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.
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.
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.