Noel-Leigh Cockeny anticipates the countdown before he starts his 3-kilometer snowshoe biathlon on Wednesday. He went on to win the Silver Ulu in the event.
Photo By Aaron Yankey
The 3-kilometer snowshoe biathlon sprint on Wednesday forced athletes to run quickly then instantly switch over to being a calm rifle shooter. “Catching your breath” takes on a whole new meaning in this sport.
The event consisted of three 1-kilometer loops. At the end of each circuit athletes grabbed a rifle and shot at five targets 50 meters away. For every target that an athlete missed they had to run one loop on the short penalty track.
The junior females, ranging in age from 11 to 17, left the start first. The shooting turned out to be instrumental in the end. There were some that did well running, but had difficulty on the range leaving them losing precious time on the penalty track.
“It’s important to maintain your breath and calm down,” said Noel-Leigh Cockney, Team Northwest-- Territories. He went on to win the Silver Ulu.
Betsy Mawdsley of Team Northwest Territories, age 17, ran the race with her younger sister, Alice, 15.
“I competed in the last Arctic Winter Games with my older sister,” said Mawdsley. She likes having her younger sister around; “we’re there for each other,” she said. She finished fourth overall.
Jerad McClure of Team Alaska took the gold in the junior male event with a time of 20:06. Kate Bolivar ran it in 23:19 and took the gold for Northwest Territories in the junior female race.
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