Having fun with my new camera and it's panoramic setting, this photo was taken on the trails of the Eldora Nordic Center, just outside of Boulder.
Now into the year of 2012, we are right into the racing season. Kicking off the season of biathlon races in West Yellowstone, I was happy to start the season off with a win. Despite fridged conditions at NORAM #2 in West Yellowstone in mid-December, I managed to ski and shoot my way into first place. It was a good start for the year.
From West, our team moved a little further East to my home state of Minnesota. IBU Cup trials were held at Mount Itasca, which is just outside of my home town, Grand Rapids, MN. Feeling great on my skis but having a few ups and downs on the range made me walk away from this race series with mixed feelings. On the positive side I won the pursuit race after cleaning, (hitting all five of my targets), my final standing stage and pulling in front of the rest of the competition in my final lap.
I fell a bit short of my goals during this race series, which has caused me to have to reevaluate my season and think about what I want my next move forward to be. Before getting too weighed down with all the decision making I was faced with I was able to take a few days to relax over the holidays, enjoying time with both my family in Minnesota and my husband in Colorado! It was a busy December.
Now moving on to 2012, I am slowly gathering speed again for the remainder of the season. I decided to take advantage of U.S. Cross Country Nationals being held in Maine and have jumped into the two skate races at this event. I will then get back to my favorite form of racing, the kind that involves a rifle and will race at North American Championships in Jericho, Vermont the second weekend in January. I will then stay closer to my home in Caribou and race at the North American cup just down the road from me in Fort Kent Maine. That will nearly bring us into February. There are still a few unknowns in my racing schedule for this month, but I do know that I will wrap up the month with the American Birkie. It will be my third year racing in the U.S.'s biggest Cross Country event. I am looking forward to preparing well for it and coming out with my best finish yet. I am looking for at least a top ten. A challenging goal for me, but one I look forward to accomplishing.
I only ask one thing of you all as I wrap up this post, THINK SNOW! After all, what good is cold weather if you don't have any snow to play in.
Looking for on coming traffic coming down the hill as the trails merged in the pursuit race at Mount Itasca
My favorite fan at the races in Minnesota and probably the youngest one there as well. Jaclyn, my 18 month old niece, greeted me at the finish. A very welcoming face after a long race.
Jaclyn doing all that she can to stay warm, all the while keeping herself entertained.
Feeling pretty happy after pulling out a win in the pursuit race on Sunday
Start of the mass start at IBU Cup trials, Mount Itasca, MN
Despite the dry land on the range, the race course was in great condition thanks to a lot of voluenteer hours making snow in the weeks prior to the IBU Cup Trials in MN
After a week of racing I was happy to enjoy a little time with my family. A little ice skating on a frozen lake with my mom made for a nice change up. Watching my family's dog, Sadie run and slide across the ice made for great entertainment as well.