So we've just had the first really good ski weekend of the Ottawa season. It looks like the thin covering of snow we have is here to stay. That's good news because Keskinada race day is only 75 days away. Better get training that's pretty soon.
In case you need a better reason to start putting in lots of k's, this year's Keski course and will be more challenging. But before getting into those details a more exciting announcement - Beckie Scott is showing up for the Keski! She'll be flying immediately after a World Cup race in Sweden, arriving in Ottawa on Wednesday. She'll do some PR stuff for a few days, while hopefully enjoying our pristine skiing conditions. She'll most likely race one of the 25km events, and hopefully the sprints. She'll fly back to rejoin the World Cup tour on the Sunday afternoon. While this information comes to XC Ottawa on good authority, I'm sure it is somewhat tentative. After all if Beckie's the World Cup leader she might not be able to get away!
Early Keski registration is now $70, and ends Dec. 15th. Before reading on, and finding out how much more challenging the course will be I suggest you register.
Ok, with that done read on.
This year's Keski line-up features a sprint race Feb. 13th, the classic races Feb. 14 and skating races Feb. 15th of February. No real surprises there, that's the usual format. What won't be usual is the course you will ski for the longer events! This year the 50km course make a sharp right turn off Ridge road on to the Fortune Parkway at Gossip Corner (Keogan) and heads on down to Burma. Hear this rumour before? Don't believe me? It's worth mentioning that Burma has been include this year as a result of all the trail work Lafleur and the NCC have done over the summer. Good to see them investing in a bit of up keep and that it will directly benefit the Keski and all skiers. The old beaver damn and swamp have a new foot bridge which is one of the widest spots on the course. That's were your trail fees have gone. Worth every cent in my mind!
Take me a look at the maps...
After years of 80% parkway skiing, it will be great to have some more quality terrain thrown in and some parkway out. Not so fast. More good quality terrian and fun trail were added but nothing has left out! Same course with the Kyber Pass to Huron section replaced with the twisty,turny, hilly Burma added.
I expect this year's 50km Skate and Classic races will be a blast!
Now don't despair about a few extra hills. The inclusion of Burma makes the course much more fun! Burma is one of the best trails in the park for quick and lively skiing. Yes, it will be a true, tough, 50km course now. You've been warned.