• Maddie Phaneuf

August Trials

As most of you know, I just completed the first set of World Cup Trials! My teammate Kelly and I traveled to Jericho, Vermont to spend a week training at the venue in preparation for the races. This has been a part of my life for the past seven years - so I've become very familiar with the Jericho life. This is also the time of year where I get to see a lot of biathlon friends I may not have seen since the winter, and it's fun to catch up with everybody.

Classic Vermont scene

Afternoon jogs consisted of a lot of dirt roads

Thankful for Khala Co. - I had many packed lunches for after training!

Susan Dunklee hosted a Women's Mini Camp at the beginning of the training week, which was great! We got to train together with a handful of women (both Junior and Senior athletes) in both shooting workouts and running/hiking workouts! We also had a Women's BBQ one night, where there were close to 60 or so women biathletes/coaches and parents - it was awesome.

On the shooting range with the women!

Photo by Jeffrey Leopold

The night of the Women's BBQ - a lot of people showed up, it was great!

Hiking in the clouds on Mount Mansfield

And we all finished the hike happy - success!

The weather throughout the week was atypical for Jericho, cooler temps made for nice training sessions. That wasn't the case once the weekend rolled in, it got hotter in the mornings and much more humid! This was more like the Jericho we know and love.

The first day of racing was a Sprint race, and to be totally honest I was pretty nervous going into it. Since having a new training plan, a new coach, and having taken September-March off from training/racing last season...I really didn't know what do expect. I was afraid my ski speed wouldn't match up with the rest of the field, and that I'd embarrass myself. I was trying to remind myself to trust the training I've been doing all summer, and to go out and just enjoy racing again. The Sprint went really well for me, I shot 1,0 and ended up 4th behind Clare, Susan, and Johanna. Lucky for me, Clare and Susan are prequalified already and Johanna races for Estonia, so this was a great result for me as I started the weekend leading the race for the final World Cup position! Full results can be found here.

All smiles at the start line

Photo by Jeffrey Leopold

The second day was a Mass Start, so more shooting opportunities and a longer ski race. I was way more relaxed coming into this race, after having a good result the previous day the pressure was off. Unfortunately, it was not my day on the range...I ended up shooting 1,2,2,2 which isn't a great percentage for me. The skiing was okay, but I felt pretty tired by the last two loops - it was HOT. I ended up 8th, and placed 4th for the women fighting for the last World Cup position. Full results can be found here.

The start of the Mass Start!

Photo by Jeffrey Leopold

Racing during the Mass Start

Photo by Jeffrey Leopold

Shooting with Joanne

Photo by Jeffrey Leopold

For those who don't know, here's how they'll choose who gets to go to the World Cup. They've already prequalified Clare Egan, Susan Dunklee, and Joanne Reid based off of their results from last season. That means there is only one more spot to fill, which is what the rest of the women in the USA are fighting for. US Biathlon will look at the results from this past weekend of racing, and also a weekend of racing in Utah this October. They will take the best 3 results out of 5 races, and will only take a maximum of one result from the weekend in Jericho. So, lucky for me, I had a really great result in Jericho by winning amongst the women fighting for the last spot during the Sprint. This takes the pressure off a little bit going into the weekend of racing in Utah, but a lot can still happen between now and then!

Following the races in Jericho, I traveled down to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a week of vacation with my family. It's only been a day and a half, but so far it's been amazing! Been spending as much time as possible at the beach or by the pool. Forced relaxation is key, and I'll be recharged and ready for our next training block once I get back to Lake Placid.

Sunrise at our Airbnb on the last morning in VT

Until then, enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

Currently listening to: Dissolve by Absofacto

- MP