February 12, 2008

NorAm Cup 4

Last weekend was my return to the NorAm Cup Circuit in Jericho, Vermont. We raced a sprint on Friday and a pursuit style race on Saturday. Both races went well for me. In the sprint, I shot clean prone and then picked up only one penalty in standing, despite a dud bullet in my last shot. A "dud" is a bullet that does not fire when the firing pin strikes it. In biathlon, the rules stipulate that a competitor cannot leave the range until they have fired five shots, so when a bullet does not fire, you must hand load a bullet from an extra round holder. Some competitors have extra round holders on their rifle, while others have relay clips where rounds can be stored in the bottom of the clip. I have the latter kind, which takes longer to get the bullet out of, so when I had to hand load, I lost around 20 seconds. While it was an annoying incident, I learned a lot from having to deal with the problem. And, I hit that target anyway!

Women's Sprint Podium

In Saturday's pursuit, results were timed individual from Friday's finish, but we started in 15 second intervals which made things a bit more exciting. I started third, after finishing just 13 seconds from first place in the Sprint. Thanks to solid skiing and great shooting (just one miss in prone and one in standing for a final of 18/20 shots), I finished just behind the Saturday's winner and ended up first place once final times were released. Of course, I was very excited to have won my first NorAm race. It boosted my confidence and I am very excited going into this weekends "home" races: NorAm #5 right here in Lake Placid.

My mom and much of my family will be here this weekend to see me race, which should be fun. More snow has put the trails in perfect condition for racing, a major change from one week ago when the start area was nothing but a puddle. We'll be doing a sprint on Saturday and a mass start on Sunday, and we're all looking forward to the opportunity to race on our home trails.

SNOW!

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