The sport of biathlon combines the endurance of cross country skiing with the precision of target shooting. Biathlon has its origins with Scandinavian hunters and is now an Olympic sport with competing athletes from all around the world. Biathlon Saskatchewan organizes and supports training and competitive races around the province for participants from beginners just starting out to Olympic class competitors of all ages.
There are categories for racers of all ages from youngsters through masters. Racers ski a trail of one to five Km. (depending on age and total race distance) then come into the shooting range where they fire five rounds at five targets. Each miss incurs a penalty in either added time or extra distance to ski. The skier then skis the next leg of the race, shoots again, skis the next leg... until the race distance is covered. Short races have three ski legs and two stops to shoot, longer races five ski legs and four shooting stops. The rifle is a 22 calibre target rifle modified for biathlon use with the addition of a backpack style carrying harness, snow covers, and magazine holder.
When training and racing, younger skiers leave the rife at the firing range while they ski, older skiers carry the rifle on their backs. Biathlon Saskatchewan provides a rifle rental service (conditions apply). Anyone interested in giving biathlon a try is welcome to attend scheduled races. Arrangements can be made for the use of a rifle and instruction if prior notice is given.
For information about the Biathlon, please contact Doug Sylvester at (306) 445-6887 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Biathlon Saskatchewan website is also a useful source of information.