Thursday, February 19, 2015

Shivering in Lake Placid and sun tanning in Canmore

I spent all of last week training in Lake Placid, it was great! My fellow MWSC teammates and I were able to stay at the Olympic Training Center which makes training and living to easy. Everything you could possibly need to be a professional athlete is right there at your finger tips and you have access to all of it. Food, beds, biathlon range, perfect ski conditions, laundry machines, internet, a strength gym, a triple sized basketball gym, a physical therapy staff, and a recovery room, basically anything you need is yours to use. I got in a really good much needed week of midseason training. I think it will help to propel me through the rest of the season. 

Over the weekend there were supposed to be two noram races, a sprint then pursuit. The forecast for the races was supposed to be cold, right around legal limits (-4f ). These forecasted cold temperatures caused to race organizers to cancel the sprint race the day before the race. I was disappointed with their choice to cancel the race so soon especially when the next day it was sunny and the temperatures got above 0f and we could have raced. Granted it would have been cold but we are winter athletes and the few months of racing is the reason we train all year long so we need to make the most out of every opportunity we have. The second day the race was changed to a mass start because there was no sprint to base the pursuit off of. This was okay with me because I enjoy mass starts, they are the most fun. The first loop I skied in the middle of the pack came in cleaned my first shooting and was the first out of the range. I proceeded to lead the rest of the race by a good distance until the last shooting stage when I struggled with my standing. I ended up placing 2nd and my shooting misses were 0,1,3,3. My skiing felt good but the shooting was very unlike me. The conditions were windy which made shooting difficult but my standing still felt "off" despite the wind. 

Canceling the race early when it would have been warm enough to race falls in line with the way the entire race weekend was run. I would describe the races in general as being run very unprofessionally and for the highest level race circuit in North America that is not acceptable, unless the organizers get there stuff together I wouldn't waste the money to come back again. That being said I am still thankful for all of the volunteers who spent their day in the cold and windy winter conditions to make the race possible. 

After the races in Lake Placid I traveled to Canmore in preparation for the IBU cups coming up next week. I am staying with a host family who has a 13 year old son in the Canmore junior biathlon program. They are super friendly and welcoming, I am enjoying staying with them. The ski conditions in Canmore are ideal right now. It has been very warm here for the past few weeks and there is almost no natural snow but because they do such a good job of making snow at the Canmore Nordic Center there is 15-20km of trials with plenty of snow on them. It is warm during the day in the mid 30s-40s but freezing overnight making fast fun skiing. 

The IBU cups here in Canmore start next Saturday and Sunday with two sprint races. More info can be found at

The smallest ski jump in Lake Placid. Not much of a lip at the bottom but it looked pretty fun, I wanted to try it on my nordic skis.

The top of the K120 ski jump in Lake Placid, I was scared just looking down it there is no way I would jump.

Casey Smith Biathlon Lake Placid
Training at the range at Mount Van Hovenberg in Lake Placid

The flight to Calgary 

The mountains look the same as they did in November, BEAUTIFUL!

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