Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Idre IBU cup and Ostersund World Cup!

After my glorious Moose hunt in the middle of nowhere of Scandinavia, I jumped in the car with the nicest person in the world, Niclas from Normark, and drove 5 hours North to Idre, where I met up with the Polish team and Federico. For 14 days we trained on a 400m loop, which after 10 days was extended to 1km, to prepare for the first set of IBU cup races happening in Idre. What was great is we had a cute little cabin, which was probably twice as big and 10 times warmer than the shack we had in New Zealand, so I cooked for myself and baked for the Polish massage therapist and wax techs as payment for helping me out. Not the same as money, but a lot more nutritious and made with love :)

The first race in Idre could not have had better conditions. -5, a nice breeze, and perfect tracks. The first race, out of 109 woman, I was lucky starter number 1! Wahoooo! I do not usually get  nervous, but I will not lie that I was a bit frantic with bib number 1 in the first race of the season. After zeroing with the British team (Thanks guys- I owe you some baking!), and warming up, I headed to the start gate and before I knew it, was out on the course. Yeeeehaaawwww! I came in for my first prone- 4 hits! Yesssss! I was pretty tired though and could definitely feel the weeks training load leading into these races in my legs. Next was standing and I hit 5/5! Out on the course for the last loop and then into the finish. I made the 15% and qualified for the world cup- great :)

The next day was very windy, making it a bit more of a challenge for us biathletes out there shooting. I was told I had very bad luck by some of the coaches, missing 3 in Prone and 4 in standing. It was a rough one, but I had felt a bit better on my skis, so I saw it as a positive step in the right direction....wrong!

The next day we drove 4 hours to Ostersund! I love Ostersund- its a city filled with cafes and shops and things to do. While I am in Ostersund I live with my friend, Pekka, who has a house very close to the stadium, so it is perfect. Ostersund was quite ridiculous- 2 races were cancelled, and 1 postponed. It was a little frustrating as for the 15km Individual, it was supposed to be on the Wednesday, but 1 minute before the start they decided to postpone it because of the crazy weather. In the end, maybe a good thing, but still frustrating as all the skis were prepped, zeroing of the rifles was finished, and everyone was warmed up! All well, the next day we were all out there again, getting ready for the race. I arrived at the range to zero one hour before the start and asked the Netherlands coach if she wouldn't mind zeroing me- she said it was no problem, which saved my life!  I was starter 74, so by the time I started, some girls were almost finished. The 3 km loop is a nice one- I quite like it-and the conditions were okay considering the lack of snow! I had some focusing problems in my standing, but I was very happy with my prone, hitting 10/10, but missing 6/10 in the standing.

The next day, we were out there once again to race the sprint. It was very windy and very difficult conditions. I was starter 53, which was really nice to be in the middle of the group. As soon as I started, I felt great. My skis were made perfectly (thanks BRIKO MAPLUS wax!) and felt so fast on the course. Coming in for my first prone, and it was very windy. It is difficult for the small nations as we shoot our rifles in at the other end of the range to where we shoot in the races, and the range in Ostersund is especially tricky as the wind goes a different direction from one end to the other. I came in for prone, and corrected my sights for the wind change- in the end, that was not necessary. I ended up over correcting and all my shots were in the same spot to the right of the target. In the end I missed 7/10/ It was very frustrating as I felt like I was finally racing!

I did not qualify in the top 60 for the pursuit, meaning I had 2 days until flying to Austria. I was thrilled to have 2 of my Swedish sponsors at the races- Norma ammunition and 42Store. We went for a great dinner all together on Saturday, and 42Store surprised me with a new computer! Now I actually have a working computer to update my blog! Yahooo!

I am now in Hochfilzen, Austria. The first race is on Friday with the 7.5km sprint. Everyone please cross your fingers that my Mum and Dad will make it here from Canada on time!!!!!!

Take care, have fun and smile! Thank you for all your love and support,

Sarah

4 comments:

  1. Hey Sarah,
    thanks for this lovely blog.
    I'm a german reader. My husband and I try to follow the biathlon season via the german TV.
    Now I have to cheer for Sarah Murphy!
    Good Luck
    Frauke
    (Our lovely black Cats name is Murphy to, and he loves to see biathlon on Tv)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good Luck Sarah! Love Anastasia Breeze and the Breeze Family in Canmore xoxooxxoxo

    ReplyDelete

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