Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Just Keep Shooting

Two weekends ago I tried something completely foreign to me - summer biathlon! K-Dub somehow coerced me to travel south of Syracuse to partake in a 5K running/shooting race when I have barely been running and have shot a gun only once in my entire life (last summer). I had not had the greatest week of my life and I thought that it would be a really good break from thinking about that, plus a lot of fun anyways! Jochen ended up going as well and the 3 of us carpooled to this really nice park - Pratt's Falls - which is south of Syracuse (not too far from Jamesville Beach which is where the Syr 70.3 is held).

The race was held by the Syracuse Biathlon Club and I figured it would be pretty small, which it was, but there were a whole bunch of novices racing, so that was good (as I am definitely a novice too). They gave us a safety clinic, then we ran one loop of the course (it was a 1K loop), which of COURSE was trails, and then we did a gun demo where we all got to try the guns.

The basic format is as follows: time trial start, run 1K loop, shoot gun at 5 targets, for all targets missed - run ~250 m penalty loop, proceed to next 1K loop, repeat repeat so that you run 5K (minus penalty loops) and shoot 4 times (4 x 5 targets = 20 shots total).

me, Jochen, Kevin pre-race!

Somehow, I started this race off as the first to go in the time trial. Ridiculous. But it meant a completely clear shooting range as I got there first! Novices shot prone as it is MUCH easier (apparently) and we got to shoot the larger targets. Someone like Kevin who races open had to shoot twice prone (at smaller targets) and twice standing. I actually shot pretty well; in my 4 "rounds" of shooting I hit 3, 3, 1 (oops) and 2 of the 5 targets. Doesn't look that impressive but it's pretty hard when you've been running and then you have to stop, lie down on the ground, pick up a gun, and shoot, all while your heart is still pounding and you are still out of breath!

I am sooooooo badass

heading out for loop #2

I ended up winning the women's novice division (there were only 3 of us though) but I shot pretty well.. easily in the top half and I think probably better than that!

I will definitely be going back to the next race in August and now I totally want to buy a gun.. yikes!

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