Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The Big Race
Sunday was the big day. It was very cold, a legal race by about a few degrees. It was about +1F at the new biathlon range at Kincaid Park. Zoey was the youngest and smallest competitor at the Arctic Winter Games qualifier. There she is in bib #76, waiting for her turn to go ski 1k, shoot, ski 1k about four times.
She was so nervous and cold before her start. She nearly cried. My heart was in my throat. If I could have willed that child to race her hardest, shoot well and qualify, I would have. She went out as hard as she could on the super slow snow. Nothing like really cold snow to have very grabby crystals.
The organization of the race was "folksy" by Tom's standards. He is trying not to pipe up too much about it, as that could lead to more responsibility at the time of year when he needs it least. He is helping with the timing. Thank heavens he has loads of experience doing it.
Biathlon is a truly demanding sport. The saying goes that it requires you to go from a rabbit to a rock in about five seconds. A competitor has to pace themselves so that they ski hard in the right part of the course, try to rest a bit on the way into the range so they can get a handle on their heart rate. Organize their poles, clips, and gun to shoot. Breathe in just the right way so their shooting is as accurate as possible. Then put your poles back on and ski another loop.
I am not sure I could pull it off. I am amazed that my daughter wanted to try it, has stuck with it, and LOVED it.
She raced well for being the smallest one out there. She outshot one girl and qualified for Team Alaska for Arctic Winter Games by one second. Yes, one second. What a nail-biting squeaker. Whoooo....I am not sure I can handle her competing in this sport. When I look at that beaming face above, I think I can.
Vivi was a trooper with a great attitude. She even made a friend. He pushed her and puppy around the bunker while we waited for results. The family scene in the biathlon community is really great.
The day was absolutely gorgeous. I got to realize that once I was not so focused on the out come of the race.