So Slovakia is pretty nice.
I mean at least the Osrblie area.
And this area hosted the sixth IBU cup of the season, in which I was able to compete in for Canada, among some of my teammates. It was a Sprint-Pursuit weekend, and Canada fielded a team of 6 athletes, 4 men, and 2 women, primarily made up of the World Junior Team.
Everyone did fairly well, considering three of the men (myself included) were participating at their first international circuit race.
In the men's category for the Saturday sprint race, I was ranked third Canadian at 56th, 6 seconds behind Aidan Millar in 55th, and Stuart Harden finished 40th as the top Canadian. Carson Campbell was 61st, just missing out on the pursuit.
I was super excited and happy with my result in the sprint, as before the race I did not think I would be able to make the pursuit. However, I outperformed my expectations and made my goal of qualifying for the pursuit race on Sunday.
The women did well in their sprint as well. Sarah Beaudry was 43rd and Erin Youngblut was 51st, both also qualifying for the Sunday race.
|Erin killing it on the hill|
The Pursuit day went well for the women as well. Sarah made up 15 positions to finish 28th, ad Erin finished 41st. They were faced with some rough wind and a little bit of snow early on.
|Pre-race run through the town|
I felt alright skiing, but certainly not amazing, and by the end of the second lap my legs were burning (not literally, don't worry). Shooting was also fairly good, until the second prone, where the snow and wind started to do that thing where the targets disappear and large amounts of snow, wind, water and other stuff was blowing directly into my shooting eye. That was probably the low point of the race.
But everything finished off well, I managed to shoot clean my last bout standing, which felt good after missing so many. In the end, I moved up 2 positions, but lost almost 7.5 minutes to the leaders. Probably no my best race, but it was a great experience to be racing people like Lars Birkeland who has raced for a long time on the World Cup circuit.
The other Canadian men had better races than I, both Aidan and Stuart moved up a few positions and seemed to be happy with their races.
|Hanging out in the Amsterdam airport|
Graham Low & Family
Erik and Ann
The XCBC Ski Club
Nana and Pop
And Mom and Dad for all the support!