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.


Dave said...

Congrads Zoey!!!!!!!

Beth said...

How absolutely amazing!!! Congratulations to Zoey and enjoy all the competitions to come. My kids all did nordic skiing and my husband coaches, but we've never had the opportunity to do biathalon.

Anonymous said...

WAY TO GO ZOEY! Congratulations and all that good stuff. Loved all the pictures your Mom took and even got Vivi in there too. I hope all the other competitions go as well as this one, cuz I'll be reading your Mom's blog to keep up with this biathlon.
Good Luck in the future.
Nature Knitter's Mom [Betty K]

loribird said...

Wow, Zoey, what an amazing job! You must be so proud! Congratulations and good luck in the Arctic Winter Games!!!

Mary said...

Congratultions, Zoey! May you always have a grin that big :o)

RuthieJ said...

Hi Trixie,
Thanks for sharing the story and pictures of Zoey's exciting biathlon competition. The smiling faces of those young competitors is the best pictures of all!
Congratulations to your whole family!

egretsnest said...

Congrats! How cool! HURRAH!

Meggie said...

What a spunky competitor! She is quite a gal. What a grueling sport. I never realized they shoot from a lying position in biathalon...with skis on....not an easy task at all! Congrats Zoey!

Zoey said...

Meh you should have seen my first race on skis. ><''