Sunday, March 20, 2011

Final Race in Holmenkollen!

Mass Start!
2pm (9am EST) Women's Mass Start 12.5km

I started the week knowing I still had some good racing left in me and started the Sprint race know I felt that good. But I also ended the Pursuit yesterday knowing I still had more in me. And in a few hours I am psyched to get to do it. The Pursuit was fun and was an exciting new challenge since this is only the third Pursuit I've started in this year. Except starting a little closer to the front put me right in the mix of the top women. With difficult shooting conditions skiing the loops felt relatively calm. I didn't have superb shooting, but for the day it was good enough. I was confident with my strategy going into the wind and knew what I had to do. Because of this I was able to be bit a more active out on the course and work for every position every chance I got. I had great skis and used them as best I could out there. Actually they must have been the best because they helped sail pass the likes of the Russians, Germans and French. I moved into the top 15 a few times after the range, which felt great and I used it as motivation for only a quick moment. Anything can happen in biathlon, so I continued to stick to my own pace no matter the place. I don't have a lot of experience in high level pursuits so I don't always know how much I have left for the sprint at the end, so I pushed it on the last lap anyways, just to see. I might have made an uphill pass too early and wasn't able to go "full gas" into the final homestretch, but that's okay. I'll take that experience. Especially since I get to use nearly 24 hours later in today's Mass Start. Yesterday was a great reminder to stay calm, go for each hit and enjoy super fast skis!

The other neat thing about today is that I think this is the first we've had 2 women starting in the Mass Start!! All together, we have had 3 women compete in the Mass Start this season. I've been doing this sport for awhile now and I am proud to be a part of this momentous step forward. So, cheers to today's race! 

Just a few shots from this week in Oslo:

The stadium takes on a new configuration for the biathlon world cup compared to last weeks nordic World Champs. 

Typical Scandinavian trail-side picnic.

Watched the Norwegian Birkebeiner on TV the morning of the Pursuit. This guy was being interviewed at one of the pit-stops during his race. I hope I can do a 54km race when I am that age!

Waffles and jam never tasted so good. Holmenkollen has been such an amazing experience, especially after being in Russia and after a long season, that everything is just a little bit sweeter here.  

The view from our wax room. We can look straight down into the shooting range. A bit scary really.

After the Sprint I took the T-bahn down into town to do my recovery jog on flatter terrain. I was in Oslo 11 years ago and Vigelund Sculpture Park was one of the neatest places. These two women are typical human sculpture's that form the sculpture park. The layout of the park makes feel more like a monument for humanity because collectively all of Vigelund's sculptures represent human emotion, interaction, growth and phases of life. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HI Haley!
It was great to be able to watch your last race in the World Cup Series for 2011 the other day. Great to see you and also see what a race really looked like. The best in the World... what an accomplishment for you and your team mate. Go USA! Best Wishes! (AAA) Debby