Freezing cold and wild wind were the story of NorAm 5 in Lake Placid this weekend.
Though Saturday's sprint race saw temperatures below zero, I was able to put together a good race. My shooting was not great (one penalty in prone and 3 in standing), but I skied well and ended up first by 40 seconds. I was very happy with my result, especially since most of the other competitors shot better than I did, meaning my ski time was very strong.
Sunday's mass start was a roller coaster ride for me. Despite very strong wind, the race began well. I was in the front pack for the first lap, and after 2 penalties in the first prone stage, was only a few seconds back from the lead. Clean shooting in the second prone stage put me into first place with a good lead over second. From there, however, it was all downhill. I missed 9 of 10 standing shots over two stages, and though I still ended up third it was a tough race. The wind was the main factor in my missed shots, and since it was my first race with any wind at all, it was definitely a learning experience for me.
All in all, it was a good weekend. I feel that my skiing is really strong right now, and my shooting is definitely coming along. I'm still learning a lot from each race and thus improving with each new experience. Next weekend will be a sprint and pursuit in La Patrie, Quebec. Until then, we'll be training and hoping for some more snow. The night after the mass start a warm front came through and we had another major melt (the third of the season). We'll be making it work for the next few weeks before heading off to Minnesota for US Nationals/NorAm Championships. The weather might not have been perfect, but at least the snow held up for the races!