Friday, February 29, 2008

Pyeongchang, South Korea - Biathlon World Cup #7

My Maine Winter Sports Center webpage has also been updated with photos and stories about Pyeongchang, South Korea.

So far, my first week on the World Cup has been an awesome experience. Pyeongchang is making history with this first Biathlon World Cup held in Korea and the newly built venue. I am making history for myself too, as this will be my first World Cup start of my career. And it will officially begin Sunday night at 7pm (5 am early Sunday morning for those of you in Maine) as I lead off the first leg of the Mixed Relay. I will race my 6km race and tag off to teammate, Caitlin Compton, who will then tag off to one of our guys. All together, two women and two men from each team go head to head Sunday night to see who is the best team here.

Since I was not racing in the Sprint, I definitely went out to watch and to get a different feel for the first Biathlon World Cup in Korea.

Here is a photo of the leader board and the big screen. The not so good photo of the screen is of the German Magdalena Neuner, who was the winner of the Sprint race. A French woman was second and an Italian third.

This is the crest of one of the first major hills that brutally define this course. Each 2.5km loop takes me on average 6:30 to 7 minutes at a conservative Race pace. Neuner, shown here in the forefront, skied it in 5 minutes. On this difficult course it was impressive to watch some of the best women ski technically well, very strong and very smooth. Ski technique when done right has a certain rhythm to it. It is that rhythmic movement and certain body positions that create your speed and carry your momentum that enable you to climb up and over these hills.

Do you remember the diagonal striding drill we did? Before you all thought you had slow skis. It was not until you moved your body in the right way did you find your skis were actually quite fast. I am trying to do the same thing with the skate technique. Check out the video that I also uploaded on this site.

Tomorrow night is the Women's Pursuit and I will definitely be out to watch, cheer and take some more photos. So - there is more to come!


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