Snow’s here, are you in? -Part 4

So if I haven’t enticed you enough yet, maybe throwing guns into the mix will get you out of the house or off that bike which your riding in the rain every night.

Prone Position

Once you master skate skiing which is really gliding a long as you can on a very thin, waxed, edgeless ski you can try biathlons.   With your heart rate in the red, now you only have to hit a target that’s 1.8″ or 4.5″ at 50m.   Washington has it own biathlon association.  They even have summer biathlons where you run instead of ski.  For those who are not sure what exactly a biathlon is, it is a term used to describe any sporting event made up of two disciplines.  However, biathlon usually refers specifically to the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.  Other popular variants include summer biathlon, which combines cross-country running with riflery, modern biathlon and biathle, which combine running with swimming.

The Basics

A biathlon consists of a race where the total distance is broken up into either two or four rounds of shooting, half in the prone position and half  standing.  If you miss a target time is added to your overall race time, or you have to skate a penalty lap.  The person with the shortest total time winds.

Biathletes must hit five targets in each shooting round; each miss results in one of the following three scenarios:

  • by skiing around a 150 metres (490 ft) penalty loop, typically taking 2030 seconds for top-level biathletes to complete (running time depending on weather/snow conditions),
  • by having one minute added to a skier’s total time, or
  • by having to use an “extra cartridge” (placed at the shooting range) to finish off the target; only three such “extras” are available for each round, and a penalty loop must be made for each of the targets left standing.

Standing Position

Biathletes carry a small bore rifle weight around 8 lbs.  Rifles, along with ammunition is carried on the skiers back.  The rifle is close to the size of a .22 rifle, and are bolt action or Fortner (straight-pull bolt) action.  Targets are at a distance of 50m (160 feet).  When shooting in the prone position the target diameter is 45 millimetres (1.8 in), when shooting in the standing position the target diameter is 115 millimetres (4.5 in).

There are several types of competition:  Individual, Sprint, Pursuit, Mass Start, Relay, Mixed Relay, and Team (now obsolete at the World Cup level).

If you’re interest in getting into biathlon there is a clinic Jan. 8th at Stevens Pass.  There is only 20 slot available so sign up today!

2011 Winter Schedule WA Biathlon

Jan. 2 – Race #1, Mazama New Year’s Blast (MVB)
Jan. 8 – Intro Clinic, Steven’s Pass (WBA) [entry form]
Jan. 9 – Open Training, Steven’s Pass (WBA) [entry form]
Jan. 29-30 – Race #2-3, Steven’s Pass (WBA) [entry form]
Feb. 12-13 – Race #4-5, Winthrop (MVB)
Feb. 26-27 – Race #6-7, Steven’s Pass (WBA) [entry form]
Mar. 12-13 – Race #8-9, Steven’s Pass (WBA) [entry form]
More details about schedule can be found here, with race entry forms coming soon.



Get out there!

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