National Championships next month. Need to be able to run 5k and shoot a .22. Give it a shot! http://biathlon.teamusa.org/news/2010/07/08/2010-usba-summer-biathlon-national-championship-update/37113
It could be a great tradition - I think that it is friggin' awesome. Basically the same as biathlon on skis - run an x.c. type loops. shoot 5 targets with an air rifle or .22 rifle at 25 meters or 50 meters (5 shots) depending on level within 60 seconds, each target missed results in a 100m penalty.
I've never done this, but I know that the regional club does one or two clinics a year for newbies. Here's a calendar with a list of events in the northeast: http://www.pabiathlon.org/Current.site/Current%20Pages/Events.htm
I did one of these back in the early-mid 1990's in Jericho, VT. Fun event, tough but do-able. Never shot a gun before that, but managed to hit 2 prone and 3 standing out of 5 per position. Oh man that was a tough 5k course! Super hilly on XC trails with a pretty big uphill back into the shooting range. If it's the same way now as back then, the organizers do a great job before the race helping those who have no experience with firearms learn the basics so you can do the event.
So, you don't carry your own gun?! Aw c'mon summer guys, carry your own gun. haha
How are the rifles handled? Do you use race-provided rifles at each station? Do you bring your own and have them delivered to the stations? What's the logistics of it all?
I did one of these back in the mid-90s here in PDX. It was held out at a National Guard camp and you had to attend a mandatory safety session the day before.
The 5k was three one-mile loops of a XC course with the .1 added to the end of the final loop. After the first loop, you had to stop 50m before the target range and walk into it, finding an open stall with a .22 caliber target-type rifle there. You loaded the five-shot clip into the rifle and took aim at the salad plate size target 25 meters away, firing in the prone position the first time through. After your 5th shot, you had to walk 50m out of the range before resuming running. The second time through, you shot in the standing position. The clock is running thoughout.
Having always had a keen interest in the winter biathlon, I always wanted to try this event to really see how tough it was, but never lived near xc skiing areas. So when the summer version came along, I jumped at the opportunity to give it a, err, shot.
I already had a lot of experience both running and with target shooting (pistol). In the event I did, for ever target you hit, you got to subtract five seconds from you overall time.
I actually managed to hit 9 out of 10 targets, missing one in the standing position. The thing that got to me the most was not the elevated HR or breathing, although that was tough. It was the sweat running down my face and into my eyes. Next time I would wear a headband or something.
I think my overall time was something like 17:55, including the :45 I got to subtract for hitting nine targets. I loved doing this and wish there were more summer version events around. You could say I had a real blast and got a big bang out of it! Badda-bump. :)
In what I have read and seen in the past day - it appears that some courses are set up in a single loop or clover leaf where the shooting station is centralized and the guns are not carried. This would make sense because running with a gun or running with say a backpack is different than skiing or cycling with one. I have XC skied with a backpack and it is like riding a bike ... I have also run with a backpack and it bounces around too much. Besides, the locals seeing some guy running through the woods huffing and puffing with a gun on my back would probably die of fright right there.
I am going to set up my own course near my house and give it a go - simply training for this seems like a blast (as someone else said). Becoming more fit helps with the shooting.
Yes, back in the early-mid 90's. US Biathlon Assocattion went around the country putting on these events. They provided all the guns, but you could use your own if you wanted to as long as it was bolt action. I did several and thought they were a blast. All the events in my area kind of faded away.
Summer Biathlon is a warm weather variant of Winter Biathlon. In Cross Biathlon skiing is replaced by running.
Unlike winter biathlon, in cross biathlon rifles are left in the shooting range on a rack. Competitors pick up rifles as they enter, and leave them as they exit the range area.
Shooting is the same as in winter biathlon. For each shooting, in prone and standing position, competitors have five rounds to hit five targets set at 50 meters. A 70 m penalty loop must be run for every shot missed. In individual race 30 seconds are added to competitor's time for every shot missed.
Competitions held in cross biathlon are:
The sprint is 4 kilometres for men and 3 kilometres for women; the distance is divided into three laps. The biathlete shoots twice, once prone and once standing, for a total of 10 shots. For each miss, a penalty loop of 70 m must be runned before the race can be continued. The biathletes start in intervals, usually of 30 or 15 seconds.
In a pursuit, biathletes' starts are separated by their time differences from a previous race, most commonly a sprint. The contestant crossing the finish line first is the winner. The distance is 6 km for men and 5 km for women, divided into five laps. There are four shooting bouts (two prone, two standing, in that order), and each miss means a penalty loop of 70 m. The biathletes shoot (on a first-come, first-served basis) at the lane corresponding to the position they arrived for all shooting bouts.
In the mass start, all biathletes start at the same time and the first across the finish line wins. The distance is 6 km for men and 5 km for women competition, it is divided into five laps. There are four bouts of shooting (two prone, two standing, in that order). Competitors must run a 70 m penalty loop for each miss.
The individual race is 7 km for men and 6 km for women; the distance is divided into five laps. The biathlete shoots four times, in the order of prone, standing, prone, standing, totalling 20 targets. For each missed target a fixed penalty time, usually 30 seconds, is added to the running time of the biathlete. The competitors start in intervals, usually of 30 or 15 seconds.
The relay teams consist of four biathletes, who each run 4 km (men) or 3 km (women). Each leg is divided into three laps, with two shooting rounds; one prone, one standing. For every round of five targets there are eight bullets available, though the last three can only be single-loaded manually one at a time. If after eight bullets there are still misses, a 70 m penalty loop must be taken for each missed target remaining. The first-leg participants start all at the same time. Every athlete of a team must touch the team's next-leg participant to perform a valid changeover.
The mixed relay is similar to the ordinary relay, but the teams consist of two women and two men. Legs 1 and 2 are done by the women, legs 3 and 4 by the men. The women legs are 3 km and men legs are 4 km as in ordinary relay competitions.
So these guys don't look like slackers.
And how often do you see this at road races?
I've done several summer biathlons in NY, NJ and PA - it is a great way to try something new if you are a little bored of road races. There aren't any spectacular runners in the Northeast - maybe 16:00 5k guys. But they can be beat by 17:30 5k guys because each penalty loop is about 20 seconds.
Many events have two classes: if you have a gun and if you don't. I started without a gun but then bought my own - roughly a $1500-3000 investment.
The sport is a great way to get off the roads - the problem is training for the shooting part is difficult unless you have a lot of money and live near a range.