Thanks and congratulations to Aroostook County!

h a l e y j o h n s o nFebruary 18, 2011
I am just back from racing in two Biathlon World Cups in northern Maine with two thoughts in mind: the organizing committees, volunteers and communities did an excellent, world-class job hosting two events and I couldn’t ski two lanes down the range  or ski the farthest hills of the course without a ‘congrats,’ ‘good luck,’ ‘go get’em,’ or ‘go haley!’ So I’d like a send an informal but HUGE CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU to everyone involved in the Maine World Cups!!! I am grateful to everyone of them.
I guess I have a third thought, too: I didn’t race as well as I would have liked to in Maine, but regardless our team did great and it was awesome to compete in a World Cup on home snow! 
Some great volunteers in Fort Kent.
The tips of my classic skis peer over the top of ‘Soderberg’s Summit’ and the big climb in Fort Kent.
A shot from one of the spectating spots before the Mass Start competitions on Sunday. Beautiful conditions and sunny skies.
More great volunteers and local skiers:)
The first loop during the Men’s Mass Start.
Lowell, far left, one lap into a career best finish.
Marie and Lucien Theriault – two of my favorite people in Fort Kent. I’ve raced and trained in Fort Kent a lot, and not once without seeing folks like them on the sidelines cheering. 
Sara Studebaker during her first Mass Start.
 On the final short, but not sweet, uphill towards the finish area spectators where able to cheer only an arms length away from the competitors.
I’m back in Placid for a pre-World Championship training block before leaving for Russia next week. I like Russia’s courses, so have spent a good amount of time on Porter Mtn., High Notch and Ladies 5km to benefit from the hilly terrain. I’m not terribly fond of shooting in windy conditions, but Mt. Van Hoevenberg’s range is a good place to practice for potential windy conditions on race day in Russia. Plus, the piston bully is back from the dead and I’m looking forward to some good conditions for intervals tomorrow morning.

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