Alrighty, another Twoonie race victory in the bag. Yessss!!! Actually, this one wasn't too hotly contested (with neither Jesse nor Pate entering). Other than me vs. the elements that is. The low-juice-dimness of my 4 LED Petzl wasn't cutting it out there on the race course where headlamps were "mandatory". I couldn't see a thing. The city glow of Whistler made it bright enough to tell the difference between a tree and open fairway, but didn't go as far as making the trail visible. It didn't help that the course was as bumpy as skiing in Yellowknife on the muskeg sections with 3 inches of snow. And it also didn't help that the snow was either sticky and oily in most sections, or ice crystals and wicked fast and soft in other parts (and that Munny had made some jumps and woop-de-do bumps on course). So footing was a little tricky out there. Even more so since my legs were still recovering from the thrashing they received from that Sunday - my first day on the mountain (with new boots) in addition to my first day playing indoor soccer in a few years (with uncomfortable shoes and playing for over 2 hours really hard with a bunch of Brits). So I hobbled around the 700m crit course to the delight of those who had already been pulled. And then afterwards was, yet again, a great Apres function hosted by the Whistler Golf Club. I'm starting to know quite a few people in the ski community out here, so these events are getting more and more fun. Afterwards was another hot tub sesh (seething hot).
And that brings us to today. Another day, another Twoonie race. But of a different kind. A kind that takes me out into uncharted waters, into the land of Biathlon. I had much to improve on, like my 2 for 10 shooting since last time round. This time was also a real biathlon race, instead of an unformal relay, where I would ski 3 x 3.3km and get timed. Fancy, eh. This time was a great race. Hotly contested and I had to dig much deeper than I had planned. I got punished off the start (we had to run around our poles 10 times and then sprint to our skis that were waiting for us at the start line) and was gapped by about 20-30s from the leaders (who were fast, too). It took a while, but I caught buddy from Norway who was putting the hurt on the field. That took a bit out of me. Once in the range I figured I'd show him the meaning of fast-shooting, Bjoerndalen style. I shot my 5 shots in about 10 seconds, but missed 2 targets. Big wup, 2 penalty loops. Big wup indeed... Felix from Norway (who's actually Austrian...) shot clean (!) and put a considerable 30s gap on me. Great. I maybe put about 12 seconds on him the next lap and came into the range when he was mid-shoot. I needed something big. I focused like I've never focused before and...drumroll...cleaned it!!! Excellent, but no, Felix cleaned it as well! This guy must be a biathlete. I was now down by about 10s. My much needed throw-down-of-a-surge wasn't enough. I couldn't make up the stagger and slogged in for 2nd, 6 seconds back. I actually skied really well. And skating at that. I'm starting to like this distance thing. It has a great feel to it.
Anyways, great day at the Salomon Biathlon Twoonie Race (again, put on by Munny). I improved my shooting by 300%. And I skated 10km with decent speed and a moderate amount of hurting so good. Oh, by the way, unfortunately Felix isn't a biathlete...that was his first time ever trying Biathlon. And he shot 10 for 10. I'm starting to guess that they used the big targets.