We’ve had a very exciting year so far and have a few more events scheduled before the snow melts and we start our training again for next season. We just finished the US Nationals in Grand Rapids Minnesota last weekend and wanted to update you on the results and what’s next for us. In the first race, Lanny placed 3rd and Tracy 4th, just .4 of a second apart. In the Pursuit, Tracy battled her way back up the ranks to finish 2nd, while Lanny stayed in 3rd place. The last day of Nationals brought heavy rain and tough conditions for the Mass Start event. Tracy finished 3rd and Lanny finished in 4th place despite competing with a fever. From here we both head to opposite ends of the world. Tracy will fly to Germany to compete in the Biathlon World Team Challenge in the famous Schalke Soccer Stadium in Germany. There will be over 50,000 screaming fans in attendance in the biggest soccer stadium in Germany. The last two years, Lanny was paired with teammate Jay Hakkinen to take on the top athletes in the world in a duel of exciting fast paced skiing and head to head nerve-racking shooting. This year Tracy will race with Tim Burke from Lake Placid, NY. The jammed packed night of spectacles and shows are centered around several biathlon events, but also put on an impressive display of indoor fireworks, concerts from famous German singers, and a celebrity biathlon race where German celebrities take a shot at biathlon in a shortened course. It is one of the most coveted and most exciting biathlon races. To get an invitation to the event is a huge honor. Both Tim and Tracy hope to put on an impressive performance for the 50,000+ people.
The first event for them will be strictly shooting. All the women line up behind the firing points and wait as the entire stadium erupts in a countdown to the start of the shootout! It is a format of four shootings, each athlete shoots 5 shots per shooting, if there are any misses, you can single load extra rounds until you hit all your targets and move on to the next shooting stage. The athletes shot prone (laying down), then standing, then prone, then standing to finish. It is head to head with the best women in the world. As it starts each athletes shots are met with cheers for hits and huge boo’s for misses. It is definitely a adrenaline pumping, nerve racking shootout that has many of the top athletes shaking with nerves even before the start. Lanny won the women’s shooting event last year and Tracy hopes to follow in her footsteps. From there the top three women and top three men competed in another shootout!
The next event is a Mass start race. The format is as follows- women will start behind the shooting points, the crowd will countdown and start the race. The women will race on skis to the shooting mats, shoot prone and then take off skiing on a 1km loop that wounds around the stadium and outside before coming back in to the shooting range. If any athletes have a missed shot in that shooting stage, they would ski a short penalty loop just outside the range. After the loop skied, the athlete would then shoot again prone (ski penalty loops if necessary) and then tag off to their male partner. The men will then ski the 1km loop then shoot prone, tagging off to the woman, who will ski then shoot standing. The alternating will then continue until each athlete completes a ski loop-prone, ski loop-standing, ski loop-prone, ski loop-standing stage. The only difference between the men and the women is the women start with a shooting and the men end with an extra loop skiing after their last standing stage to the finish.
The next race, the one that was counts for the crowning of the World Team challenge Champions is the pursuit. It starts off of your results from the mass start. If you start say 15 seconds back from the leaders you have to fight really hard to gain back the time lost and the team that crosses the finish line first wins. The pursuit works the same way as the Mass start with the alternating loops, but teams who fell behind in the first race will have to play catch up in the second. You can watch Tracy and Tim live on this website- http://www.biathlon-aufschalke.de/. It will be broadcasted live all across Europe. You can also watch live webcams that show how the event organizers turn the soccer stadium into a winter biathlon course! The Shoot Out starts at 8:30am EST and the Mass Start race starts at 9:10am EST and the final Pursuit Race starts at 10:15EST.
Lanny will head to Mammoth Lakes, CA for for North America’s Largest Winter Biathlon Festival. There will be a clinic for over 300 kids trying biathlon for the first time that Lanny will coach at as well as a big group of people age 20-80 trying out skiing and shooting for the fist time. Friday and Saturday Lanny will help kids and people of all ages and levels learn the skills needed to compete in biathlon. On Sunday there will be an Elite race which will consist of some of the top male and female biathletes in the US and will be filmed by the Outdoor Channel and Versus to be aired in September as part of a Biathlon special.
-Lanny & Tracy Barnes
US Biathlon Team
303 C.R. 204
Durango, CO 81301
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