By Lt. Col. D.J. Gibb, 801-716-9063
| For Immediate Release | Jan. 8, 2020
2018 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships (Photo by Sgt. Nathaniel Free)
The Utah National Guard is set to host biathlon competitors from Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Oregon for the Western Regional National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championship at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, in Midway, Utah, January 10-11, 2020. The competition is free and open to public spectators.
Biathlon is a unique race that combines Nordic skiing and precision marksmanship. For members of the military, these skills directly translate to key battlefield proficiencies like shoot, move and communicate.
The opening ceremony for the Western Regional National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championship is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 9 at 8 a.m. at the Scott Lundell Readiness Center at Camp Williams. The first race will begin on Friday, January 10, at 10 a.m., weather permitting, at the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center in Midway, Utah.
There will be two events. The Sprint Race is a 10-kilometer race for men and seven-and-a-half-kilometer race for women, consisting of both prone and standing shooting positions, hitting golf-ball sized targets at a range of 50 meters. The Pursuit Race is 12 ½ kilometers for men and 10 kilometers for women, with competitors shooting multiple times. Each event will run for approximately two to three hours.
Two former Olympians are scheduled to compete in the event: Sgt. First Class Jeremy Teela and Col. Robert Duncan Douglass, both from Utah.
Utah will be defending its first place championships for both men’s and women’s teams, the first state to ever claim both awards at once.
The Utah National Guard Biathlon Teams will be defending the national title at both the Regional Championship, and the Chief, National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championship in Feb. 28, 2020, when the national championship biathlon returns to Utah.
Utah hosted the national championship for the first time in 2018, where more than 180 National Guardsmen from 24 different states competed for top honors. The national championship includes two longer team events: the Patrol and Relay Races.
An awards and closing ceremony is scheduled to occur Saturday 4 p.m. at the Scott Lundell Readiness Center on Camp Williams.
Media Notes: Please RSVP with Lt. Col. D.J. Gibb via text 801-716-9209 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as race times are dependent upon weather and other factors. Service members and leadership will be available for interview upon request. The address of the Soldier Hollow Nordic center is 2002 Soldier Hollow Lane, Midway, Utah 84049. Updates will be posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #UTNGBiathlon2020.