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Thunder Bay – Trials Race – Individual Dist Skate Race
By:  Kyle Power   (2011/01/10)

The last event held at Lappe Nordic for the “Trials of Everything” and Haywood NorAm Series race was the Individual Start, Skate race. The weather and ski conditions were pretty much the same as all the other races – COLD. This meant more slow dry snow and with a hard climbing course, including the 2 famous hills in the last 1km of each 5km lap (“Pilons” and “The Grunt”), it made for some very tough racing. 

At least by now, the team had cold weather racing down to an art. After a few hard mistakes early in the week, we now knew that the extra layer never hurts, mitts are cool if its cold and doubling up on some things is a must! 

After a bit of a delayed start on race morning due to the predicted cold weather, first up was the Open Men Category. XC Ottawa top finisher was Karl Saidla placing 16th, an impressive result in such a deep field of competitors. Then it was Peter Biesel, continuing a very solid week of racing, placing 42nd overall and 15th Junior Men. Not very far behind was Colin Abbott in 47th place, 29th Senior Men. Then it was only 3 sec separating André Marchand and Matthias Purdon coming in 53rd and 54th respectively. Their hard efforts ranked them 32nd and 33rd in Senior Men. Next it was myself coming in 67th position, good enough for 36th in the Senior Men. Logan Potter started the race but made a decision to drop out, due to still getting over a nasty flu that he was battling most of the week. If anyone saw him or heard the stories, you would know he’s a warrior for even attempting to race. Lee Hawking’s decided not to suit up due to illness as well. 

After the Men’s race the XC Ottawa guys did a few cool down laps before heading out onto the race trails to cheer on the Women racing the grueling 10km Skate race. Sheila Kealey skied a strong race and had XC Ottawa top women result, 15th spot overall, 11th Senior Female. Also having a good day was Megan McTavish in 19th spot overall, 14th Senior Female. Ingrid Hagberg and Vesta Mather were separated by less than 1 sec, which made for a battle of their own. Ingrid edged out Vesta for 66th overall and 31st Junior Female and Vesta was 67th overall 30th Senior Female. Katie McMahon was 78th overall and 31st Senior Female. 

Full results can be found at http://www.zone4.ca/results.asp?id=3344.
Here are few race photos:

Sheila and Nakkertok's Michelle Workun-Hill



To end off a hard week of racing, the Team enjoyed some hot saunas and Pancakes at the Lappe Nordic Venue. As well, later that evening we headed to the famous Finnish restaurant in Thunder Bay, the “Hoito”, for some humongous burgers and more Finnish pancakes! 

Thanks to Lappe Nordic and all of there dedicated volunteers that put off great series of races and made the week exceptionally enjoyable. Another big Thank you to our Coach, John and Wax tech, Justin Demers who both work extremely hard, even in the wee hours of the morning, to make sure we had bomber skis all week to compete with Canada’s Best Skiers!
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