Total 5 - tTfv9QB
Wild Rumpus Sports

World Cup 1, Oestersund Sweden

My first time on the World cup team was a week of mixed emotions. First I watched my teammates racing in the mixed and single mixed relays. Which was fun to watch but also a little disheartening not to participate. After all we train all year round so we can race. So whenever I miss out on racing I feel a little low.


However I then had longer to prepare for the individual. Which was ok. I didn’t have the best ski technique or legs on me for the 20km race, and it is a HARD course. Somehow the 4km loop seems like it is all uphill. But I was content with it as my first race. Yes I could have shot better and yes I would be happier with a faster ski time. But I am ok with it being my first race.

Photo Credit Garth Jenkins

Photo Credit Garth Jenkins

After the two days of recovery between the individual and the sprint race, I was feeling significantly better on my skis. I felt confident in my technique and was ready to push myself hard. Also the 3.3km loops of the sprint were a little bit easier with some added flats, which helped me be mentally ready for a strong ski performance. Feeling ready on the snow and also feeling ready to hit my targets on the range. I was gearing up for a good race. Also taking some energy from my bib, number 99, a very special bib to any Canadian. Knowing all this I went to the start line ready to compete and give it my best.


Starting the race I was feeling good, and really pushed myself on my first loop. I know that every second counts in racing, so I made sure to be going fast right from the start. After I finished a quick first loop I came zooming into the range, and that is when I realized that I had only loaded one of two clips………….


After I had loaded my clip into my rifle and laid down to shoot prone. I closed the bolt and could feel that no bullet was pushed into the chamber. So I opened my bolt and looked to make sure that my clip was inserted correctly. It was in the right place, just didn’t have any bullets in it. My mind starts racing. I didn’t load my clips?!?!?!??!?!? I’m sure I did! But there is no time to think about that; I hope my second one is loaded. I pull it out of my stock and see the shiny brass of bullets. Thanks God! I had at least loaded one of the two clips. So I settle back into position and start shooting my five precious bullets. I can hardly think and just let my body take control of the shooting. All five shots go down! I am happy to have hit them all, especially in the windy conditions that we were having. But the happiness was short lived. Now I had to get another clip. How am I supposed to do that? I can’t remember the rules. This has never happened to me before!


After a few hundred meters of skiing and debating what to do, I climb the first hill up to our head wax tech and my coach. They both start to cheer me on and I cut them off.


“I don’t have a second clip!” I yell. They stop yelling, but it didn’t look like they heard me, I yell again. “I need a clip!”


The second time they understand just as I am rounding the corner to the downhill and speeding away from them.


Ok, I have told the team and they will figure it out, just keep skiing. But I was trying to remember how I was supposed to pick up a clip again. Was it one of the rules they had changed this summer? Or was that only for your bolt? I don’t know. Hopefully I can figure it out, I only have two hills left on this loop, then I’ll be back in the range with or without a clip.


I see my coach on the second last hill. He must have some news.


“Macx! You will pick up the clip in the range! Just go to a lane and raise your hand! An official will hand you a clip!”


Pheeeewwf. That seems simple. Just get to the range.


Before I know it I am on the mat. I see the official, raise my hand and the clip is in my fingers, Now all I have to do is shoot. Look down at the clip before I insert it into my rifle. IT WONT FIT!!!! THAT CLIP IS TOO SMALL FOR MY RECEIVER!!!!


My mind starts to whirl again. Then I remembered, I have five spare rounds on my rifle. So I load an empty clip and grab the first spare round with my fingers and push it into the chamber. I need to hit! That is the only thing on my mind. Bang! The first shot hits. Next spare. Bang! Another hit. Next spare. Bang! Hit! I load the next spare. Bang! Only one more. I grab my last spare and look down the sights, and smile as I pull the trigger. Bang! The final shot goes down.


Before I know it I am ripping past the penalty loop and climbing the hill to Tom. I am feeling good, I managed to hit all my shots in a tricky conditions and I know that I will be in the pursuit tomorrow. The stress of the clip scenario and my anticipated result dissipate. I will probably be in the top 40. I think, just before I hear Tom yelling,




Wait?!?! What did he say? 10th?!?!?!? Like I’m the 10th person right now! No that can’t be!




Holy crap!!!! I am in 10th!!!!! 10th!! I am 10th!!!!! Finally it registers with me and I know what I have to do! I start to bury myself on every climb. Hoping that each downhill will give me enough recovery to climb the next hills even faster. My legs feel heavy, my forearms ache. I just throw myself at each hill hoping that I will be strong enough to get to the top without slowing down.




The whole wax team is out there cheering me up every climb. I can do this! I reach the final hill before the fast descent towards the finish line. SPRINT! That is all that is in my mind.


50 Meters.

30 Meters.

10 Meters.



I am done! I look up onto the scoreboard before catching my breath. There it my name! Where is the placing…………………. 10th! I couldn’t believe it! I had kept my position! I finished in the top 10!!!


What a race. What a crazy, crazy race!


Me looking for my results in the finish

More to come….

Race Season Has Started

  The first races are over. I’m very excited. And it is finally winter!   This past week we had our first races. They may not have been the exact distances or in winter conditions, but they were the first races of the new season. It all started with a cross-country skate race two weeks ago. I hadn’t been feeling strong or fast on skis yet this season, as we were just finishing a hard intensity block and I hadn’t recovered yet. I was a little nervous going into the XC race. But in the past this race has marked when I started feeling good on skis. Warming up for the race, I was one of the first people on the track, which made me a little more nervous as no one else seemed to be getting ready for the race. But soon the track filled with all of the…

Going on tour with the biathlon team is always weeks of hotels and touring around small towns throughout central Europe. Between training, time is spent in our hotel rooms playing cards, doing school work or napping. The meals are all at set times and can feature some odd dishes, but rarely are we responsible for cooking. For transportation, we are chauffeured around by Wax Technicians (The awesome people who make our skis go fast) or the Coaches. Or else we have the drivers hired by the race organizers to take us to and from the venue and other official team business. Basically, on tour everything is arranged for you, all you have to take care of is your health, your attitude and your performance on the race course.   Though this is wonderful for the first few weeks, slowly I begin to desire cooking my own meals and driving myself…

For Better or For Worse

  In the last few weeks, I have been in almost all conditions a biathlete will ever face while shooting. Starting in Oberhof, where we faced the typical fog, rain and wind. Battling each element individually and in any possible combination of the three. With some good shooting and some bad shooting, I was unsure of my capabilities for normal shooting conditions, which I soon found out is much easier to shoot in. So much easier that I started questioning why I ever miss targets on calm, clear days? How could I possible miss after the conditions I faced in Germany. Horizontal rain, fog with 30-40m of visibility. After hitting some targets in poor conditions I know I can hit every target in normal or close to normal conditions.   The next stop was Ridnaun, Italy for an IBU Cup race. It was the perfect place to get a couple…

The Importance of Fun

Over this Christmas break I attempted to get away from elite sport. Take some time to enjoy being fit and being outside, something that can get lost in the higher level of sports. The simple joy of exercise and being outdoors, reminds me why I started sport and why I love sport. The exploration of going into the unknown, becoming a beginner again, testing yourself against the elements and pushing yourself to new limits, all things that are forgotten with too much strict training. But also key elements to enjoy sports.   And having this short break gives me the rare opportunity to do some winter sports outside of biathlon. My favorites are alpine touring, tobogganing and skating/hockey.   After finishing some of the non-biathlon sports, my body is always tired and sore, but my mind has been sharpened and replenished. I feel ready to tackle the next series of…

The Art Of Focus

Something I have often been told, but hasn’t sunk in; is the amount of focus you put in is directly equivalent to the technical gains and overall improvement of the outcome.   This may sound like a dictionary definition, very dry, but it is true. The more you focus the faster you improve.   All this focus talk comes from the first IBU Cup tour coach, Ferreol, from France. Although most of my other coaches have told me this, when he reiterated the statement it finally managed to sink into my consciousness. Whether from a different face or spoken in halting English, somehow, it got through.   I’ve always enjoyed a different perspective. I often choose not to change completely, but having a different opinion brings new ideas and refreshes old ones. Whichever ideas, new or old, they come from a fresh face and are told with different words, allowing…

Life of an Athlete on Tour

After I finished my First North American Cup of the year, I packed all my bags, had a lovely farewell dinner and drove to the airport before the sun rose. After a lengthy travel day, we arrived in Obertilliach, Austria. This small town in the Alps, is a typical Austrian town. Each house doubles as a barn, with a dozen cows waiting out the winter cold. Their smell is mixed with the fresh mountain air and creates a unique scent that is neither pleasing nor displeasing. Thankfully, right now, Obertilliach is one of the few places in central Europe that has enough snow to ski. Luckily this is where we are staying for the next two weeks, one week of training and one week of racing. Originally we were supposed to have a weekend in Martell, Italy, but the lack of snow forced the races to be cancelled. Now we…

The Season has Started!!

Finally. My first race has arrived! A bit later than expected due to some cold weather, which thankfully has broken. Another factor was the huge snowstorm that rolled in a week ago, which helped revive Frozen Thunder and opened up most of the Canmore Nordic Center. Everything has now come together. Training is over. Racing has begun. I am excited to start racing, all the nerves were used up in the anti-climatic weekend of delays and cancellations. Now I am left with only excitement for the start of the season. I am feeling no pressure with these races, which are selection races for Canada Games and World Youth and Juniors Championships. (Events that I am, sadly, no longer eligible to attend) I have nothing to prove. I just get to race! I have tested all my skis. Something that become more tedious each year (from the growing fleet, now at…

First Post

I have always wanted to start a blog, but I am terrified of writing publicly. Having my work openly viewed by my peers and people I don’t even know. I’m scared that I will offend someone unintentionally, or that I will ruin my image by posting something I shouldn’t. There are so many fears that come with writing a blog, but I have decided to start one all the same.   My choice to push past my fears and try something new is a choice to improve myself. As I have found in the past, when I go beyond my comfort level and take some risks, I find new limits. Last April (my month off of training) I had made plans to travel with some friends, but with less then a month till we left they cancelled on me. So I decided to travel alone. I had a car and…