Category: Events

Saratoga Biathlon Individual Race Format good for Polar Bear Biathletes

On Sunday, February 13th Maddie Phaneuf and Damon Kull entered their first 15 km biathlon race. For Damon it was his last chance to qualify for the Empire State Games at the end of February. Although both skiers were using this race for a training session, they both had a good race. They raced in a high school race on Saturday and would be racing again on Wednesday and Friday to see if they would qualify for the Section III State Nordic team.
The race on Sunday was an Individual race, which means that the racers ski a 3 km loop five times. After the first four laps they would shoot either prone or standing. The shooting order was prone, standing, prone, standing for the day. Normally in a Sprint Race, for every missed target the racers would have to ski a penalty lap. In an Individual Race instead of skiing penalty laps a one minute penalty for each missed target is added to the finish time.
Maddie Phaneuf finished her ski in second place in the youth female class. She hit five targets out of twenty. Not her best day, but not her worst either. It was a good training run and gave her insites into her shooting during both stages. Maddie’s best race results were at the NorAms in Lake Placid at the end of January. She hit nine out of twenty in that race. The race field was made up of several Canadian skiers and others from the United States.
Damon finished fifth in the youth males class. He hit eleven of twenty targets, which is the best that he has done in his three year career. Damon’s best sprint race was on February 6th where he shot four of ten and placed second in his class. All in all a good end to the season for him. Congratulations go out to both Damon and Maddie for a good season.

Old Forge Biathlon a Success

February 6th was the one and only biathlon race of the season for Old Forge. After having to cancel the January 1st race due to lack of snow the Polar Bear Biathlon Club had one day to make a showing. All week long the weather was cold with warm temperatures, at least warmer than it had been. The highs were in the low 20s on some days and on others in the teens. Then on Saturday afternoon a storm set in and coated the trails with 10 inches of new snow. The crew at McCauley Mountain worked hard to make sure that the trails were as well packed as possible. At race time it was a nice 28 degrees with a medium wind and high humidity. The race field was split between seasoned veteran to first time biathlon racer. When all was said and done, 19 racers were at the start line for the race. After the first lap, 2.5 km for everyone, it was clear that the times were going to be slow. The snow was nice, but soft. Any hills were ankle deep in soft snow. Still the race was good. You could see in the shooting results that the racers had to work harder in each lap and that made it harder to control their breathing.
All in all there were nine Polar Bear Biathletes that raced on the 6th. Our veteran skiers were Damon Kull, Colin Criss and Maddie Phaneuf. Each of these three were racing in the Youth class which skied 7.5 km shooting small targets in the prone position and large targets while standing. In the non-carrying class we had two racers that had raced last year, Allyson Brosemer and Jessica Hannah and three other first time non-carrying racers: Henry Uzdavinis, Megan Greene and Tecwyn Williams. There was also one more competition level racer who raced his first race, Daniel Heroux. Daniel is an alpine racer that wanted to give skinny skiing a try. What better way than in a biathlon race. Daniel worked hard and did his best. He hit targets and made a good showing for himself. The club hopes that he will return to race again next season. Our best shooter for the day was Jessica Hannah, a non-carrying racer, who shot clean, meaning that she hit all 10 targets. Also in this class Tecwyn Williams shot 8 for 10 with Megan Greene, Henry Uzdavinis and Allyson Brosemer right behind them hitting 6 for 10. These biathletes shoot prone both times at large targets.
All in all it was a good day for the Polar Bears, who for many will finish their season with this race. We hope that we will be more active next season with more racing. Two of our youth racers, Maddie Phaneuf and Damon Kull, will be moving forward to race in the Empire State Games on February 25th and 26th. There are other members of the team that are eligible to compete in these races, but at this time are undecided as to whether they will compete this year. More after the next race.

NorAm Pursuit Race Proves to be Good Race for Phaneuf

Maddie Phaneuf had the best race of her young biathlon career today in Lake Placid. Phaneuf raced for the third time this season at the North American Biathlon Race Series #6 this past weekend. A pursuit race is a five lap, four shooting station race. Maddie was entered in the youth female class which meant that she raced a 1.5 km loop five times. She had to shoot prone after each of the first two loops and standing after the third and fourth loops. She hit a total of 45% of her targets during her race.
At race time the temperature was 14 degrees with snow falling during the race. The humidity was high, which made it seem colder than it actually was. There were 66 racers in the field today with about 50% of them from Canada.
Maddie Phaneuf has raced in four other biathlon races this season. The first being in Osceola on December 19th. Her next three races were in Jerecho, Vermont during the Christmas break from school. Those races were called the Junior Trials. There were several participants in those races that were trying to make the World Juniors team that were to take place in the Czech Republic during January.
On February 6th Maddie will join Colin Criss, Megan Greene and Damon Kull in the Old Forge Biathlon Race, one of the several Empire State Games Qualifiers. More after this coming weekends races.

Winter Carnival Weekend sets stage for Polar Bear Biathlon Race!

The weekend of February 5th and 6th is Winter Carnival Weekend in Old Forge. The weekend will be highlighted by many family fun activities in the village as well as at McCauley Mountain. There will also be numerous nordic events on Saturday and Sunday for skiers of all ages.
On Sunday, February 6th at 11 a.m. there will be an Empire States Qualifier in biathlon at McCauley Moutain. This race will be a 7.5 km and 10 km race for all those that cross the start line. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in each class. Classes will be novice, non-carrying class; boy/girl, non-carrying class; youth; junior; open; master and grandmaster; all carring classes. These races will have competitors skiing three laps of a course with shooting stops between lap one and two, and also between laps two and three. Each competitor will shoot five shots prone and five shots standing.
We hope that you will come out and support our local Polar Bear athletes in their first home biathlon race of the season.

New Year’s Day Races are in Jeopardy!

After waiting with great anticipation, the Polar Bear Biathlon Club looks like it may come up short with it’s Christmas wish list. We asked Santa for snow, snow and more snow! We are hoping that the storm currently traveling up the coast will send some snow our way. We have approximately 1/2 inch of rolled snow on the course to ski on. It is no where enough for us to race on this coming weekend. Our range is in worse shape. A foot of wet snow would do the trick, but it isn’t suppose to happen for us. Added to our lack of snow we are also looking at above normal temperatures for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. We could have rain on the 31st, which would wipe us out completely. Our long range forecast isn’t much better.
The final decision on the race will be posted on December 29th here and also on the New York State Biathlon webpage. Please check back to see what is happening with the Polar Bear Biathlon Club!

Empire State Games are back on in all of their glory!

The Empire State Games have been reinstated with private sponsorship. They are remaining in Lake Placid on the last weekend in Febrary, 2/25; 2/26/; and 2/27. Those that qualify for the Empire State Games will race on Friday, February 25th at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. This will be a sprint race with distances varying from 6 km. to 10 km. The second race will be an individual relay running at 1 p.m. on Saturday, 2/26. The race will be run as a relay, but with no teams. Each person will ski for themselves and have individual results.
We all hope that there will be a seamless transition from Parks and Recreation running the races to the private sponsors that ORDA found. We will know soon!

Polar Bear Winter Schedule is set!

The Polar Bear Biathlon schedule is set for two races this year. If you are interested in registering for either of the races you can sign up for them or view the race details by going to
The two dates are January 1, 2011 and February 6, 2011. Both races are sprint format and will have two shooting stops. There will be a penalty zone for both races. As in past years we will have all USBA classes plus a novice class for those that want to see what it is all about. I hope that you will come and join us at one or both of our races! See you on the range!