December 17, 2007


It's been a little while since I've written, so let me do a quick update. The races at West Yellowstone went well. All of us were tired, but the skiing was great and we were all motivated to finish the first series of races off on a high note. For me, the sprint race went well but the pursuit format race was tough. My shooting was not great and skiing was pretty flat. Despite that one tough race, I was named to the Europa Cup team and will be traveling to Europe (Germany and Slovakia) in January to race. I'm really excited to have the chance to race in Europe, and feel like it's a great opportunity to take the next step in my biathlon career.

For now, though, I'm enjoying the holiday season and being home in Boise with my family. After an easy week last week, I'm back to normal training. Luckily, the snow has only been getting better at Bogus Basin, and I've been able to travel to Sun Valley and McCall to get some great skiing in. I return to Lake Placid on the 28th and shortly after we will leave for Europe. Until then, lots of training and gearing up to race again.

The Development Team on a ski near Lake Louise in Canada. L-R: BethAnn Chamberlain, Me, Caitlin Compton, Zach Hall, Haley Johnson, Jason Ray

The women's team on the deck of our place in Canmore. L-R: Me, Caitlin Compton, BethAnn Chamberlain, Haley Johnson (front)

Shooting prone in West Yellowstone.

Leaving the range in West Yellowstone.

December 4, 2007


Shoot Clean: Hitting all five targets during one shooting stage.

The first races are over, and now the season has really begun. Saturday was the 7.5K sprint race (2 shooting stages) for the women (10K for the men), followed on Sunday by a Canadian style pursuit (4 shooting stages). Both days were brutally cold, claiming more than a couple frost nipped fingers and toes. Races were delayed one hour each day, but temperatures were still near -17ÂșC.

Saturday’s race went well for me. My prone shooting was good with only 1 penalty, but standing was rough, with 4. I felt that I skied well and ended up in fifth position (which would have been 6th except for an unfortunate mistake by one of my teammates which we were all able to learn a good lesson from). I was very pleased with my result given that it was my first real biathlon race in a long while.

Sunday’s race was 10K for the women and 12.5K for the men, and Saturday’s place determined your start. The winner started first, followed by second place 5 seconds later, third place at 10 seconds, and so on down the list. The first person to cross the finish line is the winner, regardless of actual ski time (so it’s an advantage to have a better finish the day before). It was a fun race since there were so many racers so close together. I started between two teammates at 20 seconds back. My skiing was less than stellar; my cough had come back, and though I did my best to ignore it, it was definitely taking a toll. Luckily, my shooting saved me. I shot clean, not just on one stage, but for the entire 4 stage race. It was a pretty amazing feeling and a very exciting experience. Something many biathletes go their entire career without ever doing. I ended up second to my teammate, Haley Johnson, and another American from the National Guard, Denise Teela, was third. It was a great end to the weekend.

We arrived in West Yellowstone last night in a big snowstorm. Today, there is about two feet of snow covering the trails, a major improvement from just a week and a half ago. It’s going to be another great weekend of races to decide the Europa Cup team. All I’ve got to do is keep my momentum and confidence rolling and things should work out well.