High level biathlons possible at Terrace Rod & Gun Club

The Terrace Rod & Gun Club is offering free training for its fifth annual Mountain Bike Biathlon on its upgraded biathlon range.

Dirk Batjer takes aim under the careful eye of Dad Brett at a mountain bike biathlon training session held at the Terrace Rod and Gun Club last Saturday.

The Terrace Rod and Gun Club’s bike and precision shooting biathlon range is now built up to competitive standards and the club is contemplating hosting regional and provincial competitions in the next few years.

“In the last two and half years, we’ve had over $60,000 worth of donated equipment time, equipment, supplies, and labour, to build our biathlon range to a level where we can host provincial or national events if we wanted to,” said Chris Schooner, club biathlon chair.

“We are building our training and support teams before we take this big step. We are seeking more volunteers… Hopefully within a year or two we can be hosting regional and possibly provincial events.”

Schooner says the club plans to send six or more Terrace competitors to Smithers and Burns Lake biathlons this winter. “We have a lot of interest, in fact the race continues to grow each year,” he said of the mountain bike biathlon.

The fifth annual Terrace Mountain Bike Biathlon is October 10, and the club is offering free training every Wednesday and Saturday until the race, but people should bring a bike and helmet.

“We strongly encourage people to give it a try,” said Schooner.

Racers will speed around varying lengths of bike track, then stop at the shooting range, lay down, and shoot five rounds at five targets. Different age ranges repeat the cycle a different number of times.

Schooner says everyone starts together, and races end with a final loop on the bikes, racing for the finish line.

The event is open for ages six and up, with a special “Biathlon for Fun,” for children ages six and seven.

“We invite and strongly encourage anyone interested to come out to watch and cheer on the competitors,” said Schooner.