I concluded my European tour with a race weekend in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. I competed in Nove Mesto previously as a member of the US Junior World Championship Team in 2011. I was nice to be in a familiar setting. While the town and surrounding areas where identical, the venue was significantly different due to the major upgrades put in place for the 2013 Biathlon World Championships. Nove Mesto presented much different conditions than those I encountered in Pokljuka, Slovenia. The massive snow banks of Slovenia where replaced by green grass and late spring conditions in Czech. The course was made up of a single 2.5k loop of dirty manmade snow. This is different from the normal compliment of 1.5-4k course options on offer in better conditions. These limitations forced the organizers to develop some creative courses and lap combinations to meek the 15k distance requirement for Saturday’s mass start and the 20k’s needed for Sunday’s individual competition.
|The whitest the courses where all week|
The races themselves where very positive from in every respect except for the final results. I trained optimally to perform in the days ahead of the competition. Most importantly, I turned around my shooting outcomes and mental outlook in both races. The limiting factor was the gliding speed of my skis. I did not have the equipment for the warm, wet and dirty skiing of Nove Mesto. I do my best to not complain about my equipment, so I would like stress that the ski selection was completely my responsibility and has no reflection on the efforts of my coaches. It is quite frustrating to lose minutes to athletes I am normally competitive with, but again equipment is part of the game.
|Coach Betsy Smith on the Range|
I am going to spend a few days in Southern Maine catching up with my family before traveling back to Aroostook Country. The highlight of the coming weeks will be the Youth and Junior World Championships in Presque Isle, Maine. I’m stoked to cheer for my MWSC teammates and the entire US Team! Since I am a senior athlete I will not be racing; however, I will be waxing skis for the team from the Czech Republic. I have never been part of a professional service team. I am looking forward to the opportunity. Following World Juniors I will compete at US Biathlon Nationals and I am contemplating an end of season 50km cross country race.