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Posts Tagged ‘jericho’

Bitter Cold Biathlon

25.Jan.2011 by Lauren Jacobs

The range at Jericho played host to another set of biathlon NorAm races this past weekend. I missed the first ones right after Christmas because of a cold, so it was exciting to finally get down to race on what is essentially our home biathlon course. We go down there quite a bit to train with Algis and it’s always fun to race at a venue that you know so well. The forecast for the weekend was bitterly cold and we prepared by basically packing every single article of the warmest ski clothing available. Plus hand warmers, key to keeping your trigger finger warm.

Saturday was a sprint race, which in biathlon means two shooting stages and 7.5 km of skiing for the women. Susan won and Hannah came in 2nd!

Hannah racing to victory in Saturday's race.

Hannah racing on Saturday.

Susan only missed one target on Saturday but neither Hannah or I were particularly happy with our shooting. I went 3-3, meaning I missed 3 targets each in prone and standing. That’s pretty bad for me in prone. I went hard and felt good skiing, though. As I crossed the finish line and tried to catch my breath, Algis was standing there and John Madigan checked my bolt and waited patiently for my bib.

Bent over my poles, I asked Algis, “What happened to prone?” I knew he had been looking through the scope and I thought maybe I hadn’t taken the wind into account.

“What happened to prone? Let me tell you what happened to prone.” Algis is one of the nicest people I know but he couldn’t hide the frustration in his voice. “You didn’t do what you train! You slowed down, became cautious. Your range time was almost a minute. You tried too hard to hit the targets.”

“Was it the wind?” I asked, “I took a click.”

“No, it wasn’t the wind. Your misses were all over the place.” He patted me on the shoulder, releasing me to take off my bib and go get warm.

Whoops. A range time of a minute is a good 20 or more seconds longer than I have in training. After cooling down, changing my clothes, and getting something to eat I went back to chat again with Algis. He talked to me about needing to act with confidence on the range, being sure of every action. Slowing down because it’s a race and you’re afraid of messing up will guarantee that you do mess up.

And that, right there is the big reason I love biathlon. I love the fact – even though it can be agonizingly frustrating – that shooting is so mental and that the smallest of changes will be the difference between missing a target and hitting one. Perhaps it is because most of my personal athletic history was in gymnastics, a sport where the changes required to stay on the beam instead of landing in a heap on the mat are too small for most people to see. Shooting is pretty much exactly the same and I love that you have to pay such close attention to it.

Needless to say, Hannah and I were both looking forward to another chance to improve our shooting the next day. Sunday’s race was delayed by an hour to allow the temperatures to warm up to a balmy 0 degrees. Using overmitts and hand warmers, I managed to keep my trigger finger warm and I went into the range thinking “confidence. confidence. confidence.” Coming into the first prone stage I kept my normal cadence and only missed one! In the middle of my next ski lap Algis ran over to me and told me to take two clicks up, even though I had had four hits they must have been low. Back at the range again I took the correction, dropped into position, and fired off five rounds. Only one miss again, but this time it was the last one, guess I got a little too excited. Still, I was really happy with my prone shooting. (Standing was still rough, I definitely have a lot of work to do there…) Even more importantly than hitting targets, Algis told me later that I decreased my range time in prone by 20 seconds. So Sunday was a good race, and with no frost bite!

I must be finishing here because I dropped my overmitts after the last shooting stage.

Sunday's race set a personal record for the most layers worn in a ski race.

Hannah skiing wicked fast on Sunday.

Hannah skiing wicked fast on Sunday.

My Dad and I after Sunday's race. I actually was trying to smile here but my face was too frozen to make it happen.

My Dad and I after Sunday's race. I actually was trying to smile here but my face was too frozen to make it happen.

Next we head to Lake Placid for one more weekend of NorAms.

Belated Biathlon and BKL Blog

2.Sep.2010 by Lauren Jacobs

At the beginning of August Hans, Eth, Misha, Susan and I headed to a week-long biathlon camp in Jericho. For the rest of the crew it was something they had done before but attending a true biathlon training camp was a very new experience for me. I had certainly never done that much shooting and there was a lot to learn every day. In some ways I felt like I was playing catch-up, since I’m pretty new to shooting I always had to ask lots of questions to clarify what the workout was or what I was supposed to be doing. A good example of this was one morning when Algis told me to “ski and shoot” to confirm my zero. That means you’re only supposed to ski a quick range loop and come back to shoot again, but I didn’t know that so I went out and skied a couple kilometers! Algis was standing there wondering where I had gone to.

Despite the fact that I sometimes felt a bit lost, I really loved having a week dedicated to biathlon. The huge volume of shooting made for plenty of opportunities to improve and it was fun to feel like I was getting a little better at every training session. Having almost all the biathletes in the country training in the same place for a week was also really fun. The camp ended with two roller ski biathlon races, a sprint on Saturday and a pursuit on Sunday.

Getting some last minute instructions from Algis.

Getting some last minute instructions from Algis.

Algis told me to approach the races just like training, but I still got a bit too amped up for the sprint and ended up shooting really poorly. I was determined to do fewer penalty laps the next day (it turns out watching people pass you while you ski around in circles is a huge bummer), so with the help of some coaches I identified a few changes to make before Sunday. It helped a lot and I even managed to hit 4 on my first prone stage!  You’re probably not supposed to show any emotion after shooting – either positive or negative – but I was so happy after that stage I’m pretty sure I had a huge smile on my face from the moment I stood up all the way through the penalty lap. Obviously I still have a long, long way to go with shooting but I left camp feeling really excited and motivated to keep working on it.

My Dad came over from Maine to watch the races, which was wonderful!

My Dad came over from Maine to watch the races, which was wonderful!

The rest of the GRP came down to help with the races and cheer.

The rest of the GRP came down to help with the races and cheer. Thanks guys!

Hans on the podium!

Hans on the podium!

A couple weeks after Jericho we hosted our second BKL camp of the summer. Thankfully the week was not nearly as hot as the July camp. The kids did a great job and it was a fun week! Here are a few photos from the adventure race.

Craftsbury boys heading in from the canoe-o section.

Craftsbury boys on the lake.

Embarking on the mountain bike portion of the race.

Embarking on the mountain bike portion of the race.

A couple BKLers taking a watermelon feed.

A couple BKLers taking a watermelon feed.

Josh and Soph consulting the map.

Josh and Soph consulting the map.