By Tracy and Lanny Barnes
A lot of exciting things have happened in the last couple of weeks, including becoming the US and North American Summer Biathlon Champions again for the 5th year in a row. We had been training out east in Lake Placid, NY and Burlington, VT since the begining of July. We had a great block of training and it showed in the races at the end of our trip. The races took place in Jericho, Vermont on the Ethan Allen Biathlon Range. They have been host to these races every year for as long as we can remember. The best US and Canadian biathletes took to the trails and battled extreme heat and humidity on rollerskis to complete two races over the weekend of 8/11-8/12. The races consisted of a 7.5km sprint and a 10km pursuit that was based off of the results for the sprint. Lanny won the Sprint with only one miss for the day, while Tracy was third behind a second place Canadian racer. In the pursuit Lanny started with a huge lead over the field and was able to open it up over all her competitors except Tracy. Lanny had near perfect shooting hitting 19/20 targets with the miss coming in the last standing stage. Tracy hit 18/20 and was able to pass the Canadian to finish 2nd behind Lanny.
With only a few days at home, Tracy and I jumped back in to travel mode and headed down to Raton, NM. to shoot the Sportsman Team Challenge with World Champion Sillouette shooter Cathy Severin. We were exctied and honored to be a part of her team. We competed in a 3-person team with Cathy called TLC and a 2-person team as the Twin Biathletes. With Cathy leading the charge, we had a good score the first day in the pistol and rifle events and were in first place going into the second day. For our two man team, we had an equipment issue and ended up 2nd going into the second day. The third day was the shotgun event that combined 3 different events throwing 50 clay targets every 1.75 seconds. With all three of us not having a lot of shotgun experience, we were nervous about how the day would go. Despite our lack of experience though, we felt we had a good run through the stages. It wasn’t enough though and two mens teams pulled ahead of us in the 3-man and we finished 3rd while we stayed in 2nd place in the two man. It was a blast and a great experience to shoot in pressure situations and gain shooting experience that can help us in biathlon. We have a few weeks at home now and will focus on some high altitude training after that long block down at low altitude. We have another big US Biathlon training camp out in Utah in October and some more races during that camp, then the World Cup Season will start! We are really excited with how things are going so far this year. The hard work and training are starting to pay off and we had some extra motivation for 2014 watching the summer Olympics this summer!