The Vancouver Island Biathlon Club is excited about hosting the B.C. Championships. Photo by Bill Jorgensen

The Vancouver Island Biathlon Club is excited about hosting the B.C. Championships. Photo by Bill Jorgensen

Biathlon provincials coming to Mt. Washington

Hundreds of athletes, parents, spectators and supporter are expected at the Biathlon Provincial Championships, which the Vancouver Island Biathlon Club hosts Feb. 28-March 1 at Mount Washington.

The prestigious is an opportunity for the club to showcase its facility, and to allow visitors to enjoy the snowy trails at Mt. Washington and the hospitality of the Comox Valley.

The annual championships draw the best biathletes of all ages. Race days are busy and provide ample excitement for spectators as biathletes ski fast then focus their attention on hitting targets in the range. Success at these championships can pave the way to national and international competitions.

The club is no stranger to hosting high-profile events. Aside from two Paralympic World Cups, a BC Cup and two BC Winter Games, the club has provided an alternate training venue for national teams from Germany, China, the Czech Republic and other countries during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. With a fully automated shooting range second only to the one at Whistler Olympic Park, it’s no wonder that visitors to B.C. want to train at Mt. Washington.

What is biathlon?

Long-time member Christoph Dettling explains: “Biathlon is a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship. In most races, athletes fire at five targets after skiing a loop on a very hilly course. The elevated heart rate creates a real challenge in hitting targets 50 metres away. These targets are 4.5 cm for prone position shooting and 11.5 cm for the standing shoot. In most races, athletes must ski a penalty loop for every shot missed which gives clean shooters a chance to win.”

We need your help

Biathlon is unlike any other sport, and help is needed to make sure the event is a success. Volunteers are required in positions from recording the fast-paced results in the range to ski times on the course.

No experience? No problem. We will be holding a free entry level officials course on Feb. 1 that will provide skills needed to enjoy an event and contribute to the world of sport. The club holds a fun race Feb. 2 where volunteers can put new skills into action before the big race weekend. Send an email to volunteer4vibc@gmail.com.

More information

If you’re a business and interested in having your name/logo on race bibs and an official invitation, send an email to vibiathlonclub@gmail.com

Many thanks to Coastal Community Credit Union for donating $500 towards race bibs.

Are you looking to get involved in the Olympic sport of biathlon? The Vancouver Island Biathlon Club offers programs for all ages, and also holds fun races in the winter and summer.

FMI: www.vibiathlon.ca