Augustana ready for Calforex Cup
Calforex 18: Michael Schroeder of the Camrose Vikings Biathlon Club takes aim at the range during the Dev. 1 3 km Sprint race of the third leg of the Calforex Cup in Camrose last year. File photo/Camrose Canadian
Biathlon is a sport that combines the intense physical exertion of skiing, along with fine control and the stability associated with shooting. This extreme sport is coming to Camrose this weekend.
This is the twelfth year Camrose has hosted the Calforex Cup, a province-wide series of eight races.
The Calforex Cup will be held in Camrose this Saturday and Sunday, with at 10 a.m. race start times. It will be held at Camrose Shooting Sport/Biathlon Range, which is about 10 kilometres south of Camrose. Organizaers are expecting about 150 competitors, including six from Augustana and nine from the Camrose Ski Club.
“Although biathlon is an individual sport, we train as a team,” said Lowell Niven.
Biathlon is a winter sport which combines cross-country skiing and riffle shooting. In a race they will ski a loop of the course before entering the shooting range. Once there they will need to lower their heart rates so that they are able to hit their target. If they miss the target, they will be penalized before continuing on with more skiing.
Biathlon was fist invented to be used as a survival method for the Norwegian military. It was later altered to be used as a demonstration for the 1924 Olympics but was called military patrol. In 1960 the name was changed back to biathlon and became on official Olympic sport.
This is Lowell Niven’s fourth season as the head coach for the Augustana Vikings Nordic Sports teams. He coaches both the Camrose Ski Club and the biathlon program at Augustana. Les Parsons was Niven’s coach when he was competing. Parsons recruited Niven to take over the both clubs.
“I only ask my athletes to do their best, but I have hope that they will all do well,” said Niven.
He adds the club and the university rely heavily upon volunteers to ensure the course prepped and to run the race.
Weather almost always plays a big role in the weekend and in past years has been cancelled due to no snow or too cold temperatures, with the minus-20 Celsius being the limit.
The long-term forecast does look promising for the weekend, but that can change at any time.
“There is unfortunately no back up plan if the race is canceled because the season is as tight as it can be,” said Lowell Niven.