Dec 5/6 Midwest region Biathlon Race Postponed due to Covid

Due to new policies in MN, limiting gatherings and concerns for high rates of Covid, the Midwest Region Biathlon race scheduled to be held at MT Itasca on December 5th and 6th has been postponed. Bill Meyer and VladCervenka will be monitoring the situation closely and rescheduling the race when it is considered safe to do so.

Please pass this information on to the clubs and biathletes you work with.

Stay safe and healthy!

New Health Rules

Good Morning,

The other shoe has dropped! Primarily because people did not follow the earlier guidelines, COVID rates and deaths have spiked in MN and even more in surrounding States. So a new order was issued by the Governor yesterday that strongly affects how we function as MN Biathlon.

The two keys in the above guideline from the MN Dept of Health are:
– Household units only
– Cross Country skiing is encouraged, but only alone or with members of your household.

The immediate effect of this order means we will cancel any organized practices until further notice. That said, lets see what we can do!

Our ranges and trail systems remain open. You and your household can utilize them at any time. We will also watch for opportunities to do things like having a course marked that you can time yourself even including shooting and a penalty loop. The major key in whatever we do is to stay masked up and keep your distances from other households who may be using the facility at the same time. Don’t share shooting mats and spread out on the range as much as you can.

So with the above in mind—the informal practice Saturday at Mt Itasca is cancelled. You are welcome to go up and get in a ton of skiing—the trails are coming out as nice as normal under Vlad’s direction and grooming [pushing] has started and could be done already on about 1.5 km of trail, the firing line and the arena. I will be up there around 10:00 on Saturday, but will not be coaching/zeroing. I do plan to pick up the ammo folks ordered and get it sent on the way back to you. I will also put up paper on say 5 shooting points for zeroing use, and open 5 metal targets for shooting metal or combos. I suggest to those still coming not to all arrive at 10:00. The course will be open all day. I do need Jeff, Marcus/Tara, and hopefully someone from Duluth for ammo distribution.

Rules for using the trails/range:
– Pay $6 per person per day at the kiosk on the parking side of the HQ building
-Do not use the buildings for lunch/ changing etc–
-Go in and get a mat on the range side of the HQ building—that is now yours until you return it. Move it from a zero point to a metal point when you are done zeroing
-You will need to scope yourself or have a household member do it for you. You can’t walk down if others are shooting!!
-When you are done, clean up after yourself and take your trash with you.

For those who have talked to me about trying out the sport, you are welcome to come up and ski, but I will not be offering rifle instruction or shooting at this time.  

For those who did order ammo, please let me know if you plan to come up sometime on Saturday—if so I will leave your ammo at the venue. Otherwise I will send it home with someone from your area or bring it back to Nisswa. For all those who ordered—please send me a check for the appropriate number of cans—at $42.50 per each- made out to me personally.  

So lets be super careful, and see how the new world shakes out!! Hopefully the COVID rates will respond to this extra effort and drop quickly. The more careful we are, obviously, the sooner we can get back to normal life! If only we had all listened the first time around!! 

Bill Meyer, Coach

Interesting Links

One of our newest members, Ryan, found these two on line. With our newfound time again for most, it is worthwhile reading through the Coach’s doc especially for those in Coaching positions!!  Actually Art Stegen in NY, Marc Sheppard in West Yellowstone, and I collaborated on this about 10-15 yrs ago. There is a newer Coach’s document out by USBA, but this covers the basics like taking a shot and rifle fitting in more detail. Also note, since this was written, I have found a 4 week training cycle with an easier 2nd week works better than stepping up the load 3 weeks in a row then recovery. Kind of a mini recovery week in #2 and a bigger one in #4. The principles of load and recovery then supercompensation are still valid!! You won’t improve your fitness without that supercompensation!!  The youtube clip is interesting also!! 

Bill Meyer, Coach

I found a coaches handbook online from the USBA that I’ve been reading through, attached below. I’ve been enjoying learning about the technical aspects of the sport and it’s been helpful to mentally prepare myself for firing posture, sequence and cadence.
I also found a great video explaining how biathlon came to be.

Best wishes, Ryan

Daycamp and Races on Oct 31 and Nov 1

Good Morning Everyone-

First, both the daycamp and the race have capped numbers [20 and 25 respectively] and we are at or very close to the caps. If you want to go onto a waiting list, please get in touch with me.

As I checked the COVID statistics this morning, MN appears to be experiencing a big spike in both new positive cases and related deaths. We will need to watch this closely for the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, whether you are planning on coming to ER or not, but especially if you are, PLEASE be very careful over the next two weeks, wear your mask when indoors and social distance where possible. And wash wash wash. Keep your hands away from your face. Try really hard not to become a statistic!!!

You should also get your annual flu shot as soon as possible.

If we all take these precautions now, and no one comes to the end of the month events feeling under the weather, I think we can be pretty much assured we aren’t bringing the virus to the gatherings.

AT THE EVENTS, MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED UNLESS YOU ARE ON THE FIRING LINE OR SKIING. SOCIAL DISTANCE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. We will have extra rifle racks down at the firing line on Saturday and during zero on Sunday. All spectators, coaches, and officials should be masked at all times. Please spread out!

If these rules bother you, please stay home. No one should end up regretting they came sick and passed it on, or on the other hand, be concerned because someone else is trying to be macho!!!

Now, this morning we woke up to this:

It is too early to predict the weather two weeks out, but watch your email after next weekend. We may need to modify our plans. While roller skiing with a skim of snow on the ground is futile, running, hill bounding, and shooting all work fine.

In any case, be careful, be safe, and keep an eye on your email for updates!!

The best season of the year is on its way!!
Bill Meyer, Coach

Info: Schedule changes, upcoming daycamp, and rollerski race at ER

Big schedule changes and reservations for the upcoming daycamp and last rollerski race at ER

Good Afternoon All!!!

Ok—top of the news is that the USBA Youth and Junior Worlds Team Trials have been moved from Anchorage to Mt Itasca, and the dates changed to 28th-31st of Jan. All biathletes in the Jr, Youth and <17 age class should participate. I am checking for eligibility ages for the US team on the <17, but the experience is invaluable for all!!

We will have the first Midwest Regional races or MN Cups the first weekend in Dec at Mt Itasca. More to be announced soon on that schedule—and of course both are subject to COVID and snowmaking temps!!

We are also going to change the dates of some of the MN Cup races in Dec and early Jan. For sure we will have MN Cup races or makeup Midwest Regional races during Christmas Holiday—likely on the 2nd and 3rd of Jan at Mt Itasca. The MN Cup #3 scheduled for the 13th at Mt Itasca will be one of those now and the 13th race will be cancelled.

CXC has moved the Michigan JNQ qualifier to Duluth on the 12th and 13th of Dec. I would suggest you jump into that or the one the following weekend at Mt Itasca for the upper level ski experience.

Ok—now as to the upcoming daycamp at Elk River on the 31st of Oct and the last roller ski biathlon race there on the 1st of Nov. So far response has been heavy! If you want to participate in the daycamp or the race you need to let me know ASAP. We have 20 slots for the daycamp and I think 13 are taken. We have a cap of 25 for the race and have about 20 signed up so far.

So again, please let me know if you want to attend!!

Bill Meyer, Coach

Elk River practices this week–the 21st of Sept

Hi Everyone- 

We are attempting to put together some organized practices for the TC group at Elk River. While once you are familiar with biathlon shooting you are welcome to use the range on your own—just be sure you clean up, lock up, and leave things as you found them. And don’t leave any paint in the range building in case it gets vandalized again.

There are, however, a lot of advantages to organized training with other athletes. Recognizing that we will offer two sessions this week:

  • Wed morning from 10:30 to noon with Lynda 
  • Saturday morning from 9:00 to 11:00 with Tara

Now here is the key: You need to check in with the appropriate leader before you come out for an organized practice. That will allow them to: 

  1. let you know of any schedule change before the practice 
  2. Set up the correct number of targets before shooting starts 
  3. not take breaks to set up for late comers 
  4. the Leader can avoid showing up on the above schedule when sometime else would be more appropriate if no one is coming 
  5. Keep me out of the loop.

The leader will bring a scope. There is paper in the building if you know how to get in or have a key. 

So we need to try this for a week. In particular, Tara’s house is undergoing a major remodeling and she can’t commit to more than a week so far. If someone else would be able to jump in as leader—even on a different schedule, please let me know. 

Bill Meyer, Coach