I gave it my best shot, but keeping a rifle dead-center on a target while your heart's pounding and your hands are shaking from a hard sprint of cross-country skiing is darn near impossible. (On the upside, the ski trails were great and I didn't hit any wildlife.)
I was challenging the biathlon trail at Falcon Trails Resort, just down the road from Falcon Beach Ranch in Manitoba's Whoteshell Provincial Park. That's where Megan Imrie, one of Canada's biathlon medal hopefuls at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and ParalympicWinter Games, grew up; she still calls it home even though she trains in Canmore, AB. Her parents' horse ranch with guest chalets has plenty of cross-country ski trails nearby-trails she skied as a kid.
The 23-year-old makes the biathlon look easy. She helped garner her team's Olympic qualification by placing ninth at the 2009 World Championships in South Korea. She also holds both the North American and Canadian 2009 Championships.
Drop by Imrie's home ranch to try a little winter horseback riding (I found bareback the most cozy), ski through boreal forest, or try your hand at the real-deal biathlon trail. And since you're in the neighbourhood, test some other fine Manitoba ski trails, including the 15-km (9-mi) Falcon Ridge Ski Area and Winnipeg's Windsor Park Nordic Centre (with eight km [5 mi] of night-lit trails).
Veteran Canadian writer, journalist, and broadcaster, Judy Waytiuk is based in Winnipeg, MB. She loves "soft adventure," history, nature and cultural travel, has written hundreds of features for dozens of newspapers and magazines, and holds five major national and international awards for her travel writing. Her heart is happiest when she's writing about Canada. www.wordsink.ca
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