The girls got their first shot at paintball biathlon on a cold, sunny Saturday at the Mountaintop Inn near Killington, Vermont.
The shooting range was located in the middle of a 1K loop. Ava was disappointed that she only got to ski one loop for the 1st and 2nd grade division. She made up for it by skiing multiple laps before the race started and she kept skiing the sidelines after her race. The lollipopers, Julia's category for preschoolers and kindergartners, did not shoot during their 1/2 K race but they did get to try some practice shots. Though the paper-plate target was big, there were not a lot of hits from the younger age groups. Looking through the rifle sight to see the target is a new concept for most of the kids, who are skiers but not shooters.
Ava had the fastest ski time in her group of about 15 girls, but placed second behind a girl who hit more targets. (I don't think Ava hit any.) Her actual ski time beat the boys' times, too, which goes to show that good, classic skiing can be fast even though skating has the look of being fast.
At some point, Ava will learn to skate, which is the required technique for a traditional biathlon. But for now, she and her sister are classic skiing and doing fine. Julia placed third in her group and she skied without poles.
Now, we'll just have to get the girls to practice shooting.