Saturday, January 16, 2010

WC 5 Ruhpolding - Updated with photos!

Two needed days off back in Antholz will conclude my week of racing in Ruhpolding. The sprint on Wednesday was a good effort and I was very satisfied with my shooting. I am quite tired from holiday travel and training over the past few weeks, so stretching, sauna, jogging, napping, movie watching and reading is in order for the weekend.

And now UPDATED with photos from the week:

The scene when you head into Ruhpolding's Cheimgau Arena packed with fans ready for the night's event.

During training, the coaches are lined up behind their scopes watching shots and monitoring training. Our coaches are not hard to miss in our bright turquoise suits.

Ruhpolding is a fairly small venue that packs its fans in tight. These stands are not far from the shooting range, so that they can get a close up experience of the drama of biathlon race. As you race, weaving around large crowds, you are likely to get whaffs of brats and beer, be ushered along by massive waving flags hung on fishing poles, and even a receive a deafening blow from the loud, loudspeakers positioned throughout the course providing race commentary and Euro tunes, or even the numerous noisemakers and whistles favored by the die-hard German biathlon fans.

Looking down range as one the Canadian women shoots during training.

Racing at night is fun in and of itself, but when your trail is lit up bright has day, the excitement is elevated to an even higher feeling. Unfortunately, I did not benefit from the uplifting atmosphere as much as I would have liked, but that's okay - next time. BUT - our men's team did! The raced a great Relay and finished 6th - a season's best and a great result heading towards the Olympic relay in just one month!

Ruhpolding's venue is multi-purpose; part of our course uses the bottom of the ski jump outruns.

Post-race: did I mention the die-hard German fans? Here is Kati Wilhelm from the German women's team handing out autograph cards after our sprint race:

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