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Nationals – Pursuit Race – 4 More Medals

Saratoga Biathlon club members collected four more medals at the 2010 US Biathlon National Championships. Sean Doherty skied to his second silver medal in the youth men’s category. Eli Walker and Tom Moffett repeated as first and second in the masters men race (top 2 masters overall too). Rene Harde was either first, second, or third in the Senior Master’s category – no one is quite sure, but more on that later.

The race was again run in slushy conditions as the temperatures stayed above freezing last night. Thankfully the organizers took out the cote de suffrage due to a lack of snow after the heat wave. The course was rerouted up a much more reasonable climb (the way the world cup was run in 2004). The weather varied from light rain, to cloudy to sunny, back to light rain.

Just before entering the range there is a downhill with a compression and a left hand turn. This section of trail is definitely tricky to ski and has seen quite a few crashes this week, both in training and competion. This section has become known as the “Pit of Death” or “Pit of Doom”, and few people have escaped its wrath this week. The Pit of Death definitely played a role in the masters races today,  with competitors falling in front of each other. One even slid off the trail and under the snow fence that is there to keep skiers from going down another pretty steep hill. However, the Saratoga contingent was able to succesfuly navigate the pit today (we didn’t on Thursday), helping us take three medals.

Later…

Rene crossed the line as the second senior masters competitor. At the flower ceremony he was awarded first place. The skier who was crossed the line first was assesed a two minute penalty for missing a penalty loop. When the results were published Rene was tied for second (down to the hundreth of a second) with another skier. Then at the banquet tonight Rene was awarded the bronze medal. So your guess is as good as any as to what position he actually placed. Maybe they’ll have it sorted out in the morning.

I didn’t get too many pictures today, but will post the ones I have when I return to New York after tomorrow’s race.

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