Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Winter Options - Biathlon

We have a couple of the High Peaks Masters boys who do a lot of nordic skiing after the cross season. Lots of the mutant bike racers out there also nordic ski, and pain & suffering of that kind of sickening intensity could only make one a better bike racer. Of course, OUR mutants have gone & taken it a step further. Yep, just a BIT further over the edge of reason by mixing firearms and the anaerobic haze into a twisted, strange sport.

Think about doing this....

1 - Do a lap on a cross course at full on, total gagging race pace.
2 - Stop and try to shoot a TINY target a LONG way off.
3 - Pay dearly in time for each missed target by riding a bunch of extra little laps.
4 - Repeat


But that is Biathlon.

The HPM boys & girls have been tearing up the Colorado Biathlon scene all winter, and even putting in top 5 finishes at Nationals. Pretty impressive. Kirk & Matt here toting a rifle about the winter countryside.

The Biathlon season is wrapping up, and while I can't quite "connect" with the nordic ski thing (Give me slogging up a 1000 foot skin track in the backcountry instead....), it really is a facinating sport.

Each fall, us non-nordic ski types can get a taste of it, without resorting to skinny little skis, dainty boots & really expensive wax.

The Colorado Biathlon Club runs a Summer Biathlon each year. Running or mountain biking replace the skinny skis, and they even have club rifles to use. I had taken up our Nordic Mafia's invitation to give the wussy summer version of the sport a try last fall.

Sounds easy, huh. Here is the view downrange from the firing line. NO, Really, there is a little black dot you are supposed to hit down there........ Somewhere........ Really.

You Don't usually think lycra and guns......

My dear wife, on her first day ever firing a gun. Note the three hits (black targets now white...) she got on one round in her race. Hard to take, being shamed like that by your better half.

Here's me missing a whole bunch of those little black dots 50 meters away.

Here is the look you get on your face after missing all 5 shots, and realizing you were probably going to KEEP missing a bunch, and are going to get VERY dizzy doing MANY 100 meter penalty laps. The guy is writing "Danger... can't hit broadside of barn.... never let back on range..." on his little clipboard.

Here's me getting dizzy doing a bunch of penalty laps. I am just noticing Kirk about to catch me and leave me for dead after doing only one penalty lap. Really helps you feel good about yourself.

All in all a fun deal. Felt like a cross race after having to repeatedly chase down people who could shoot better than me. Any of you out there who do the nordic thing might want to think about giving it a try.

Course, I dreamed up a more "interesting" version of this hallowed olympic sport....

If you can find a way to shrink the pool of competitors enough, you start to improve your relative atheletic performance, no matter what the sport.

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