Corrine Malcolm, the Multitasker - Page 3
You probably get this question a lot, but how does one get into biathlon?
It’s a good question. I was unhappy in Bozeman in school, trying to take 18 credits a semester and ski, and was not living up to my potential in either realm.
One year, I qualified for NCAAs, but didn’t go—our team qualified five individuals and an older girl on the team got picked to go in my place. So I went to do junior nationals instead, and while I was there, I was approached by Piotr Bednarski, the director of athlete development for U.S. Biathlon. He convinced me that biathlon was my best opportunity to excel. I guess I was unhappy enough that I packed up my car and drove to northern Maine. I joined the biathlon team at the Maine Winter Sports Center, and started training full-time for a sport that I knew really nothing about except that I was going to ski with a rifle.
I made the U.S. junior world team after doing biathlon for six months or so, and qualified to go to the world junior championship. But I raced horribly—I was sick—so I went to the U-26 championship, also called the Open European Championships. I raced well there and got up on the podium by finishing sixth. It was the best finish by a U.S. junior in a decade, and after that I was invited to join the U.S. team.
You’re training full-time. How does running factor in?
I’m not really training specifically for running. It plays second fiddle, but, still, I run probably more than anyone else on the team. I’ve always been able to jump into a few races—I ran in the Great Adirondack Trail Run last year and I’m hoping to run it again in June.
I meet with my coaches and say, “I want to run this race,” and sometimes get turned down. They see the big picture, and I see three months. They’re the ones who have to understand how doing a 10K might fit into the training block we’re in.
You’re planning to run Loon Mountain in July, which is the qualifying race for the U.S. Women’s Mountain Running Team. Did you choose this race because of the chance to qualify for the team?
I’d heard that this race was going to be the qualifier. That it’s an ascent-only race helps my coaches, since they don’t want me barreling downhill for five miles. But I’m doing it partly because it’s fun to run against people who are specifically runners, not skiers, and see how I stack up.
Still, I’m running a lot. I’m putting in the miles and I’m putting in the time. All I’m really missing is speed work.
What are your expectations for the race?
I’m really competitive, but I finish second a lot. I haven’t won a lot of races so maybe that’s why I keep racing. But going into it, I think I have as good a shot at being up there as anyone else. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t make the team, and if I do make it, I get to try and convince my coaches to let me go to Europe in September. That’s the goal.