Sunday, March 30, 2008

Norwegian Biathlon Championships: Mojo's last race


Here is the latest update from Mark Johnson, who stayed in Norway to compete in the Norwegian Biathlon Championships in Stryn:

Friday's race at the biathlon championships was a great way to end the biathlon season. The whole Norwegian crew was there; Ole Einer BjĂžorndalen, Emil Svendsen, Lars Berger just to name a few. The weather was a bit tricky for a biathlon race with swirling gusty winds. The women's race again was simply amazing to watch, sooo many good competitors for such a small country.

The men's race had over a hundred entrants... crazy huh? For the 20km individual I only had CH on my skis, but this time for the 10km Sprint my friend Arild hooked me up with a Swix wax technition who is responsible for the entire national team... I honestly was a bit baffeled that this worked out ;-). Needless to say my skis were fanominal. Before the race I didn't know what to expect from myself physically, but I started out hard the first loop and just hoped to hold on. I was the fifteenth starter and had the fastest ski time in the first loop by 30sec! (Of course the 'big guns' took care of that later, but they started late in the order.) It was fun to have the attention of the crowed, which was very large today, for that first loop. They all cheered as I shot prone, but booed/gasped when I missed one of my five shots.

The second loop went well, but I could tell that my legs were still tired from the 20km two days earlier. I took it easy the last 100m into the range before my standing shoot. I shot slowely and deliberately, but still missed one target, so two penalties for the day... definitely respectible. I skied as hard as I could that last loop, but still felt a bit sluggish... thank goodness for fast skis! I crossed the finish line and I could only wait to see how I did as there were so many people left to finish.

While I waited, I got some sweet photos and watched some crazy skiing. After everything came to a close, I ended up 34th and about 3:49 back from the winner Emil Svendsen who missed one target. Ole Einer missed 4 targets today and placed 5th... I'm sure he is a bit grumpy. But it is fun to only be 2:40 behind him on the result list. (To be honest I think this is my best international Sprint race. At junior worlds I was over 5min back from the winner...)

see you soon!
-Mark

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