Being a biathlete has brought me more opportunity then I have ever imagined in my life. I have been able to travel places I never would have imaged and made some great friends from all over the world. This winter a new adventure came to life while looking for races to do mid-season. Myself and a couple good friends of mine were all looking for new opportunity through the month of February. Looking for great competition and some challenging events to help boost my racing level up a notch or two, we decided on traveling to Germany to battle it out in a couple German cups here. While looking to make this trip as economical as possible, we decided upon traveling and living in an RV, wohnwagen, for our duration here. As I stated earlier, biathlon has brought so many different adventures to my life. You never know where you might find yourself year to year or even month to month.
Our first stop in our Wohnwagen adventure is to Oberhof, a biathlon hotspot. Here is a quick overview of life here in Oberhof.
Oberhof in a smaller size town about three hours North West of Munich. It seems similar to Lake Placid, NY because it is home to many winter sports including bobsled, alpine skiing, Nordic and of course biathlon. It was actually the first stop on the Tour de ski this year. It was home of the 2004 World Championships for biathlon and hosts a biathlon world cup every year in January. It opened its own ski tunnel a couple summers ago just down the road, so not only do you have skiing all winter long but through the summer now too. The venue is home to one of the largest stadiums, which is packed full through the World Cup with somewhere around 30,000 people for every race. The World cup venue is only one of about five or six different biathlon ranges you can find here. One of which is indoors with huge doors that allow you to rollerski in and out of. This range also provides a video screen of your target next to every point, allowing you to look at your shots with a quick glance after every shot. Home to many German National team athletes, Oberhof is defiantly not a bad place to be a biathlete.
Nestled in the Thuringer Forest, with Nordic trails headed in every direction, this small German villages has a great Nordic population of all different abilities. The towering pine forests surrounding the area are all heavily weighted down with heavy white snow and makes for beautiful skiing. And it’s often foggy weather has earned this place a nice name of Foghof.
Our races start this weekend with an individual race. I am new to the German Cup scene, so I am excited to get things underway with Saturday’s individual race. No matter the fog, wind or crazy hilly race course, I am just happy to be here and to have a race bib on.
More stories still to come…..stop by again soon,