Gilford, NH – February 11, 2024 – Gunstock Nordic Association – After a record warm and wet winter, warm temperatures and bluebird skies welcomed 129 skiers of all ages for one of GNA’s most loved events of the year, the Valentine’s Paintball Biathlon.

Jump to Results and Podium Photos ↓

BKL skier with on the podium with Lindt chocolate caramel truffle prizeBiathletes ranged from Bill Koch League junior skiers (our youngest skier was just 3 years old) to seasoned master skiers (oldest at age 75). Instead of the 22mm target rifles used in official biathlon, skiers use Tippmann paintball guns on a modified shooting range. Competitors 16 and older skied an individual-start time trial, racing 3 laps on a challenging 2.3km circuit. Younger skiers raced on shorter courses in a series of mass start races. Every skier got two shoots (trips to the shooting range) for a chance to improve their ski times, earning a 10-second time deduction for every target hit.

Gunstock Mountain Resort’s grooming team worked their magic on the wet tracks and patched together enough machine-made snow to allow all the races to go off without a hitch. Despite the wet and warm conditions, the tracks held up reasonably well. With that being said, the wet tracks still posed a few challenges for the racers—mainly on the burmed up Crossbow hairpin downhill corner, which saw its share of wipeouts! Fortunately, none of them were serious and only added another element of excitement of the event! After the race, skiers enjoyed sharing their trials and mishaps with their fellow competitors.

In the Women’s race, U18 skier Georgia Eckhardt (GNA) skied fast and flawlessly, taking the top placing. The Men’s race was won by GNA alumnus and the ever fast Sam Evans-Brown of Concord Nordic. Since Sam’s junior years, he’s strung together an impressive run of Paintball victories!

Taking 4th overall in the Women’s race and the youngest skier in the senior women’s field, was eight grader Corva Hannon of the Holderness Nordic Club. With ski speed like that, it won’t be long before we see her taking the top step!

The U16 Girls event was won by Grace Weinstein of the Ford Sayre Ski Club.

In the afternoon’s Bill Koch races, Elsie Mewer (Agamenticus Ski Club) won the Girls Grade 1–2 race and Rohan Kapadia (Ford Sayre Ski Club) won the Boys. Grades 3–4 were won by Hadley Bassett (Andover Outing Club) and Oliver Marchetti (Ford Sayre Ski Club). Grades 5–6 were won by Riley Mae Mask (Plymouth Nordic) and Oran Gavin Vergo of (Ford Sayre Ski Club). The Girls and Boys Grade 7–8 races were won by Lena Scavone (Ford Sayre Ski Club) and Ethan Cathey (Agamenticus Ski Club).

Tess Eckhardt of GNA enters the range Tess Eckhardt of GNA enters the range. Tess placed second in the grade 7–8 races.

The day’s top target shooter award goes to Aiden Bondaz of GNA, who hit an amazing 9 out of 10 targets! Impressive shooting, especially considering that paintball rifles are not the most accurate shot.

A special thanks goes out to the Ford Sayre Ski Club who brought a team of 27 skiers, Agamenticus Ski Club who brought 15 skiers, and Holderness Ski Club who brought 13 skiers the race!

We would also like to thank all volunteers, and our race sponsors: Gunstock Mountain Resort and Lindt & Sprüngli (USA) Inc who provided the chocolate caramel truffle prizes.

GNA would like to thank all race participants for making this year’s edition a big success!


Podium Photos


U20 and U18

Masters W2 and M2

Masters M4, M6 and M10

BKL Girls and Boys, 7th and 8th Grades

BKL Girls and Boys, 5th and 6th Grades

BKL Girls and Boys, 3rd and 4th Grades

BKL Girls and Boys, 1st and 2nd Grades

BKL Lollipop


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