quality training. Now, we're in Grand Rapids to freeze our fingers off and cram four races into five days.

       The conditions in Canmore improved as the temps dropped during the last week. It never dropped to the ultra cold levels that I remember Canmore for, but it doesn't really have to. If it gets only a little brisk the farm of industrial strength snow guns start running around the clock. This forces the relative humidity up and makes the air feel much colder than the forecast suggest. That didn't stop us from training properly. We did a lot of quality shooting sessions. The ones at race pace and head to head. The goal was to fine tune the fitness. That includes mental fitness, as well as physical. After all these years it still takes me a lot of racing before I feel ready to have a good race. With that in mind I took every opportunity available to train in a race like situation that I could.

       Have I ever mentioned that I detest travel? I know I have, but I thought I would reinforce that. Nothing really went wrong during our trip on the weekend. It's just a part of the lifestyle I've grown tired of. Some athletes are great at it. Some are not. The ones that can breeze through all of the fears of what could go wrong are lucky. I'm not one of those. When I start a travel day I automatically assume everyone in the airline industry is working against me. To me it feels like a battle to get myself and my gear from point A to point B without damage and hundreds of dollars in made up fees. At the end of the day, it could have been much worse. The skis and rifle made it through in one piece. The whole effort did take close to two days, but still... could have been much worse.

        Northern Minnesota is cold. That about sums it up. It certainly wouldn't be the first time this has happened. During the morning training sessions, at most any point, if you stop and look you can see at least one athlete spinning their hands around in circles to force the warm blood to their fingertips. I froze my feet so badly back in Canmore that one has poorer circulation than the other. Such is life combining endurance sports with the possibility of cold temps.

       The potential for the racing this weekend is wide open. Ranging anywhere from me falling on my face in failure too handily winning. Shooting has been coming together. For reasons unsure to me, my grouping in prone travels low during hard intensity sessions. Standing has been holding up well even under pressure. Ski speed is a bit on the unknown end as well. I suspect it's good enough to get the job done. The legs have been a little tired, but I can't help but think that's all in my head. Most of this is anyways.

     The confidence is up, or at the very least higher than the temperature outside. I can't promise anything special. No one can with biathlon, but even now before any of the races have started I can say without a doubt that I've tried as hard as I could. If you've ever watched a full race you would see that there is very little that you can control. Trying you hardest for a decade plus is not one of the parts that are out of your control, however.

Thanks for the support! I'll try to keep a quick update trend going for the races coming up.