Good Morning All!
So we have a little snow on the ground, cold temps so the guns are running, and skiing should be coming up by this weekend for pretty much anyone wanting to travel a few miles!
Vlad says he thinks 1.5 km will be open at Mt Itasca this coming weekend. Some are headed for West Yellowstone where they started grooming a week ago.
Looks like Ely is skiing on natural snow, and maybe by this weekend other grassy areas will be skiable. If the conditions are poor, the best advice I can give you is to just put on rock skis and work on double poling. Do not try to skate on poor snow or grooming the first few times out. It will only build up frustration and bad habits. You can maybe get by classical striding a bit.
When you get on good snow, well groomed, the last thing you want to do is to try to get up to race speed. What you do want to work on is transferring that good technique you learned on roller skis to snow skis. Don’t start the season out by building up bad habits!! So spend the first hours on snow going through all the steps of good technique: back pole angles at plant with forward elbows, leg compression, good timing, smooth pushes with complete weight shifts, bent ankles/knees with hips over the skis—-classical or skate.
For this week the goal for most should be a lot of hours—going slowly!! Especially those headed for West next week—remember that is high altitude [6700’] and a small amount of exertion will give you high lactates. So a lot of slow, top level technique for the first days. In fact those going to West should take this week a bit easier—this is your recovery week! Next week ski as much as you can!!
In West there will be a biathlon race on Wed next week. You should do that—but need to register online–
For those just skiing this coming weekend and the weekend after Thanksgiving, you can take it easy during the weekdays next week, and enjoy your Turkey on Thanksgiving! But definitely get on snow as soon as you can! Then for everyone, ramp up the volume and intensity of training the first week of Month 9!!
Be sure to check over your good ski equipment, get your winter baskets on your poles, be sure your skis still fit [with all the weight on one flat foot—there should be a pocket at least 14”-16” long on a skate ski. Your poles should come to your upper lip..or slightly shorter. Be sure you have straps you can easily get in and out of..clip ins or ‘biathlon straps’ work the best. Be sure your gloves allow you to handle magazines and allow a good smooth careful trigger squeeze, but also keep your hands warm. Use an overmitten for the first lap if you need to. As you layer up, be sure you increase the size of the outer layers enough so you don’t curtail your movements like a stuffed sausage!
For those with new skis—scrape them down, look at the grind. If it is really deep and might want to get them ground immediately to a fine or at most a universal grind. In any case new or after grinding, start waxing them with a soft wax 6-8 work the wax in deeply..then move to a medium [blue] wax for a few more to harden up the bases. All the early wax should be CH—no fluoros. Also a thought if the weather turns cold or out west where it is really dry—Start Green is the best cold weather wax. LF is fine. The first time you go that cold with the wax, you need to wax several times to harden up the bases. Then for travel or post race wax—stay hard—do not put on red or pink or whatever…you will just soften the bases back up again. Use a blue CH for a travel wax instead.
For everyone, spend a lot of time now working on range procedure and combos to get your biathlon skills up to par! Accuracy and range procedure training can take place under all conditions..get used to the cold air and wind—learn to dress so you can stay warm but still function and shoot!
So Enjoy the Journey!
Bill Meyer, Coach

22nd Annual Fall Festival Elk River Roller Ski Biathlon Race – Sun, Oct 21, 2018 – PHOTOS

Photos from Brian Wray

Elk River Roller Ski Biathlon Race – Sun, Sept 30, 2018 – PHOTOS

Here are some pictures from the race yesterday. Compliments of Brian Wray.

Results are here

Photos from Brian Wray – Elk River Roller Ski Biathlon Race – Thurs, Aug 23, 2018

Photos from Brian Wray

North American Roller Ski Biathlon Championships- Jericho, Vermont, August 2018

Vasek Cervenka finishing his last lap in the Sunday Mass start

On Saturday and Sunday the 11th and 12th of August, Ethan Allen Biathlon hosted the North American Roller Ski Biathlon Championships at the Ethan Allen Firing Range Venue in Jericho Center, Vermont. For the Senior Men and Women, these were the first races in the series used for selection of the US teams to the IBU and World Cup races early winter.
Nineteen athletes with ties to MN or WI participated. Several past State HS Champions included. A number of former Midwest top skiers/biathletes who are participating in National level training programs or with the National Guard program at Jericho.

Full results can be found here:

On Saturday, the format was a Sprint with two shooting stages, prone and standing.

In the Senior Men’s 10.1 km event Vasek Cervenka, Mt Itasca, [actually a first year Junior] finished 4th with 2 misses in 25:50, 1:08 behind Sean Doherty of the USBA National team. Close behind in 5th was Jakob Ellingson, NG, Hopkins, also with 2 misses in 25:56. Leif Nordgren, US Team, formerly from Marine on the St Croix, was 6th; Paul Schommer, WI, was 7th; Jake Brown, St Paul, was 8th; Raleigh Goessling, originally from Esko, was 9th.

In the Junior Men’s 10.1 km, Gabe Raguse, Brainerd, was 2nd with 4 misses in 31:52, 0:53 out of 1st.

In the Senior Women’s 7.2 km, Deedra Irwin, WI, was in 12th in 23:41. Siena Ellingson, NG Hopkins, was 13th with 4 misses in 24:41, 3:57 back.

In the Youth Men’s 7.2 km event, Garrett Beckrich, Mt Itasca, was 7th with 5 misses in 21:57, 02:09 back. Joey DelToro, Woodbury, was 18th with 7 missed shots in 26:12

In the Senior Boys 7.2 km, Sam Stertz was 1st with 7 misses in 22:28; Ryker Bosek was 4th [2nd US] with 6 misses in 26:57.

In the Youth Women’s 6.2 km race, Stormy Hegg, Alexandria, was 2nd with 3 misses in 22:41, 0:32 behind winner Helen Wilson, AK. Annika Viren, Mt Itasca was 4th in 23:42; Emma Stertz, Mt Itasca in 5th 24:46.

The Senior Girls event was the same as the YW format. Kaisa Bosek, Alexandria, dominated with 3 misses in 23:27, followed by Elsa Viren, Mt Itasca, with 6 missed shots in 27:17.

On Sunday the format changed to a Mass Start for the Seniors and a Pursuit format for the younger athletes. Both formats have 4 shooting stages, two prone followed by two standing.

In the Senior Women’s 12.8 km event, Susan Dunkley of the US Team moved to the top of the podium with 3 misses in 37:27. Irwin moved up to 6th in 40:11 and Ellingson finished in 10th with 42:13.

In the Senior Men’s 15.4 km race, Nordgren dominated missing 5 shots and finishing in 37:28. Cervenka finished 5th with 7 misses in 39:59; Schommer was 6th in 40:29; Ellingson in 8th, 41:04; Goessling in 9th, 41:16; Brown in 10th in 41:25; and Wynn Roberts, Battle Lake & NG, was 11th in 42:41.

The Junior Men followed with the 12.8 km Pursuit race. Raguse finished 3rd with 10 misses in 45:00.

In the Youth Women’s, 7.0 km event, Emma Stertz pulled her shooting together, missing only 1 shot, to dominate in 25:17. Hegg was 4th with 8 misses in 29:43; and Annika Viren was 7th in 29:59.

The Senior Girls event was again the same format as the YW. Kaisa Bosek again dominated with only 2 misses finishing in 27:06. She would have finished 2nd in the YW event. Elsa Viren missed 5 and finished in 32:17 for 2nd.

In the Youth Men’s 10.0 km, Beckrich moved up to 3rd, with 8 misses, finishing in 31:45. DelToro struggled on the range, missing 14, finishing in 19th.

In the Senior Boy’s 7.0 km category, Sam Stertz again dominated, missing 7 shots and finishing in 26:54. Ryker Bosek was 2nd, with 5 misses, finishing in 29:55.

A total of 87 athletes competed including 20 Canadians.

Our congrats go out to all the participants, some of whom experienced the challenging trails and international competition for the first time! Midwest was well represented!

The next event in MN will be the Elk River series on Thursday, August 23rd with zero at 5:00 pm