I’m in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia right now, about to race the Sprint tomorrow. Conditions are good and it’s going to be an exciting end to the season.
Since I last wrote, I headed out to Vancouver, Canada to race the 8th World Cup of the season. It was nice to get some head-to-head racing in and experience what that venue will be like at the Olympics. The Vancouver venue combines biathlon, cross-country, and nordic combined stadiums in an area less than one square kilometer. It is an amazing place and I think when the crowds show up for the Games next year it will be an incredible sight. The racing didn’t go so well for me there and I struggled a bit in the shooting range. But that’s biathlon! After a week, win or lose, you pack up your stuff and head to the next venue.
This time we left our hotel at 3:45am and took a few flights (four to be exact) to Trondheim, Norway. After two days on the ground there, we were back racing in the 10km Sprint. This race went much better for me. I cleaned (hit all my targets) and skied reasonably well, placing 20th. During the Pursuit, two days later, I started out really well, cleaning my first two stages and getting up to 8th place before falling back with some misses in the final two shooting rounds. Again… that’s biathlon! I have to say though, this season has been great- not just because I have made improvements in my results – but because I feel like I have learned a lot about the sport and what I really need to focus on going into the Olympic season.
So now, after another quick flight I’m another four time zones east and getting ready for another 10km Sprint race tomorrow (Thursday) evening. Khanty constitutes the final stop on the world cup tour this year and it is always a great venue to race at. They draw a lot of fans and this time of year, Siberia usually isn’t all that cold! I’m ready to go, ready to focus for two more races!