December 26, 2009


Sounds like a whirlwind, doesn't it? So far, it has been, but it's also been a great trip. Currently, I'm home for the Holidays, but only briefly. I arrived late Monday night and leave Sunday afternoon. It's been so nice to be home to re-charge before trials; but I'm getting ahead of myself-let's rewind back to World Cup 2 in Hochfilzen.

Hochfilzen was an interesting, if short, race series for the US women. With slushy, slow conditions on race day, it was one of the toughest races I have done. Though I had the top US result, it was not good enough to make the pursuit. Putting that aside, I hoped to make Pokljuka and the final pre-Christmas World Cup better.

The women's relay in Hochfilzen with fans lining the course.

Conditions in Slovenia were much better than Austria. Though it was cold, and at times fairly windy, the snow was pretty fast and hard, so I was looking forward to three good races. In the individual, things went pretty well-right up until the last stage. I had one miss in my first standing stage, and then added three more in my final stage. Even with a pretty fast ski time and an excellent last loop, four misses (and subsequently 4 minutes of added time) were too many. It was slightly heart breaking to see that if I had been able to hold it togther for that final stage, I would have been top 30. But I still had the sprint to think about, so I moved on. Unfortunately, it was not in the cards for me there either. With a very rough prone shooting stage, I put all my effort into simply finishing the race and skiing well. I had a solid ski time, which was a small silver lining, but the week overall was disappointing. Luckily, I had home and a week of down time to look forward to, and to help me get ready for Olympic Trials.

Which brings us back to the present. Being home has been great. I've been able to mentally move forward from tough races in the last two World Cups, and am feeling ready and excited for trials. Sunday I will travel to Germany for a week long camp in Ruhpolding with some of the other trials qualifiers. Then we travel to Altenberg for a time trial and two IBU Cup races that will decide the Olympic Team. Team naming happens on January 11-just over two weeks from today! It's crazy that all the preparation and all the hard work is finally culminating in this. So, here's keeping my fingers crossed for the results I know I am capable of. Keep checking back, I'll be sure to update as often as internet access allows! Happy Winter!

Haley Johnson looking out onto the town of Bled, Slovenia from the castle above.

A view from Bled (the town we stayed in-about a 30min drive from the venue in Pokljuka).

December 5, 2009

World Cup 1

Hello from the World Cup!

The first weekend of World Cup racing is over for me, and it was a solid start to the season. I was the top US finisher in both the Individual and Sprint, and had respectable placings, finishing 60th in the Individual and 59th in the Sprint. With over 110 finishers, I am pleased with the outcome and looking forward to improving on those results next week.

There was some real excitement for the US team here in Ostersund, though. Tim Burke placed on the podium in both races: 2nd in the Individual and 3rd in the Sprint. It was awesome, and extremely motivating to see. I think the whole team is riding a high seeing what Tim has been able to accomplish in just the first two races of the season. It's giving us confidence going into the's a very exciting time to be involved in US Biathlon!

Monday we leave for Hochfilzen, Austria. A new course and a new weekend will be welcomed by all. We hope some sun is also in the forecast for Austria...though I'm sure it can't be as bad as 3pm sunset! Internet can be spotty in Hochfilzen, so I may not be able to update my blog, but you can follow the action on With a couple more World Cups under my belt, I'm feeling stronger and more confident as we head into the next races.

Prepping the stadium and race courses for the Races.

Stadium and shooting range during the men's relay.