Mammoth Lakes — Ski fast! Shoot straight! The Mammoth Biathlon, organized by Eastern Sierra Nordic Ski Association (ESNSA) in conjunction with Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, and in partnership with the US Forest Service, Inyo National Forest, has a history of being one of the community’s favorite events for locals and visitors alike. The event combines cross-country skiing with rifle target shooting in a competitive race where all ages and abilities are welcome and encouraged to participate.
“We are very excited to be holding the event at Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center on the Dome and Vista trails that we hope will become the permanent Mammoth Biathlon site. This site was evaluated and recommended five years ago by John Morton of Morton Trails, a former US Olympic biathlete and coach and an expert in the planning, design, and construction of sport and recreational trail systems for cross country skiing and other outdoor activities. This year’s event will be scaled down from past events, but this site will make the Mammoth Biathlon much more sustainable and allow expansion of the local biathlon program,” said Race Director Tom Reid, M.D..
The event will offer races in the following categories: Junior boys and girls (ages U8, U10, U12 U16, U18 and U20); Wounded Warriors and Athletes with disabilities; beginner adults; Red Book Certified adults; and master & senior adults. Youth races (19 years and under) cost $40 and adult races (20 years and older) cost $65. Race distances range from 1.5km to 6.5km, depending on the category. Racers shoot from a distance of 50m, except for the younger Juniors (U8 and U10) who shoot from 25m.
Owning a biathlon rifle is not a prerequisite to register. ESNSA and Eastern Sierra Armory will be providing racers who do not have a biathlon rifle with a rifle and ammunition. Participants using community rifles leave the rifle at the range while they ski the course. Elite racers who own their own rifle and are Red Book certified are the only racers allowed to ski the course with their own rifles.
“Safety is of paramount importance to the event coordination team and there will be range procedure demonstrations and mandatory safety discussions immediately preceding every race. There will be a safety officer at every lane, with every rifle and competitor to ensure everyone, especially the kids, have a safe and fun experience,” said Al Davis, Chief of Mammoth Lakes Police Department and Range Master.
The Mammoth Winter Biathlon is the primary annual fundraiser for ESNSA and as such, the event requires support. To volunteer, please sign up at:https://www.signupgenius.com/
For more information or for race registration, visit www.mammothbiathlon.org. Events and races subject to change. Space is limited, so register today. Note that this year’s registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on March 15, 2017.