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Haywood Ski Nationals- A tough day in the Classic Short distance
By:  Lee Hawkings   (2010/03/16)

The classic short distance race was the second race at the Haywood Ski Nationals in Whitehorse, Yukon. For the XC Ottawa crew it was definitely a race of ups and downs. The weather was as perfect as anything I have ever raced in before. It was about -4 C, the track was fairly hard and the sun was shining as it so often does in the Yukon.

 Another beautiful day in Whitehorse

The women raced 5km today and the men raced a 10km. Both courses were grueling with a lot of climb and a surprisingly small amount of rest. The combination of the tough course and interesting waxing conditions made for some very unusual results. Karl Saidla was the top male XC Ottawa racer, racing to a 46th place finish in the Open Men. Afterwards Karl said the he “felt like (he) was in a nightmare” as he “felt the worst (he) has in years.” Next for the XC Ottawa men was Matthias Purdon who was 4 seconds slower to place 48th in the Open Men. Justin Demers decided not to start after coming down with a bug.

Karl powering up the first hill

 Matthias sprinting into the stadium

In the Junior Men's category Lee Hawkings was the top finisher for XC Ottawa coming in 14 seconds behind Matthias for 37th place. Kyle Power was next, 11 seconds behind Lee for 39th place and Colin Abbot who had a tough race was 22 seconds behind Lee for 41st Junior.

 Lee heading up the first hill

Kyle on the first hill

Colin off to a strong start

The women’s race was more successful for XC Ottawa today. Alana Thomas had an amazing race finishing 11th in the Open Women and coming 1st in the university category. Megan Mctavish was not far behind in 16th and Sheila Kealey was 8 seconds behind Megan for 18th. Anna Geiger-Whitlock finished up in 28th in the Open Women.

 Alana hammering to the finish closely followed by Yukon's Dahria Beatty

Meagan looking strong

Sheila striding the last hill

Anna coming into the finish

All Photos by Jim Hawkings

So far the week has been great fun for all with awesome organizing by the Whitehorse volunteers. The athlete services, course set up and results are as good as I have ever experienced so congratulations to the organizers. Tomorrow is the interval start skate race 10km for the women and 15km for the men. There will be more than a few people looking to improve on there results from today.

FULL RESULTS HERE: http://www.zone4.ca/results.asp?ID=2972&cat=all

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