Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Shooting Videos

Here are two videos that my coaches took of me shooting during the relay competition in Ruhpolding.

Prone
Standing

Monday, January 25, 2016

Relay Day

Yesterday I got my first taste of biathlon mass start action at the World Cup level, leading off for our relay team in Antholz, Italy. It reminded me of how much I thrive on head-to-head racing. Usually our races have an individual start, so during the race I never really know how I am doing compared to the rest of the field and it is just me versus the clock. I like having a person right in front of me to chase; I find that much more motivating than the ticking of the clock.

Relay start in the sold-out Antholz Biathlon Arena.
I am 6th from left in the orange and purple. (Photo: Nordic Focus)
My coaches decided to put me first so that I could have that head-to-head experience, both because it will be useful in the future for pursuits and mass starts, and because they thought I would like it. I accepted the challenge knowing that I could probably hang onto the pack on skis, but that I might get separated from the leaders on the shooting range even if I hit all my targets. A fast, clean prone shooting time for me is about 34 seconds from arrival on the mat to departure, plus another 10-12 seconds per spare round if I miss and I have to hand-load. I usually shoot standing a few seconds slower than prone. This week, the fastest standing shooting time was by a Bulgarian woman who came, shot, cleaned and left in 21 seconds. My time, with one spare round, was 56. That is a lot of time to make up on skis! 

On course in the relay. (Photo: Nordic Focus)
I did pass six teams on my last lap, including the third-ranked team Germany! (See her right arm, above in the background!) I tagged off in 12th place, less than one minute behind 1st. Our team struggled on the range and moved back to eventually finish 17th.