PenguinMan Report #2: The "as far as possible, as fast as necessary" way
By: Parham Momtahan (2008/04/02)
After completing the "Triple Folly" this season I could not help but add to the foolishness when Dev Paul sent out the Penguinman call on XC Ottawa. It took me a while... OK, it took me 8h:55m to do the four laps to complete the 103.2 kms. And I was bemusedly lapped by at least the under six hours club, of whom there were at least five skiers, including Dev who managed to keep pushing and finished it in under six after years of attempts. That's inspiring!
Was it tough for me? Yes, it felt tougher than 90 kms of the Swedish Vasaloppet I did in 2007, though not as tough as the CSM, especially on the second day. I'm mostly a classic skier, so this was a further challenge as I'd decided to skate the Penguinman. Did it hurt? Yes, especially on the fourth lap, but only where it should. In the end though, it was impossible not to feel lucky with all the wonderful sunshine and the mostly superb skiing conditions, as in Jo Ann's photos: http://www.musicianonskis.ca/Penguinman_2008/index.html
Here's the highlight of the 2008 Penguinman for me: A group of us Nakkertok Masters and training buddies, Allan Butler, Derek Ferguson, Jo Ann Holden, Garry Tarr, and myself participated who have been encouraging each other along all season. While we may have cursed it during the event, we now thank the Penguinman, and its instigators Devashish and friends, for a challenge that allowed ALL of us to achieve personal bests in distances skied.
What could be a better season finale than that?