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Mammoth Biathlon History

Mammoth Biathlon History

Timeline

August 2007 – Benton, CA. the First Annual Picken Ranch Summer Biathlon event attracts 62 racers: 5 targets.  The event generates more excitement and interest in Biathlon than was originally expected.  1980 Team USA Olympic Biathlete Glen Jobe wears Honorary Bib #1 and wins overall race.

March 2008 - USFS grants permission to use  Obsidian Dome land for First Annual Mammoth Winter Biathlon.   Event draws 103 racers.  USFS and Mammoth Nordic 501c3 volunteer grooming machines. 8 targets – 25 meter shoot. Glen Jobe returns to win his second Mammoth Biathlon.  2nd Annual Summer Biathlon at Picken Ranch held in August 2008.

March 2009 – Mammoth Mountain, LLC  allows Mammoth Winter Biathlon Project to be held at Tamarack Cross Country Ski Area  (Mammoth Pack Station) and provides professional grooming.  The Town of Mammoth Lakes provides 1 day variance to “No Shooting in Lakes Basin Statute” for event.  Mammoth Biathlon Project is incorporated into bi-laws of Eastern Sierra Nordic Ski Association 501c3 (ESNSA) and begins to get sponsors for the event.  The late Andrew C. Bourne, MD, is first official patron of the Mammoth Winter Biathlon. 153 racers, 10 targets – 25 meters shoot.  3rd and final Annual Summer Biathlon held at Picken Ranch in August 2009.

March 2010 –  Mammoth Pack Station Venue. The First Disabled Athlete completes course.  Seven  ”Elite” athletes compete including prior Olympic trialist, Mark Sheppard of Altius Firearms in West Yellowstone, Montana. Katja Ivanova, 2006 Olympian from Belarus  wins overall event.  175 racers, 12 targets – 25 meter shoot.  Mammoth Winter Biathlon outgrows its venue and becomes the Largest Citizen Winter Biathlon in the USA.

February 2011 –   Giant Steps:  Team USA members are invited to Mammoth to race  the “Exhibition Event” .  The  National Guard is represented by 5 states and the National Guard Cup Team Competition is initiated.  Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra joins the Wounded Warrior Program and begins training biathletes for the event.  Olympic Biathlete and Team USA Coach, John Morton of Morton Trails joins United States Olympic Committee (USOC) member, Tracy Lamb to inspect the Mammoth Winter Biathlon as a potential site for a permanent range/stadium in Mammoth to be used for High Altitude Training.  Mammoth Mountain, LLC becomes Official Host Venue, Ford Motor Company signs on as Official Title Sponsor. Town of Mammoth Lakes awards Measure R funds for 20 Biathlon specific mats and  20 junior specific rifles. Cable Network TV American Trigger Sport Network ATSN.com agrees to film the event in HD with Helicopter following Elite Race. Optimism is high as Mammoth Lakes is beginning to draw attention as North America’s Largest Citizen Winter Biathlon.

March 2011 –    Horseshoe Lake Venue. Record Winter  Storm hits the Eastern Sierra just hours before the start of Race Weekend. Blizzard conditions postpone the buildout of the course and temporary Stadium. Ten plus feet of snow accumulate on the course in 48 hours prior to the first start wave. First day of Junior and Disabled Races relegated to  a XC ski race only with no shooting due to heavy snow and record wind speeds. Mother Nature threw her willpower at  event organizers and this becomes a “Do or Die” test for the Biathlon Movement in Mammoth. Elite Race Day Minus 1: The Helicopter film crew is grounded  - Final Decision, the stadium is not built, the course has not been groomed in 48 hours. The Townspeople of Mammoth Lakes appeared on at 0400am on race day, en masse, with tenacity, muscle and rugged hearts to fight the snow depth and build the Biathlon event venue. Led by Ryan Boyer of Boyer Construction, over 200 volunteers completed the feat in less than 4 hours. 217 racers ,20 targets, 50 meter shoot, Mass Start waves of 20.  Wynn Roberts,Team USA member and  2010 Olympian from Minnesota wins Men’s race and Lannie “Annie Oaklie” Barnes, team USA member and 2006, 2010 Olympian from Durango, Colorado dominates the Women’s Elite Race. Whit Raymond, announcer and professional sports commentator for Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii magnified  the energy of the day. The event is a huge success!  The Race Director is humbled beyond belief at what a group of people can accomplish when they work towards a common goal.

March 2012 –  Reds Lake Venue: The event is moved to Reds Lake on Mammoth Mountain Ski Area next to Chairs 13 and 14 in order to find a wind sheltered location and easier racer/spectator access. 237 racers, 20 targets, 50 meters shoot, Mass Start Wavs of 20. TV personality Molly Smith from ATSN Cable Network TV films the event with a 25 minute video documentary on Winter Biathlon in Mammoth Lakes, CA, USA. Team USA members Corrine Malcolm and Raleigh Goessling win the Women’s and Men’s Elite Division.