Despite never leaving the town of Canmore, this past week was my first time competing with Team Canada in an international field on the IBU Cup circuit. It is always fun competing in Europe, but it was convenient to sleep in my own bed, make my own food and drive my own car to the race site every morning! I also knew every inch of the biathlon trails and what to expect out on course.
I had a solid set of trials races the previous weekend so I started the weekend maybe a little too eager to have the best race of my life in my first IBU Cup. I had my fastest skiing on the first race day (10km sprint) but finished in 31st due to some "anxious" shooting. The second day was the same race and I finished in 32nd.
We had a two day break before the 20km Individual and another 10km Sprint and I used it to get back into my normal rhythm. My best races usually come together when there's a combination of high pressure, high motivation, and the ability to shut out everything but moving forward as fast as I can. The Wednesday Individual came out as a sort-of-a-variation of that. I had decent shooting (17/20) and was made top 16 by a few seconds. I wound up top Canadian that day too which was neat. I finished on Thursday with a 29th place in the final 10km Sprint. I laid down everything on the last lap but felt the past few weeks catching up and just didn't have the legs to make another top 16. ( Unfortunately for my pride and momentum I also managed to slip out on the only icy patch on course-image below)
(TURN DOWN volume before watching!)
Nationals in Valcartier Quebec are coming up in mid-March and that is what my next few weeks will be focused on preparing for! Cheers and as always, thanks for the support:)