Greetings from SNOWY Hochfilzen! It’s been snowing here almost non-stop since Wednesday, which made for some tough conditions in yesterday’s sprint race. The women’s race was snowy right from the get-go, so conditions were tough but fair. Going into this weekend I was looking forward to having a good race, but nervous since last week had been so rough. I knew I was feeling good, but in biathlon anything can happen, so you can never count on results, especially in this kind of weather.
I must admit I was a little nervous the morning of the race, but kept myself calm enough to execute my race strategy. I focused on staying calm and not letting my skiing get too short and choppy, and having a good range approach. The range here can be tough, with a long flat section and an uphill right into point 30. My plan worked out well for me, as I cleaned (hit 5 for 5) both my standing and my prone. Leaving the range after standing shooting, I was psyched. Shooting clean is a tall order, and some biathletes never have a clean race. This was my second clean World Cup, and it couldn’t have come at a better time to boost my confidence. I received a split on my last loop saying I was just out of 20th position, and though I knew there were still some fast women behind me, I knew I could hold on for a good finish. When all the racers were in, I was left in 26th place, a career best finish! I am more than pleased with my comeback from Swedish parasites-clean shooting and a top-30 result.
The best part is possibly that we have a pursuit race tomorrow, so I’ll have the chance to improve and score a few more World Cup points. Both Laura Spector and I qualified for the pursuit, so we’re psyched to have another chance to race well. Laura had 3 penalties yesterday, but skied exceptionally, giving her a great shot at moving up in the pursuit. We’re both very excited to have good results already this season, and feel this is a sign that the US women are headed in the right direction. Now we just need to get a few more over here so we can field a relay team!
Pursuit race tomorrow, most likely in the snow as it shows no sign of letting up. Should be a good fight, and a fun race. Having a career best finish this early in the season is great, but I’ll continue to call it the “best yet” and save my “best ever” for another time. It’s nice to feel good again, and see all my hard work paying off…hopefully this is just the beginning!