Returning once again to the Rocky Mountains, motivated juniors from the US Biathlon Team took to the peaks and valleys of Colorado in their annual endurance camp. The two-week camp challenged these hopeful juniors to post an impressive week (30+ hours) and several additional over distance workouts that could even make Freeman drool. The amazing deep-blue sky and terrain of the Rocky Mountains provided a great environment to train—and also some vibrant sunburn aided by a unanimous desire to shed the remaining springtime paleness.
Hailing mainly from lowland areas (Minnesota and Alaska—plus Colorado and Washington) the juniors experienced altitude training (7,00014,000 feet) through many challenging adventures. From marathon length climbs to screaming downhills, a total of five memorable adventures/workouts left their marks on the terrain and minds of these up and coming skiers.
A guest of honor, Czech biathlete and Olympian Gabriela Soukalova, provided inspiration to the group. She was even impressed with the training and how the juniors handled the workouts.
- Hiking/Running/Postholing up the snowpack of Grey’s and Torres (two 14,000 ft mountains; 4+ hours).
- Biking through Rocky Mountain National Park, which included 123 miles and over 10,000 feet of elevation gain (8+ hours ride time).
- Rollerskiing from Breckenridge to Vail Pass, and from Vail Village to Vail Pass in the same day (4+ hours of rollerskiing total). A short break in Vail Village made the day more enjoyable.
- A bike ride from Fraser, CO to the top of Mt. Evans and back that totaled 132 miles and included 13,000 ft of elevation gain (9+ hours ride time). Are they crazy? Evidence would suggest the affirmative.
- Hiking/Running up Pikes Peak (4+ hours and 7,000 ft elevation gain).