It has been quite cold lately in Ottawa with morning and nightly temps below the zero mark, just cold enough that if it snowed it would most defiantly stick. The only problem was it didn’t snow, so what do you do if it doesn’t snow and you can’t make snow – you got to try to find snow! Turned out we didn’t have to go to far or look too far either. Matthias Purdon who has a keen eye for such a thing has been sizing up a massive snow pile outside of an Arena near Brewer Park for a couple of weeks now. Myself, Matthias, Colin Abbott and Lee Hawkings have been sharing a house this year not far from Brewer Park, so last Friday night after supper in the spurt of the moment, us die-hard skiers hopped up, grabbed our ski gear, shovels and headed down near the Arena to see what we could make out of the big pile of Zamboni snow.
After about an hour and a half of solid work, which consisted of breaking
up icy snow, hucking it with shovels and carrying huge boulders of snow across
the Park, we managed to make an extremely short sprint course. For me this
happen to be one of the better core strength workouts of the week, we worked ourselves
pretty hard and I think even a couple of shovels were broken in the process. As soon as we finished we immediately threw on our skis and gave it a go. It turned out to be much
better than any of us predicted, so good that even another two skiers, Michael
Abbott and Logan Potter from the Yukon Ski Team, were convinced to make the
trek over from Carleton.
Colin working hard.
After a few warm up laps, it was time to throw down! Lee quickly laid down the race format and before I knew it we were all given’er around the track. The track, as you will see below, was probably less than a meter wide in some places. This made for some intense sprint action and if FIS officials were on site there may have been one or two disqualifications but “anything goes” at Brewer Park. We ran a series of 9 heats total with A, B and C finals. Race tactics were very interesting and varied from one racer to another. Some said it was a race to the first corner, then there was also the attempt of making the tricky pass on the inside going around the pole and tree and if all else fails there was the option of jumping off the snow track, hitting the frosty grass and ski sprint striding to make a desperate lunge to the finish. However you decided to do it, one thing was for sure; this sprint course "was no walk in the park" and completely more than a couple of heats was rather tough. There was one man who couldn’t be beaten on this night and when it was all said and done Matthias Purdon was crowned, “Brewer Park XC Ski Champ.”
Brewer Park Ski racing also offers some pretty good facilities, after the races we headed across Bronson to Carleton Athletics for post race swim and sauna, this capped off a sweet night of skiing in October.
Check out the rest of the photos taken by Colin and Lee:
The Sprint Track.
Having skis on was a different feeling than usual.
Tricky hair pin corner.
Michael taking the Corner.
Some intense racing action here.
Matthias and Colin battling it out.
Even Nakkertok skier Aiden Lennie arrived straight from work to get in on the action.
Constant Course repair was necessary.
Matthias and Logan in the A final.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way”