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2008 Canadian Ski Nationals: Pictures and Report for Medium Distance Skate - March 19th
By:  Sheila Kealey   (2008/03/20)


Whistler Olympic Park didn't disappoint with tricky ski and waxing conditions for the skate race, as we were greeted to a huge snowfall and temperatures above zero. After yesterday's races, waxing for glide seemed so beautifully simple compared to waxing for grip on the slick and changing course. We're discovering that the area has it's own little microclimate that seems even hard for weather specialists to predict. The snow and precipitation 5km away can be totally different (and certainly drastically different than where we're staying in Squamish, which is rather springlike).

Today's skate race was in blizzard-like conditions, and the 4-lane wide track was reduced to a glazed single lane that was bumpy and challenged balance. Ivan Babikov won the open men's race, followed by Graham Nishikawa and Lars Flora, while Liz Stephen and Kikkan Randall of the US National team were 1st and 2nd for the open women, followed by Canada's Sarah Renner. Most XC Ottawa athletes improved on their performances from the classic races. Highlights were Alana Thomas placing 4th Canadian Junior woman, and Karl and Megan finishing among the top 15 Canadians in the Open class.

Tomorrow is a rest day, and Friday some of us will be participating in the skate sprint races, while the others will be testing skis and grip to prepare for Sunday's long distance event.

Here are some pictures from today . . .

Alana had a good time and a great race!

Nakkertok's Andrew Stewart-Jones.

Andrew Newell (USA)

Ed McCarthy


Ian Murray

Gord Jewett, Karl Saidla and Ivan Babikov.

Ivan, Karl, Gord

Men's finish.

Karl and Ed after the race.

Ivan Babikov, the winner, after the race.

Interesting Reading. . .
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