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Archive for the ‘Race Reports’ Category

GRP Ski/Biathlon Results 2014-15

16.Dec.2014 by Gordon Vermeer

Hey folks, iiiiiit’s back! Want to keep track of how the GRP Ski & Biathlon Team is doing this season? Check back on this blog. I’ll be updating this same post frequently throughout the season, and re-posting it to the top of the blog roll every once in a while. With comments or questions or complaints, shoot me an email at Most recent week on top. –Gordo




Grand Rapids, MN (IBU Trials — cont’d)

Tuesday Mass Start 12.5k Ladies, 15k Men: Clare 4th (2+0+4+3), Liz 5th (1+1+3+4); Mike 7th (2+1+4+2), Ethan 8th (2+1+2+1)


Middlebury, VT (NENSA Eastern Cup)

Saturday Individual CL 5k Ladies, 10k Men:

Sunday Mass Start FR 10k Ladies, 15k Men:





Hochfilzen, Austria (IBU World Cup 2)

Friday 7.5k Sprint: Susan 29th (1+1), Hannah 78th (1+2)

Saturday Relay: (no American team)

Sunday 10k Pursuit: Susan 27th (0+0+2+2)


Davos, Switzerland (FIS World Cup)

Saturday CL 10k: Ida 47th

Sunday FR Sprint: Ida 16th


Grand Rapids, MN (IBU Trials)

Saturday Sprint 10k Men, 7.5k Ladies: Ethan 4th (1+1), Mike 7th (3+1); Clare 4th (1+3), Liz 6th (2+5)

Sunday Sprint 10k Men, 7.5k Ladies: Mike 6th (3+2), Ethan 11th (2+5); Clare 2nd (2+1), Liz 5th (2+4)





Canmore, Alberta (Biathlon NorAm)

Saturday Sprint Ladies, Men: Clare 2nd (0+3); Mike 6th (2+1), Ethan 11th (0+2)

Sunday Mass Start Ladies, Men: Mike 7th (2+1+2+2), Ethan 8th (2+1+1+2); Clare 1st (0+0+2+2)


Bozeman, Montana (SuperTour)

Saturday CL Sprint Ladies, Men: Caitlin 3rd, Liz 7th, Kait 8th; Gordon 15th, Pete 20th, Alex H 23rd, Alex Schulz 31st, Andrew 38th, Jake 43rd

Sunday CL Mass 10k Ladies, 15k Men: Caitlin 4th, Liz 7th, Kait 9th; Alex H 22nd, Andrew 25th, Gordon 26th, Jake 29th, Alex S 40th, Pete 42nd


Lillehammer, Norway (FIS World Cup)

Friday FR Sprint: Ida 52nd

Saturday FR 5k Individual: Ida 79th

Sunday CL 10k Pursuit: Ida DNS


Oestersund, Sweden (IBU World Cup 1)

Thursday 15k Individual: Susan 21st (0+2+0+1), Hannah 86th (3+0+1+3)

Saturday 7.5k Sprint: Susan 41st (1+2), Hannah 81st (2+1)

Sunday 10k Pursuit: Susan 19th (0+2+1+0), Hannah did not qualify





Kuusamo, Finland (FIS World Cup)

Saturday CL Sprint: Ida 5th

Sunday CL 10k: Ida 51st


Oestersund, Sweden (IBU World Cup 1)

Sunday Mixed Relay: USA (including Susan) 7th


West Yellowstone, Montana (SuperTour)

Friday FR Sprint Men (Qualifier), Ladies: Alex S 14th, Alex H 22nd, Gordon 28th, Pete 34th, Andrew 45th, Jake 48th; Caitlin 8th, Liz 29th, Kait 30th

Friday Individual Ladies 10k, Men 15k: Caitlin 4th, Liz 14th, Kait 38th; Jake 33rd, Pete 35th, Alex H 39th, Gordon 41st, Andrew 45th, Alex S 58th

Canmore Races

9.Dec.2014 by Mike Gibson

15973553805_ab830d501e_oAfter a long training season and a few cold induced cancellations, our racing season began! But first, let me back up a little.

The first weekend was full of canceled races due to the bitter cold, and it left a few of us a little bitter ourselves.  Never the less, Monday rolled around, and with temperatures warmer (but just barely) Eth and I tried to put in a good speed session.  With cold, slow, squeaky snow – it turned into a brutal workout.   As we were driving away, we caught a glimpse of someone throwing explosives from a helicopter to set off avalanches.  So that was pretty sweet. Wednesday, we all (CGRP, MWSC, USBA X/B/D team) piled into cars and drove into Banff National Park to ski at Moraine Lake. Our car thermometer said it was -24 C when we started.  I was under dressed.


It’s not much more than a groomed access road, but makes for some fantastic classic skiing.  Yes, biathletes still like to classic ski.IMG_0797 At the end of the grooming, there was a sign warning us about avalanche danger ahead.  We decided it wasn’t worth testing out.


This is Lake Louise.  It’s just up the road from the trail, has a gorgeous hotel where we changed, and -most importantly- sells coffee and hot chocolate.   Somewhere inside, sitting on a radiator, drinking a cup of coffee, I started to thaw.

Which brings us to the weekend.

First Sprint 2014

Temperatures warmed up to just around freezing, and the races went off without a hitch.  Saturday, Eth and I did a 10k sprint.  Neither of us felt great, but I had a fun time pushing against Casey (pictured above).  He is skiing well, and I struggled to keep in contact with him.


Sunday was warm and sunny.  This is a picture of people zeroing their rifles before the race.  Ok, it’s mostly a picture of cool mountains.

The picture up at the beginning, and the race pictures were taken by Jacob Ellingson. Check out some more photos here. If you want.

Sunday was a 15k Mass Start, which was interesting because there is a new format for starting this year.  As the photo at the top depicts, there are three lanes of skiers, and we can start skiing immediately. Gone are the days of the double pole start.


Here is Ethan leaving the range.

And here I am, leaving the range and catching up to MWSC athlete Brian.

Eth and I both wish we were higher up the results, but also agree that this was a really fun race.  The whole field was pretty close, and he and I skied together and fought it out on the last two laps.


Both of us owe a huge thanks to these guys.  Seth (Maine Winter Sports Center) kind of adopted us for the two weeks.  He helped us get two and from the venue, zero rifles, and in general was our foster coach. I tried, but couldn’t keep Travis (National Guard Biathlon) from helping us with our skis. Thanks guys.

We just got to Grand Rapids, MN, met up with Liz and Miro, settled in, and did some much needed laundry.  Next up, IBU Cup trials!



A Look Back at Östersund

8.Dec.2014 by Susan Dunklee

Before shifting gears to the next World Cup venue in Hochfilzen, Austria, I wanted to share some pictures from the past week in Östersund, Sweden.

Daylight in Scandinavia is fleeting during December months. The sun never gets very high. However, sunrise and sunset can last for hours and we saw some spectacular colors.


You’ll notice that winter is late in coming to Sweden; we raced on snow that had been stockpiled from last winter and protected under a big layer of sawdust. A couple days before the athletes arrived, the organizers rolled it out into a 4 km loop. Unfortunately, this has become a common phenomenon in recent years as winter weather around the world has become unrealiable.


Since many of our races were at night (or late afternoon), the stadium was well lit. The lights brightened the whole sky and could be seen from many kilometers away.

A distinguishing feature next to the race course is the Arctura tower. It stores hot water for the entire town.


Before the races, the IBU (International Biathlon Union) asked all the teams do so some photo shoots for media purposes. Here Tim is getting instructed on exactly how to stand.

We had several races in Östersund: a mixed relay, an individual, a sprint and a pursuit. These next five candid race day photos are courtesy of our team doctor Marci Goolsby:


Waiting for my start.


Lapping in front of the stadium on my way to the shooting range.

Throwing my rifle back on my back after completing a stage of standing shooting.

Exiting the finishing chute post race.

After each race, athletes are required to go through a “mixed zone” for the media. I rarely get asked for interviews in the mixed zone, but a Russian TV crew honored me with a request on Sunday.

Back at our team wax cabin post race, I made an unpleasant discovery. Snow conditions suffered from warm weather at the end of the week exposing several rocks on the course. I remember feeling some stones underfoot a couple times in the last race that brought me to almost a complete stop. One of my best race skis sustained some serious damage:

Those two long white lines used to be part of my ski. I’m hoping it can be repaired. Wax tech Tias (above) tells me that even if the gash is patched well (which we will certainly try), water may be able to leak through the side and weaken the core, so it might be a lost cause.

Everyone is hoping for some better snow in the coming weeks.

Biathletes Abroad

30.Nov.2014 by Mike Gibson

Canmore: Week 1

Ethan and I have been in Canmore, Alberta for just over a week now.  The skiing has been quite nice, though the biathlon trails were starting to get a little rocky.  Our training here has been really beneficial.  Maine Winter Sports Center is here and has been helping us out tremendously.  We got to jump into some fun relays, and also hammer out some race pace intervals with Casey Smith and Patrick Johnson.  All 20 of the Americans up here (CGRP, MWSC, Johnson, National Guard, and a contingent from Minnesota) gathered for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner.  Eth and I contributed just over 10 lbs of cheesy garlic mashed potatoes.  There were no leftovers, or pictures taken, apparently.

Since here, my HR monitor watch will no longer turn on, and both Eth and I have broken the firing pins to our rifles. What’s a firing pin?  A firing pin is a STUPID piece of metal inside the bolt of a rifle, without it, the rifle will not shoot.  Ask Bob Lee Swagger, he swaps all his firing pins before he leaves his house.


Most people know Canmore for the amazing mountains, and they would be correct.  Distractingly gorgeous. Apple was probably thinking about Canmore when they introduced the pano setting on your iPhone. Here is the view from our hotel room just after sunset.


This is looking down onto the biathlon range and stadium.



This is the opposite direction as the picture above: in the biathlon stadium, looking up. The billowing clouds are from Canmore’s extensive snow-making operation.



What people don’t realize is that it isn’t always like that. Training on Friday was a little raw.  -2 F and 30 mph winds.  Photo by Skip Smith


Our race Saturday was canceled because of this:


So we decided to get a late start, bundle up like Randy in A Christmas Story, and go classic skiing.



All smiles.  Cold, swaddled in all the merino wool clothing I own, and not racing, but smiling. Thanks, Kat Howe, for the picture.

Sunday rolled around, and we were optimistic for a race start.  I’ll admit, the forecast I saw probably didn’t warrant optimism.  The high was -3 and it quickly dropped again after that.


Our truck’s thermometer on the drive to the race venue (in C not F).  On a scale of Casey to Kat, my facial expression was probably closer to Kat. Photo: Kelsey Dickinson.


The race was delayed an hour, but we kept ourselves busy.  Heads Up! is an iPhone game modeled after Charades.  It’s frustrating to feel good and be excited to start the racing season, only to be held back by the weather. I was headed down a morose path, but pulled back by a solid hour of this game.

(Video from Betsy Smith)

The race was eventually cancelled. I again found myself dawning every article of clothing I packed, clipping into my bindings, and hoping I wouldn’t get irreparable frostbite.

It is a few days after Thanksgiving, but I still have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful for the support of the GRP, Craftsbury, Concept 2, and my family.  I am thankful firing pins can be replaced.  I am thankful for the frostbite fighting powers of Dermatone.

This next week is supposed to get warmer, and we have two more races scheduled this weekend.  Wish us luck (that the races will be held)!