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!