All together, I had three races at Soldier Hollow, and with each race I performed better and better. The photos below are from the Mass Start race on Sunday. All 15 women started together in this 12.5km race. There are 5 loops and 4 shooting stages - 2 prone and 2 standing. For every missed shot you ski one penalty loop. The race took almost 40 minutes, and at this high altitude and at the end of the race series, I was quite happy to cross the finish line and sit down. I did not shoot as well I would have liked: I hit all five in my first prone stage, but missed 2 in each of the following 3 stages. But, I was skiing better today, more adjusted to the altitude and better recovered after a cold, so I was able to finish in 3rd. The men had the same race and here you can see them just after the start climbing the first big hill out of the stadium:
The men's race was after our race, and during our cool down jog (to flush out lactic acid from our legs and to help our bodies recover) we were able to watch and cheer for them. Here are a few of my teammates trailside: Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID/Lake Placid), Laura Spector (Lenox, MA/Lake Placid), Annelies Cook (Matt Cook's sister, Saranac Lake/Univ. of Utah), Denise Teela (Heber City, UT) and BethAnn Chamberlain (Caribou, ME). Sara is my roommate at the OTC, Annelies also skied for NYSEF while growing up and I have being doing biathlon with BethAnn for 10 years now! Having a solid group of teammates is awesome and definitely very important. Even though we compete individually, we train, travel, eat, live, succeed and fail together. Also, we are looking forward to creating a strong women's relay team leading into the Vancoouver Olympics.