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Posts Tagged ‘utah’

Training in Heber

18.Oct.2013 by Susan Dunklee

I’m quite happy to be in Utah again for our annual October National Team camp. This is my sixth year coming here with the biathletes. We aren’t here for the snow (although there certainly is some of that up high) but for the high quality dryland training at altitude. It is our last major block of dryland training before winter hits. The weather is usually beautiful and reliable here this time of year, unlike many other places in the country, and the terrain is fantastic for rollerskiing, hiking, and biking. Normally we run into a few of our USST and Paralympic peers on the trails, but this October it seems like every professional Nordic team in the US is in Utah. I love having so many of my biathlon, Craftsbury and Dartmouth College buddies all in one place!

Dartmouth Ski Team reunion at Rosie Brendan’s House (photo: Eric Packer)

The biathlon team is staying is staying near the Soldier Hollow range and we can rollerski right to the venue in minutes

Our neighborhood of giant houses

So far for training we have done a lot of rollerskiing, shooting and running. My favorite workout has been a lovely run/hike in the foothills of Mt. Timpanogos

Myself, Hannah and Annelies

We encountered some serious mud…

…but the views were spectatcular!

A few days ago, the National Team participated in an ambassador/media training through the US Olympic Committee, a requirement for all potential US Olympians. It is helpful to practice answering questions, to anticipate situations we may encounter, and understand the many, many rules involved with media at the Olympics. Brad Snyder also shared his incredible story with us. He is a blind swimmer who won gold in the London Paralympics exactly one year to the day after he lost his sight by stepping on an IED while serving in the navy. Talk about inspiring!

Next Tuesday and Thursday we have some rollerski races at Solider Hollow so stay tuned for more updates!

Winter’s in the Air

11.Nov.2012 by Susan Dunklee

Soon it begins. On Tuesday I will be traveling to Sweden to start another winter of World Cup biathlon racing. It means four months living out of a duffel bag and braving airports almost every week… The thrill of putting on a race bib and standing on a start line in front of TV cameras and screaming spectators… Weathering the tremendous ups and downs that are biathlon’s emotional roller coaster… Laughing at the antics of teammates, wax techs and coaches every night at dinner… And skiing, on snow, everyday. I can’t wait!

The first World Cup biathlon race of the season takes place in Ostersund, Sweden on Sunday, November 25th (9:30 am eastern US standard time). It is a mixed relay, meaning that we will have two women and two men competing together on one team. You can watch it live on your computer by going to Biathlon World TV. Put it on your calendar.

In the meantime, watch replays from last year on Biathlon World TV to get fired up. The 2011/2012 World Cup 9 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia has some good ones- scroll to the right and click on the one titled “pursuit women replay”.

I have spent the past week at home in Craftsbury trying to catch up with friends and family and get organized before the long winter away.
A few items that are coming with me to Europe this year that I didn’t have last year: a travel size guitar, a sunlamp, maple syrup, a foam roller, a German grammar workbook and a 3D puzzle.

The Outdoor Center is closed for the fall off season, so it has been quieter than normal, but I have had no problem staying busy. Even though the GRP skiers are away training in Canmore, I have had a great time getting to know the new GRP rowers. We even trained together in the gym one morning- I did strength circuits while they lined up 7 or 8 rowing machines next to each other for an interval workout.

Dinner with the rowers and friends at Faraway Farm

The Outdoor Center started blowing snow last week, which meant I got to dust off an old pair or rock skis and carve some turns. Later in the week we had 15-20 BKL kids and juniors swarming over the pile like ants. It doesn’t matter how old you are, the season’s first snow never loses its magic.

Davis took the first sledding runs down “Mt. Craftsbury” (photo: Judy Geer)

Ida was also around for a few days before heading to Europe for the cross country World Cup season. We visited our elementary school together to talk to Barton’s seventh graders about training, racing and traveling the world. The most interesting question we were asked: “Have you ever seen a lion?”

I also visited my high school, St. Johnsbury Academy and talked to the students about what it takes to chase after big goals. Watch the YouTube video

I never got around to writing a blog post about our recent national team training camp in Utah (3 weeks in late October/ early November) but here are a couple pics:

The US Women and guest star Andrea Henkel from Germany enjoying Utah’s mountains (photo: Hannah Dreissigacker). Read about what it has been like to train with and get to know an Olympic champion over the past few years here


Some of “Jonne’s Angels” enjoying our last week in Utah (photo: Armin Auchentaller). For more camp pictures and a recap from Utah, check out Hannah’s blog post here

Altitude and Sunshine

19.Oct.2011 by Susan Dunklee

It’s October, which means I’m training in Utah’s Heber Valley for our biathlon team’s annual fall altitude camp.  Every day so far has been warm, sunny and beautiful on the valley floor.  The surrounding Wasatch mountains are capped with fresh snow; a promising reminder of the skiing soon to come.  Solider Hollow, the venue where we are training and the site of the 2002 Olympic games, sits at 5,500 feet.  The thinner air at this altitude makes it slightly more challenging to train and race.

The US Biathlon Association board members were in town last weekend for a meeting and banquet, as were the US Biathlon Foundation members.  We gave them some shooting instruction and then enjoyed a variety of activities together such as horseback riding, golf, and fly fishing.  At the banquet, I had the honor of sitting next to Bitsy Kelley who runs a west coast weekly radio show about everything outdoors.  We chatted about hunting, gardening, farming, and shared ideas for living self-sufficiently.

I went horseback riding with the board in the town of Sundance, home of Robert Redford. The scenery was beautiful with the aspens, oaks, and maples at the height of foliage season- almost as colorful as the Green Mountains back home. photo credit: Laura Spector

I went horseback riding with the board in the town of Sundance, home of Robert Redford. The scenery was beautiful with the aspens, oaks, and maples at the height of foliage season- almost as colorful as the Green Mountains back home. photo credit: Laura Spector

The first week of training was great.  We’ve shared the range with Maine Winter Sports Center, Twin Biathletes (the Barnes), the Junior National Team, and a contingent from Canmore.  A couple of times, we even saw our xc friends from the US Ski Team, Central XC and Sun Valley sprinting around the Soldier Hollow trails.  Although all these groups are on different training schedules, it is inspiring to train around them.  At the end of this week, we’ll also have the chance to meet some of the US speed skaters.  They invited us to watch their World Cup competition in Salt Lake.

Group training on the range. photo credit: Pat Coffey

Group training on the range. photo credit: Pat Coffey

Today was our first of two sprint races out here.  Racing at altitude tends to be very painful, the lack of oxygen makes it harder to recover.  My goal was to start at a relaxed pace and keep getting faster as the race went on.   I also applied a similar strategy on every uphill: ski at a controlled pace until the last few meters, when I would accelerate and carry more speed over the top.   It paid off- I had the fastest ski time of the American contingent (not by much), but I missed 3 out of 10 targets, while several of my teammates shot clean or only missed 1 or 2.

Standing shooting. Notice the new custom stock that I got a few months ago. photo credit: Jonne Kahkonen

Standing shooting. Notice the new custom stock that I got a few months ago. photo credit: Jonne Kahkonen

To read more about our Utah training camp and see more pictures, check out this Fasterskier article written by Chelsea