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Orford Loppet and Quebec Cup Report
By:  Sheila Kealey   (2010/02/15)

I love going to Mount Orford.  The trails are great for mountain biking and running in the summer, and in  winter they flow really nicely for cross country skiing. They've had a good deal more snow than the Ottawa area, so all of the courses were in excellent shape. The organizers always do a great job with this race weekend, that features a classic loppet (16 or 32 km) and a series of shorter-distance races for the Quebec Cup series. I've done the 32km loppet twice before (2006, and 2007) and decided that shorter races would better suit my training this weekend. I raced the Open Women's 8.5 km classic Saturday (individual start), and the 10km mass start skate race on Sunday.

Saturday's classic race was solid - I ended up second to Claude Godbout, just ahead of Club MSA's Christine Bisson, and have Club Skinouk to thank for their terrific waxing help. Sunday's 10k mass start race was fun! Open women raced 2 x 5km. I was among the lead pack of 6 women: although the pace was comfortable, it seemed it would be pretty difficult to get away, and I wanted to avoid a sprint finish. The loop had a challenging climb, so I figured this was my best bet. On the 2nd lap I took off on the climb and managed to get a decent gap that I held to the finish, ahead of Alexia Pichard-Jolicoeur in 2nd and Julie Boisvert in 3rd.

XC Ottawa's Justin Demers also raced in Sunday's skate race. A racing licence mixup meant that he couldn't race with the open men, but he had a strong race and finished 1st in the Senior Sport Category.

Nakkertok skiers raced well, sweeping the Junior Men's podium for Saturday's classic race (Andrew Stewart-Jones, Steffan Lloyd, Patrick Stewart-Jones), and racing in the Open Men's category on Sunday Stefan Lloyd was 2nd and Andrew Stewart Jones was 3rd. Katherine and Emilie Stewart-Jones also had top placings in the Juvenile Women's field both Saturday and Sunday.

Full Results:

Here are a few pictures from the skate races:

Sheila on the finishing stretch

Open women on the finishing stretch

Lots of snow during the skate races

Steffan Lloyd finishing 2nd

Andrew Stewart-Jones 3rd
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