End of the '02 Season

The first race of the weekend was Tom's Race, a "classic" (striding only, no skating) race at Bear Valley. Scroll down to my 15th place finish out of 27 overall. As Bryant congratulated, I "beat all the chicks". Well, actually, I chased Ann-Marie Koth for 8k of the race and never caught her. So, I beat all but one of the chicks.

More to the point, I beat one other skier in my age/gender division. So, despite this being my very first classic race, I did not finish last. That's a victory, in Bob's world.


This was a mass-start race, so I have no pictures. Sorry. It was a beautiful sunny day. Bear Valley is a lovely place to ski. After skiing the race, I drove down the hill to a plumbing store in Murphys, CA and then drove state highway 49 all the way to Auburn.
On Sunday, I entered the 10th Mountain Division Biathlon at Auburn Ski Club. Scroll down down to my 21st place finish (of 46 overall starts) in the 6 k competition. 

The race format: 30 second interval starts (the first skier starts at 10:00:00 am, the next skier starts at 10:00:30, and so on); Each skier skis 3k, shoots 5 shots prone, skis 3k, shoots 5 shots standing, and skis a couple hundred meters to the finish line. The 9k racers ski another 3k loop on the end. They also carry their rifles on their backs as they ski.

The targets are 50 yards away. The standing targets are 11.5 cm in diameter (about the size of a softball). The prone targets are masked to make them 4.5 cm. Only "iron" sights (no telescopic sights) are allowed and the action (the mechanism that feeds the round into the chamber) must be manual (bolt. No semi-auto allowed). Each missed target costs the skier 30 seconds in penalty time.

Complications to the rules come in various flavors: a skier can choose to take the second 5 shots in prone (instead of standing) position for a 1 minute penalty. Also, time credits may be awarded to skiers for situations out of their control such as: firing range full, emergency cease fire (due to civilians near the range), and misfire situations.

Auburn ski club has a nice trail system. If I had skied it before, I might have avoided the fall I took less than 1k from the start. My right side hurts from my thumb and arm to my hip and shins. It's nothing my chairopractor can't fix.

This was the first woman finisher (and the first starting skier overall which is why I was able to take her picture) skiing into to the firing range. She is slowing herself, unstrapping her poles, and trying to lower her heart rate in preparation to shoot. As you can see, she is one of the two 9k skiers who did not carry a rifle while skiing.

The photo to the right is one of the early skiers in the 9k race setting up for his first 5 shots. Each shooting station has a monitor (the person standing to the right). The monitor makes sure the target is reset and configured correctly (targets masked or not), removes the empty clip and inserts a fresh one, and calls out the skier and missed shot count to the scorekeeper. 

To the left is Allen Takahashi. He runs the biathlon.net web site.

To the right is Tom. Tom was the range safety officer for this event. Tom made sure I got some range time and instruction (without which, I would have missed all 10 shots instead of 9) before the race.

This was my heart rate during the race. The huge dips while shooting are intentional. The HR for the rest of the race is a bit lower than I wanted to be. I'll ski harder next year. Maybe I'll get more sleep the night before, too.

I had a great time at the biathlon. After a burger, I drove home.