The 2007-08 World Junior Biathlon Trials, originally scheduled for December 28-30, have been moved from Anchorage to Mt. Itasca in Minnesota.
Race organizers in Anchorage gave up the competitions due to poor snow conditions at Kincaid Park and no alternate venue in Alaska of the size and quality needed to host a national event.
In an email to race volunteers and competitors, chief of competition Joel Hubbard shared the news. â€œI know this decision will disappoint everyone because the Anchorage biathlon community was enthusiastic about hosting this event, especially after devoting a lot of effort to its organization.â€
Max Cobb, executive director of the US Biathlon Association reflected on Anchorage’s low-snow year. â€œNordic ski sports now face the same challenges across the country and we are starting to see snow making facilities becoming a standard part of major Nordic ski areas.â€
Piotr Bednarski, development director for the US Biathlon Association shared similar thoughts. â€œThe USBA has been looking forward to having the Biathlon World Junior Trials in Anchorage for the last several years. With the development of the new range, and a growth in the junior biathlon ranks in Alaska, we were hoping for a very well attended event. The lack of snow in Anchorage is a major disappointment for the athletes, race organizers and the USBA. We hope there will be a snowmaking system installed for next year.â€
The Anchorage biathlon committee has already been offered the right to host next season’s World Junior Trials.
The relocated races will be held at Mt. Itasca, in Coleraine, MN December 28-30.
Local biathletes will have one thing to celebrate this week, the new HoRa electronic biathlon target system at Kincaid Park will be opened with a first-shot ceremony at noon on Friday, December 21. The public is welcome to this event.