Locals training for Summer Biathlon National Championships | SierraSun.com

Locals training for Summer Biathlon National Championships

Courtesy photo Phil Violett, 26, trains last week at the range; he is a longtime member of Auburn Ski Club (since he was 7 years old).

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The National Summer Biathlon Championships are coming to Tahoe next week. Auburn Ski Club is hosting the event at its Training Center on Donner Summit. Organizers report that entries are coming in from across the nation to take part in this annual test of running and shooting skills.

Summer biathlon has grown out of one of the original Winter Olympic sports of biathlon, in which athletes challenge their cross-country ski and shooting skills. Biathlon has become one of the most watched of the winter sports in Europe and is gaining popularity in America.

In winter, biathletes cross-country ski a course carrying a specialized .22 caliber rifle on their backs, stopping to shoot at targets 50 meters away. Each shooting round involves five shots with a 150-meter penalty loop being required to be skied for each miss.

In summer, biathletes leave their rifles on the range and replace skiing with running. The shooting is the same and#8212; runners have to calm their breathing and pulse as they enter the range so they can have the best chance to hit the targets which are 50 meters away, and just 115 millimeter rounds for standing rounds and 45 millimeters for prone rounds.

The Auburn Ski Club has the only biathlon shooting range in the region, attracting athletes year-round who wish to try biathlon and train for local and regional competitions.

Phil Violett, a club member, has his sights set on following his coachesand#8217; lead to make the National Team and competing in the Winter Olympics. Club Coach Glenn Jobe and#8212; an Olympian in the 1980 Games and#8212; is excited about the growth in interest in biathlon, and with the help of other enthusiasts is working with a group of juniors and masters to get them ready for the National Championships.

The local event takes place Aug. 24-26 at its Training Center on Donner Summit (next to Boreal Mountain Resort). There will also be a 3-kilometer novice race and 1-kilometer youth race offered Saturday, Aug. 25 (no experience required and#8212; mandatory safety clinic will be given before the race). More details can be found at Auburn Ski Cluband#8217;s website, http://www.auburnskiclub.org/nordic/ biathlon, or by emailing biathlon@assoc.auburnskiclub.org.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


National Forest visits soared in 2020


New data shows more people than ever visited national forests and grasslands last year, according to a U.S. Forest Service report recently released. National forests and grasslands received 168 million visits in 2020 — an…

See more