By Lanny Barnes
Tracy and I wanted to update you on how the races went this weekend. They were our first races of the season and took place Idre, Sweden. Idre sets atop a mountain (well at least for Swedish standards) over looking the tundra and forests in the valley below. It is usually a winter resort for downhill and Nordic sports, but when we arrived it looked more like spring. We had two sprint races one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Saturdays race was very much like what you’d expect for your first race of the season. I’m just going to tell you straight up, we had a bad day. I finished 46th and Tracy finished 63rd out of 104 women. Somedays you win and some days you loose, but the most important thing we took out of the weekend was that we were able to come back and come back big the second day.
The conditions on the track the first day were very challenging. There were some treacherous downhills that left at least 6 broken rifle stocks, one broken arm, one really bad concussion, and many other women with bumps and brushes. Tracy and I managed to walk away from the race on our feet and learned a lot of really good lessons about trying to hard. When you are faced with deep slushy conditions in Nordic, the harder you try the more energy you expend without going anywhere. The most important thing to do is relax and let your skis carry you through the snow instead of trying to plow your way through it. Tracy and I never give anything less than 100%, but that day we may have over done it, which left us exhausted and finishing somewhere around the middle of the pack. We also had two misses each on the range and with biathlon being so competitive these days, you cant afford to miss mor than one shot if you want a shot at the top 10. With Biathlon, it so unpredictable and you have so many variables and conditions, you never know what might happen. You just have to prepare for any situation.
We woke up Sunday to a completely different day. It was cold, it had snowed, and it looked like winter. Most importantly, the tracks had froze and hardened perfectly so we could attack the course. We were disappointed in Saturday, but with races coming so fast back to back we didn’t have time to let it get us down. I (Lanny) had a great race with one miss in prone and clean shooting in standing. I left the range in 6th place (1 more hit target and I would have been top 3). After a battle on the last loop, I finished 10th but was bumped down by later starters to finish 13th overall. Tracy had a much better day skiing on the tracks, but unfortunately had 3 misses at the shooting range and finished 40th.
For this coming week, Lanny goes to Ostersund, Sweden to race the World Cup and Tracy heads to Beitostolen, Norway for another IBU Cup. We are both excited to race and after the huge improvement in the second race we are excited to see what this week brings. We both have a 15km Individual race, which is considered the “shooters” race and the race we’ve always had our best results in. Lanny races on Thursday at 5:30pm European time (or 9:30am MST). if you’d like to watch it live online, here is the link- http://eurovision.digotel.com/ibu/index.html. Tracy will race on Saturday at 10:00am European time ( or 2:00am MST) so it might be a little early for that one :).
Here is our schedule for the week- http://eurovision.digotel.com/ibu/index.html
Individual Race Thursday 5:30pm European Time or 9:30am MST
Sprint Race Saturday 4:30pm European Time or 8:30am MST
Pursuit Race Sunday 2:30pm European Tome or 6:30am MST
Individual Race Saturday 10:00am European Time or 2:00am MST
Sprint Race Sunday 10:00am European Time
We’ll keep you posted on how it goes!! Thanks for your support.
-Lanny & Tracy