• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Sochi Paralympics – Day 6: Mark Arendz

      March 10, 2014


      Seconds Matter
      What a whirlwind last two days! First, the 11th edition of the Paralympic Winter Games have official begun. The first races of the Games took place complete with excitement and thrilling moments. I stayed up at the Village during the Opening Ceremonies, watching the parade of Nations but running out of time to watch the rest of the show. I’ll save that for later, I heard it was a great spectacle and I plan to eventually watch it. I was in my routine, getting ready for bed, read a chapter or two and then going to sleep. I fell asleep also right away and was up just before my alarm at 8. Race Day! After working towards this day for almost four years it had finally come and it was time to prove what I’ve learned these past few years.

      First up for me was the Biathlon Short Distance race. The sun was shining, but more importantly the tracks were firm from a combination of salting and temperatures just freezing. I smiled when I first skied on the trails. This was what I was hoping for. When I arrived at the site, one of the first things I had to do was test my skis. Along with my coach I tested four pairs of skis and from those four selected my race skis. From there I continued to warming up, skiing the course. Inspecting how the course was set up, where the fastest lines would be and how to approach the corners. Then with about 40 minutes before my race start I made my way to the range and zeroed. Zeroing is where I adjust my rifle to the conditions for that day, based on wind and sunlight. It wasn’t my best zero but I was confident enough in it that I was ready. I then went to the start area; I remained focused on what I needed to do. Clean shooting and follow my race plan on the course...