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Grand Prix des Couleurs, Mt. Tremblant 2003
By:  Megan McTavish   (2003/09/15)

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This past weekend, a group from XC Ottawa, Carleton U, and the NADC travelled to Mt. Tremblant to participate in the Grand Prix des Couleurs. This is a weeekend event, starting on Saturday with kids races and continuing on Sunday with a choice of a Mountain bike race, an uphill race straight up the downhill run or the extreme version which winds through the bush. This is the event that we participated in.

The race started near the parking lots at the bottom of the town. We ran through town (which is all uphill) ....but the real race began when we reached the bottom of the downhill run. Very shortly we took a right into the bush and climbed a very long series of steep stairs, a good way to build some lactic acid right off the start! At the end of the stairs, the trail became a bit more gradual (a grind of steep ups mixed with false flats met us here) and after a while, there was even some flat and tricky downhill parts (not my specialty...). This did not last long though, and was followed by more of the same. Just when you felt that the top must be nearing, the trees were thinning and you were running over flat rocks (slippery and on a big angle) you came running into a clearing and look up.......what did you see?? not the finish line, but another huge peak yet to climb! This part for me was about 30minutes in...luckily I was warned by the group that went last year! (their story wasn't as pretty). So, it was back to the grind, ski striding and running what you still could, breathing super hard on the never-ending hill while your legs slowly start to shut down. Finally, a water station appeared, but being too tired to drink properly, it didn't do much for the thirst (it was a hot and humid day). After this came the real challenge...the course just started to climb, forgetting about any flat sections! A consistent climb through the bush led to a more open hill that was the steepest, longest section of the course. Just when you thought your legs couldn't take any more, the course turned again and headed straight up the downhill slope at the very top of the mountain (I knew I was nearing the end because there was a little boy saying, 5 minutes Papa!! allez! to the man behind me)....and you were finally there!

To give you an idea, Karl Saidla won in a time of 39minutes.......a very slow and painful 6km!!!

The guy right in front of me was so exhausted at the finish, that instead of turning right to cross the line, he went left and started to head back down the hill! There were a total of 38 competitors that braved the extreme race, including our contingent of 14 (I hear there were more like 50 last year....guess they were too scared to come back!). Our group did very well, taking 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 in the men and 2, 4, 5 in the women. After taking the gondola back down (thank god we didn't have to run!) and hobbling a warm down jog....the group relaxed in the sun, awaiting the awards where Karl took home a new pair of shoes! This was a terrific event for x-country skiers. Hope to see many of you there next year!

Men

PlaceNameLocation/ClubTimeDiff.Pace (km/hr)
1 SAIDLA, Karl XCOttawa/NADC/CU 0:39:27.45 07.91
2 MCCARTHY, Ed NADC/Nat. Jr/CU 0:40:56.85 0:01:29.40 07.62
3 MOREL, SheitsNADC/CU 0:43:40.80 0:04:13.35 07.14
4 LEVEILLE, Benoit QC CAN 0:44:50.40 0:05:22.95 06.96
5 KLASSEN, Dana NADC/CU 0:46:02.97 0:06:35.52 06.78
6 SNIDER, Graydon CU 0:46:29.63 0:07:02.18 06.71
7 COTE, Cright, Joel QC CAN 0:46:49.79 0:07:22.34 06.66
8 MAMEN, Chris NADC 0:47:04.36 0:07:36.91 06.63
9 LUSSIER, Patrick QC CAN 0:47:08.11 0:07:40.66 06.62
10 CODETTE-HUDON, Felix QC CAN 0:49:21.60 0:09:54.15 06.32
11 MARTIN, Christopher NADC/CU 0:49:47.28 0:10:19.83 06.27
12 RENNIE, John NADC/Nakkertok 0:50:37.04 0:11:09.59 06.16
13 SICOTTE, Vincent QC CAN 0:51:09.45 0:11:42.00 06.10
14 LEDUC, Bruno NADC 0:51:33.10 0:12:05.65 06.05
15 PROVOST, Alexandre QC CAN 0:54:01.13 0:14:33.68 05.78

Women

PlaceNameLocation/ClubTimeDiff.Pace (km/hr)
1 CARBONNEAU, Claudia CAN0:51:20.19 06.08
2 MCTAVISH, Megan XC Ottawa0:53:56.76 0:02:36.5705.78
3 THIBAULT, Nathalie CAN0:56:12.47 0:04:52.2805.55
4 KERSHAW, Linnaea NADC / CU1:02:17.430:10:57.2405.01
5 RUDOCHYK, Linnea NADC / CU1:04:51.110:13:30.9204.81
6 GHENTER, Ingrid-Maria CAN1:06:33.86 0:15:13.6704.69
7 NELSON, Louise CAN1:27:54.92 0:36:34.7303.55
 
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