Public invited to watch National Guard Regional Biathlon

The National Guard Regional Biathlon competition of the upper Midwest will take place on Camp Ripley Saturday, Jan. 26, from 9 a.m. – noon. The public is invited to attend this exciting competition.

The biathlon is a cross-country ski and shooting competition in which competitors ski as fast as possible for several kilometers with a .22-caliber rifle strapped to their backs. At a designated shooting area adjacent to the track the skiers stop and shoot at several small targets according to Maj. John Donovan a spokesperson for Camp Ripley.

Skiers are awarded for the fastest time and best accuracy. “Missed shots can result in additional time being added to a skier’s time or having additional laps added to the skier’s race,” said Donovan.

The races have always been open to the public, but this year Camp Ripley is making a special effort to allow citizens to enjoy the competition. “Visitors to Camp Ripley who wish to watch the race will be able to park at the Range Control parking lot and bus transportation to and from the race will be provided free-of-charge” said Chief Warrant Officer Four Marie Festler.

Visitors wishing to attend the competition only need to present a valid driver’s license to front gate personnel. From the front gate motorists will drive straight ahead until they come to the Range Control parking lot where transportation will be provided to the race area added Festler.

Those with questions about the competition may contact the Camp Ripley Public Affairs office at (320) 616-3122.