Camp Ripley to host biathlon competition

The Minnesota National Guard will begin hosting the Chief of the National Guard biathlon race this Thursday.

The annual competition is held at Camp Ripley, just north of Little Falls, and includes more than 120 soldiers and airmen from 20 states as well as four soldier-athletes from Croatia.

The event will be held over five days on Camp Ripley’s dedicated biathlon range.

Racers will compete in four categories: a sprint race, pursuit race, relay race and a Patrol Race that is ‘designed to mirror a specific military operation’.

The National Guard says biathlon competitions build useful fitness and marksmanship skills for participants.

“Camp Ripley provides the perfect conditions to be able to train in a cold-weather environment and shoot while under a stressful environment” said Brigadier General Lowell Kruse, Senior Commander of Camp Ripley.

Minnesota has a team in the competition made up of four women and seven men, consisting of both officers and enlisted personnel.

The National Guard has three biathletes currently participating in the Winter Olympics, although none are from Minnesota.