Friday, February 13, 2015

Back to the US for Noram racing

 Traveling back to the US turned out to be quite a big trip with lots of logistics. First we flew from Estonia to Munich where we spent the night. The next day I got on the plane back to Albany, New York. Leaving for Europe traveling through Albany worked really well because I was staying at the OTC in Lake Placid where they offer shuttles to the airport. Coming home I hoping to fly back into Albany get an OTC shuttle stay at the OTC for two nights and then get a ride to Jericho, Vermont, for the Noram, with Max who is a biathlete living at the OTC. This is where USBA left he hanging high and dry. When I asked USBA if they could make arrangements for me to stay at the OTC they told me that it was no longer in the budget this year for me stay there and they offered me no other help or advice on how to get home, or Jericho in this case. I was at a loss with what to do. When I arrived in Albany I got a hotel room to buy myself some time to make a plan and figured out that I could take a bus to Burlington the next day and hopefully find a place to stay for one night until MWSC arrived and I could move in with them. While this would have probably worked I was still in search of a plan that didn't involve me riding a bus for five hours will all my skis and rifle. After coming up with lots of different ideas and calling, texting, emailing, and facebook messaging anyone I could think of to help me I got in touch with Matt Forshey who is a high school aged biathlete that lives near Albany and was going to the race in Jericho. Matt talked to his parents and they graciously picked me up from my hotel, welcomed me into their home, fed me, took me skiing the day I was there, and made extra room in their car for me to get to Jericho. A big thanks to the Forshey's for saving me.

After finally arriving in Jericho I was excited and ready to race. The first day was a 10km sprint. The race started out well, my skiing felt strong and I was moving right along. I came into shoot prone and things took a turn for the worse, I missed all five shots. I was very surprised by this, after the first two misses I double checked the wind and it had not changed and I thought that I was taking good shots, I am not sure why I missed. After the race I found out all of my misses were low left on the edge of being hits. Something must have changed with my position or my shooting point. In standing I missed 3 and eventually finished the race in 4th. Just about as soon as I finished I tried to put that race behind me and think about the next days pursuit.

The pursuit race was the North American style where we each person starts five seconds behind the person in front of them in the order that you finished the sprint, the first person to cross the finish line wins. I started 20 seconds back and in the first 1km the first four of us had all packed up and were skiing together. We all came into the range together I cleaned my shots and was the first one to leave the range. After that I was about 1 minute ahead of everyone and held that lead the entire race. My eventual shooting was 0,0,2,1 and I placed 1st. Overall it was a good race.

After Jericho I traveled to Lake Placid with the MWSC for another weekend of Noram racing. We have been training all week and were supposed to be racing today but the race was cancelled last night due to forecasted cold temperatures. Personally I think it was a little premature because as I right this it is very sunny outside and only needs to warm up 3 degrees to make the legal race temperature. But it is what it is. Tomorrow is a mass start race, hopefully it warms up enough to race tomorrow.

Coming up next I will be traveling to Canmore, Alberta to race IBU cups at the end of the month. Also to note this next week the Junior World Championships will be going on in Minsk, Belarus. Where my MWSC teammates Maddie Phaneuf, Mikaela Paluszek, Brian Halligan, Hannah Strienz, and my Methow Valley Biathlon teammate Paul Everett will be competing. Results can be found at

All of the Juniors from Euro Champs leaving Estonia

Free baggage carts in Europe is quite the luxury 

The pursuit podium in Jericho

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