Doug and Chuck's Blog - Feb 13

Race Day!   15 km individual for the boys and 12.5 km for the girls!  There are 39 in the field, with Youth (17 and 18 year old) combined with Junior (19 and 20 year old)  Time penalty of 1 minute per miss on the shooting.  Definitely a shooter's race!

Up at 5:00 Am....knock on the boys door at 5:15 Am.  Paul leaves on the 5:30 bus to get the skis organized.  Breakfast, pick up the guns in the lock-up and we are off at 7 Am for the hour bus ride to Martock. Temperatures about -9 and some wind with the occasional strong gust to keep an eye out for.

The boys have a good sight in and pre-ski thier loops.  We also sight in Gaylen's rifle as a spare.  Nice crowd with about 300 people watching the race and a few TV cameras too!  In the crowd was Theresa Swallow and Chuck's relatives from Truro waving a NWT flag!

Brandon is out first and 7th overall.  First shoot was awesome as he cleaned!  He then missed all 5 on his first standing, 3 on his next prone and 3 on his final standing.  Brandon's ski time was 1:01.56.4 hour and a final time of 1:12.56.4 in total.  Final results saw him place 37th of 39 competitors.  A very tired Brandon at the finish line but his first Individual Race at this distance was done!

Joseph was 29th out of the gate.  His first one had one miss, with the paddle jumping but not having quite enough momentum to flip up.  First standing was 3 misses, second prone was clean and final standing was one miss for a total of 15 targets hit of 20.  Joseph's ski time was 48:15.9 minutes and he placed 15th overall with 53:15.9.  Overall he was quite pleased with his first-ever 15 km race and had a very solid result.  He still looked strong at the finish but Paul joked that he looked like an old man coming into the wax hut a few minutes later!

One comical thing from the race..."now starting, Joseph Lirette and Brandon Norris from Nunavut".....the announcer had the boys from the wrong territory entire race!  Nunavut does not even have a team!  Doug popped in and got it straightened out for the girl's race :-)

We had about 45 minutes and then it was time to sight in the girls.  They came out on the 10:00 AM bus and were ready to go!  Again, both had a solid sight in and Gaylen also sighted in Brandon's rifle as a spare.

Charlene was the first NWT biathlete out and started 7th overall.  She completed her first two laps and had 3 misses on her prone and standing.  Unfortunately, on her third loop, Charlene had a fall coming down a hill and landed on top of her rifle. Trails were very fast and the skis were even faster!  She did not complete the race (DNF), and ended up coming back in to the First Aid station in a toboggan on the back of a skidoo.  Gail was on the course and travelled back in with her as well.  She was treated with ice and eventually transported back to Halifax where she had some physio work done in the Polyclinic.  Very nice job by the Host Committee in terms of responding and treating Charlene.  She has some pulled muscles in her lower back, but we anticipate that she will be ready to go for the Sprint.

Gaylen was 33rd out of the gate.  Very solid first loop and cleaned her first prone.  First standing was 2 misses, next prone 2 misses and final standing was 4 misses for a total of 12 of 20 targets.  Gaylen's ski time was 52:20 so she ended up with a final time of 1:00:20 and a 27th place overall in the Girls Division.  Gaylen had a very steady race and still looked strong as she crossed the finish line and wondering about her team mate's status.

Afterwards it was back to Halifax for some supper and R&R.  Brandon decided to crash in his room and Charlene was resting in hers.  Chuck, Joseph, Gail, Gaylen and Paul went to the Ontario vs Quebec hockey game (Queec won in a shootout 3-2).  Joseph was anxious to see Team Ontario as it featured Tie Domi's son and PK Subban's brother.  A good game with two evenly matched teams.

The coaches have decided that we will not get up at 5 AM to get out to Martock for more training tomorrow.  The race organizers were not willing when asked (by many teams) to combine the boys and girls training later in the day, so many teams have opted out.  The boys in particular are quite tired with 5 AM starts to the day, and they all had a long race today.  They need the rest more than they need a ski.  Loops for the Sprint are the same for the girls and almost the same for the boys (with one 300 m or so section added on to the route from today).

All in all, a very good day for NWT Biathlon!  Check out the pictures and links on the web page!