2019 Valentine’s Paintball Biathlon Race Report
Gilford, NH – February 10, 2019 – Gunstock Nordic Association – Under bluebird skies and near-flawless snow conditions thanks to Gunstock Mountain Resort’s snow farming and grooming, 99 skiers of all ages gathered for one of GNA’s most loved events of the year—the Valentine’s Paintball Biathlon.
Biathletes ranged from NENSA Bill Koch League junior skiers (our youngest skier was just 2 years old!) to seasoned master skiers (oldest at age 70). Instead of the 22mm target rifles used in official biathlon, skiers use Tippmann paintball guns on a modified shooting range. Competitors from the ages of 14 and older skied an individual-start, time-trial race starting at 15-second intervals and raced 3 laps on a 1.64 km course. Younger skiers in the Bill Koch age categories skied shorter courses in a mass-start race. Every skier got two shoots (trips to the shooting range) for a chance to improve their ski times, earning a 10-second time deduction for every target hit.
Jessica Nelson of the UNH Ski Club took the overall women’s title and Sam Evans-Brown of Concord Nordic defended his title while setting a blistering course time to take the overall title.
In the U16 race, GNA’s Catherine Stow won for the second year in a row, and Oren Avrahami of Arlington, Massachusetts won the boys’ U16 title.
In the Bill Koch league races, the Agamenticus Ski Club (ASC) from York Maine brought a full contingent of skiers (even more than last year!) and had success in nearly every age category. In the 7–8 grade races, Mirra Payson (EMBK) won the girls’ race and showed incredible shooting skills. On the Boy’s side, GNA skier, Tyler Watt took top honors.
In the 5–6 grade group, Ella Ronci (Holderness Bill Koch) took the girl’s race while Dean Ayotte (Concord Nordic BKL) won the boys race. (Dean won the 3-4 race last year!)
Grades 3–4 was won by Rhys Jones of Holderness BKL and Evan Anderson of Concord Nordic BKL. Grades 1–2 was won by William Watkins of East Andover, Massachusetts.
The day’s youngest skier, Colin Petrov (at age 2!), skied two laps around the stadium and won a beautiful handcrafted wooden medal!
Special thanks goes out to the UNH Nordic Ski Club who brought a team of seven and Agamenticus Ski Club who brought an incredible 23 skiers to the event! We would also like to thank our race sponsors, Gunstock Mountain Resort, Lindt & Sprüngli (USA) Inc., Tippmann Sports, and Rock House Barbecue.
GNA would like to thank all race participants! Results and photos are now posted below.
2019 Course Map