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New Year, New Blog Post

Once again the old blog has been neglected.  Instead of listing all of my excuses for not updating my blog, such as weddings take more time than you would think, I will bring you up to speed as efficiently as possible.

Speaking of weddings, Andrea and I finally made it official and tied the knot on October 25th.  I know this is old news, but people generally like this kind of stuff and maybe it will take their minds of the fact that this blog has not been updated in, ahem, four months.




We had a fantastic time at our wedding.  We kept everything really small and as simple as possible and it all worked out just like we hoped.  Unfortunately, we had no time for a honeymoon because we quickly departed for Sjusjoen, Norway and the start of the competition season.


The sun rises late at that time of year in Norway, but it makes for a great start to the morning training session.



Although the snow was a little sparse when we first arrived, we ended the camp with perfect skiing on endless K of groomed track.  This was was my first time to Sjusjoen and it did not disappoint.  I will be back in Sjusjoen to prepare for World Championships at the end of the season.



Another nice sunset in Norway.  Generally, anytime you see the sun at this time of year, you take pictures, because you never know when it will happen again!

After Norway, we headed to Sweden for the start of the World Cup season.  The first three weeks of the season flew by with 10 races in 21 days.  It was a decent start to the season for me but I am definitely hoping for more.  I was very happy with my ski form but I struggled a bit to find my groove on the shooting range.  One day I would have solid prone followed by bad standing shooting and the next day I would have the exact opposite problem.  For now I will just keep focusing on my game plan and not worry too much about the results.  If I can stick to my plan, I know the results will eventually come.


Here is a picture a Lake Bled at the third World Cup stop in Slovenia.  We get to travel to some amazing places!



This is another picture from Slovenia.  Note the lack of snow.  This was a recurring theme in period one of the World Cup.

After Slovenia, I headed back up to Oberhof, Germany for the Holiday break.  I struggled a lot in the past with my health when traveling, so I decided to avoid any extra travel this season.  I ended up only staying in Oberhof for only few days because they had no snow. Instead of training in the indoor ski facility here everyday, I decided to head to Obertilliach, Austria for the remainder of the break.


Obertilliach proved to be a nice place to spend the Holidays!



The snow conditions were solid and I was able to get in a great training block at altitude.



Sometimes I even had the entire range to myself!



I even had the chance to get fresh milk for my morning breakfast!



Has anyone else ever noticed how organized the wood piles are over here?  And why does this bother me so much?  First of all, we would never burn wood that small at home and we definitely would not spend that much time making it look so clean!

I arrived back in Oberhof last night.  We only have three guys here in Oberhof so we won’t be racing the relay but I am looking forward to the Sprint and Mass Start this weekend.  It has been great to have a little break, but it time to get back to racing!




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Scandinavia Camp

I just returned home from a great two week training camp in Norway and Sweden.  I spent my first week in Sandnes, Norway competing in the Blink Festival.  The festival consisted of an uphill rollerski race at the Lysebotn Fjord and two biathlon races in the city of Sandnes.  This was a great opportunity for me to see a different area and to compete against many of the best biathlon and cross country athletes.

The first race of the festival was the Lysebotn hill climb.  I have competed in other uphill races before, but I think this was the most challenging.  The climb is definitely steeper than I prefer and it has a one kilometer tunnel, which is completely dark and almost impossible to pass in.  This makes for basically a sprint from the start of the race to the tunnel.



This picture is looking down at the start of the race.  It’s a long, painful way up to the finish!  Overall, I was pleased with my race in the climb.  I definitely did not feel at my best, but I’m sure the other racers were in the same boat after some hard summer training weeks.  Here is a link to the results and a video of the race.




The best part of this day was definitely the boat ride to and from the race.  I have never been to this part of Norway before and the scenery was stunning.  I hope to make it back next year!



The next two days of racing were held right in downtown Sandnes.  It was amazing to see the resources that went into setting up the race course and shooting range right in the city.



This is a picture of a temporary paved bridge for the race.  It was taken down the day after the last race!

Overall, I was happy with the biathlon races.  They were definitely a little different than a normal biathlon race in that the skiing portion was so short.  It basically turns into an all out sprint on the rollerskis, which makes for some challenging shooting.  In the past, I have struggled with this type of format, so I was happy to have a bit more success this time.



It turned out to be a good place for us Americans with Lowell taking second place the first day and me third in the super sprint.  Here is a video of the final round of the Super Sprint.  This was our third race of the day, which added a whole new challenge.

We had one day after the races to explore around before taking off to Sweden for the rest of the camp.  We were so impressed with the Fjords during the uphill race that we decided to go back for a run.



I have been fortunate to travel to some amazing places.  This has to be near the top of the list.  From where I was standing, it was a 3,000 ft drop down to the ocean.



For the last week of camp we headed to Torsby, Sweden for a week of skiing in the tunnel.  While the tunnel might not be the most exciting place to log training hours, it was a great opportunity to test some new equipment and work on technique.  We also had the opportunity to do some joint training sessions with the Swedish biathlon team.


I am now back home in Lake Placid for a big block of training.  After a productive training camp, I have a long list of things to work on in over the next months!

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New Post!

So the old blog has been a little neglected lately.  I did have a few newer posts on the Team USA site but I was having some trouble with this blog so they were never posted here.  Now that I have my excuses out of the way, I am ready to get this blog rolling again for the 2014/2015 season!





Besides a quick trip to Bend, Oregon, I decided to spend more time in Lake Placid this summer.  I felt that I needed a little break from my normal travel schedule.  Last year I spent about 7 months on the road, so it has been a welcomed break to stay put for a few months.





Lake Placid offers some of the best training opportunities in the country so it is no problem to be home for longer periods of time.  Besides changing up my travel schedule, I have also made some significant changes to my training plan for this season.  After eight years on a very similar training plan, my coach and I decided that I needed some changes.  I have been interested in making some of these adjustments for the past few seasons but I was not willing to stray too far from a plan that had worked so well for me.  This year we have re-structured the types of intensity workouts and the frequency that I complete them.  So far it seems to be going well.  At the very least it has been great to mix things up a bit.





This year I will also be using a new rifle stock.  This is perhaps the biggest change of all for me this year, after I used my previous stock for the last four years.  I had not planned on changing stocks this season but I ended up breaking mine three times last year.  After the third break, which occurred from just putting the rifle on my back, I decided it was time for change.  The new stock has been a fun and motivating project for me.  It definitely forced me to take a closer look at my positions and make some changes.


I will be home for another two weeks of training and then I am off to Norway and Sweden for training camp.  While I am in Norway I will also be competing in the Blink festival.  This will be a great opportunity to race against some of the best guys in both biathlon and cross country.


Thanks for checking in after my lengthy layoff!



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An Unpredictable Sport

Here is a new blog post on the Team USA site!  http://www.teamusa.org/Team-USA-Winter-Bloggers/Tim-Burke/An-Unpredictable-Sport

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Utah to Sweden

Here is my new blog for Team USA http://www.teamusa.org/Team-USA-Winter-Bloggers/Tim-Burke/Utah-To-Sweden

All is well here in Ostersund.  I am looking forward to getting this party started tomorrow!

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