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Bad Enough for Badenoch, Southern Ontario’s premier run/rollerski race
By:  Matthias Purdon   (2009/11/07)


Every fall the university of Guelph ski team hosts the semi-official “Bad Enough for Badenoch” run/rollerski race in Badenoch, a small settlement 10km outside of Guelph. Last year I made the trip over to do the race and had a great time, so it was pretty easy to convince the rest of the house and some Carleton Varsity skiers to make the trip this year. Friday afternoon after class we loaded up the Yukon plated Previa and burned over to Guelph. I was joined this year with the good company of Colin Abbot, Lee Hawkings (aka Lee John), Kyle Power, Logan Potter, and Michael Abbot, a solid XCOttawa and Carleton University Varsity ski team representation. The race format is a mass start 4km (men) and 2.5km (women) run out of the Badenoch soccer field with a transition to a freestyle 6km rollerski that brings us back to Badenoch to finish. The field this year was slightly larger than last year with representation from U of G, U of T, Team Hardwood, as well as our vanload. A combination of news that there were baked goods as prizes and as well as an up swell of knowledge of the awesomeness of the modest “Badenoch” race was probably responsible for the big turn out. 

The Badenoch for me signals the beginning of the competitive stage of the training year, and I think most skiers are thinking this once November rolls around. Its time to go fast; important races are right around the corner. So as we lined up to start the race, nerves were perhaps just a little higher; this wasn’t going to be just hard training but also a good indicator of your fitness going into the race season. 

The run split up the field a fair bit, Mike Weersink, a U of G skier broke away from the lead group on the final climb and descent before the transition. I was feeling good coming into the transition in second with Colin right behind. After a brutal transition (need some new boots) I had dropped back a fair bit starting the windy rollerski leg. In a sprint finish Colin beat me out by a few seconds. The top three overall were Mike Weersink, Ian Weir, and Scott Weersink in first, second, and third respectively. Next was Colin in 4th and me in 5th. Ian Richie (U of G) followed in 6th. Michael Abbot had a solid race and was the next Carleton skier coming in 7th followed closely by Kyle in 8th (or 9th depending on who you ask), Lee in 10th, and Logan in 14th. The top men’s school teams (calculated by the addition of the times of the top three from each school) were U of G in first followed by just a couple of minutes by our Carleton team. On the women’s side U of G was dominant with Kyla Vanderzwet winning it for Guelph followed closely by her team mates Laura Campbell and Laura Hewitt. 

 For our team's efforts we received a box of tarts that we ate immediately. Other notables from the race were my cousin Erin’s (U of G) continuing rivalry with Kyle Power coming in right with him, and Patrick’s (U of G) continued bad luck, struggling with lingering H1N1 symptoms during the race. As with all rollerski races ski speed had an influence on the results, anyone who has rollerskied for a while has had this conversation(s)… After an afternoon rest the Carleton/xcOttawa team regrouped for a night of Halloween festivities with our friends in Guelph… The next day after a delicious brunch at the Krug residence we trekked back to Ottawa.

I am not sure about the history of this race yet its roots certainly draw from relaxed, positive, and generous foundations. Everyone enjoyed the race a lot, and we were glad we made the trip. Many thanks to the head coach of the Guelph Varsity ski team Richard Lay, and all the other coaches and organizers. Also a big thanks to the Krug family for putting up Colin, Kyle, Lee, Michael and Logan, and for feeding me brunch on Sunday. Finally thank you to Erin, Jordan, and Dave Lawless for having me at their place.

 Erin Purdon and Mathew Little prepare for the race.  Runners and Rollerskis.

Logan finishing strong.  Can you spot Wonderwoman?


Kyle warming up for the Run. 

Carleton Ski team Rookie Michael Abbot wearing his engineering homework outfit for the road trip.

Mike Weersink of U of G.  Badenoch champ two years running.  Great job!

Me. Post race grin. 

Thanks for reading!

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