Doug & Chuck's Blog - Feb 18 (Final Entry)

Race Day #4 - Relays

It was another early start and off to Martock on the 7 AM bus.  I think we have the early morning routine down pat by now!  Prior to leaving, we had to clean out the lock-up unit as all equipment will go directly to the airport after the last race today.

Conditions were less than ideal today - temperatures were about -3 C and we had sleet and snow in the morning as the Men's race started....which then turned to 6 straight hours of rain for the rest of the time out there.  We were all fairly soaked and my coat is still drying out even now!

The boys race consisted of three loops of 2.5 km in length, shooting prone and standing with three extra rounds for each and then penalty loops for any remaining targets after that.  It was a mass start, with the 9 official teams lining up first and then the 1 unofficial Yukon/NWT Team lining up by ourselves in the second row.  Joseph was starting the relay, then Brandon, and Jeremy Johnson from the Yukon was the anchor.

Joseph had a very good race this morning, and had the NWT in 5th of the 10 teams after his leg of the relay.  Joseph cleaned his prone and had to do one penalty loop after his standing.  Brandon also shot well, hitting 9 of 10 targets and doing one penalty loop for the prone.  As Brandon finished his portion of the relay, we were in 10th position and in a race to the finish with Nova Scotia.  Jeremey hit 9 of 10 targets as well, missing one in the standing, and anchored the team to a 10th place finish and about a minute and a half behind NS.

The Girl's race had 3 loops of 2 km in sequence.  They had the same shooting sequence and start as the boys earlier in the day.  Erin Oliver-Beebe got us off to a good start, shooting 9 of 10 (one penalty lap prone) and had us in 6th after her leg.  Next was Jennifer Curtis of the Yukon, who hit 9 of 10 (one miss standing) in the range and kept us in the thick of things.  Gaylen was the anchor of the team and had a good start, cleaning her prone.  In the standing, Gaylen missed 3 of her 5 targets and then skiied our way to a 6th place overall finish in the relay.  Since we are an unofficial team, the standings will not reflect this, but we ended up ahead of Sask, PEI, NB and NS in terms of our final time. 

Next was pack up time - guns, skis, wax kit, radios, etc.....  We checked in 14 pieces of luggage out at Martock before climbing on board the bus for the final hour long ride back to Halifax.

Once back, a good friend texted to let me know that he had three extra tickets for the gold medal hockey game!  Wow!  Chuck, Joseph and Brandon were three rows up from the ice as BC beat Quebec 7-4 to win the gold medal.  Joseph and Brandon even got their faces up on the big screen at on the score clock!  Charlene and Gaylen managed to purchase some tickets for the game as well....can you say nosebleed? 

We are up at 8 Am tomorrow and must be checked out of the room by 9 Am as they prepare for the second week of the Games.  We will be meeting Charlene and Gail for breakfast before they depart on the Alberta charter for home.  We are then off to the airport at 10:30 Am to check in our bags and to get the boarding passes.  After this, we have the afternoon and early evening free in Halifax for one final visit and last minute shopping.  It is back to the airport at 8 Pm for our 9:30 Pm departure.  We travel back to Iqualiut to drop off Nunavut and then arrive in Yellowknife at 1:55 AM.   Bob Swallow will be meeting us with the truck and will transport all the gear back to Hay River on Sunday morning.  It will be off to the hotel in Yellowknife by 3 Am or so to crash....and then home on First Air to Hay River and Northwestern Air to Ft Smith on Sunday afternoon.

The coaching staff - Chuck, Doug, Paul and Gail - are proud to have been part of Team NWT and to work with four outstanding young men and women this week!  They skiied their hearts out and left nothing on the table as they represented the north at the Canada Winter games this week! 

Congratulations, and we celebrate your results and accomplishments Joseph, Gaylen, Brandon and Charlene!