The 2005 Canadian National Championships kicked off on Sunday with the relay race events. The day was sunny and warm, as every day in beautiful Prince George has been thus far. It's a beautiful town- sunny, warm, and everyone here is SO nice! The pickup trucks are so quaint and the houses look like they're set in a fairy tale.
XC Ottawa had quite a challenge this year living up to the silver medal it won in last year's relay. As described in a previous article, XC Ottawa recruited Ed McCarthy to the team with an eye towards capturing the gold this year. The team decided to have Karl start, Ed run second, and David Zylberberg, aka "The Silencer", finish it off strong.
The course was pretty flat and very fast- 2 2.5k loops with one big climb in the middle. Karl started off blazing fast and moved into second place out of the stadium. However, an ill-considered track change cost him and he moved to fifth by the first big uphill, which slowed down the bullet-fast acceleration he was planning. He handed off to Ed in 5th spot. Ed and Bryon Hughson of Hardwood battled it out in 4th and 5th most of the leg, and managed to make up some time on Terrell Stephen of Foothills Nordic. Zylberberg received the baton in 5th and managed to get past Hardwood to finish the race off in 4th.
Foothills Nordic continued their winning ways with their second championship relay win in two years. Banff Ski Runners captured second, and Foothills 2 took third.
It was a promising start to the week- although most of the team saw some room for improvement, it was overall a solid effort and it was a great introduction to the course and the championships. More news to follow!
From Prince George,
Karl, Tom, Megan, Ed, David and John