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2011 Eastern Canadian Pursuit Distance Race
By:  Kyle Power   (2011/02/15)

The last race of the 2011 Eastern Canadian's and NorAm Mini Tour series was a long distance Classic pursuit style race. Each skier was given a handicap start time that was based on the combined results of the Skate Prologue and Skate Sprint held in the previous two days. The Women headed out first, early in the morning for their 15km event and were later followed by the Men's 30km event. Both races were held on Nakkertok's finest and most challenging 5km loop.

The weather wasn't blue skies and sunshine but that didn't mean the racing conditions were not prime. Instead, we had overcast skies, with some light snow, mostly firm tracks and moderately cool temps that† also made for good racing weather. And, I bet a lot of people were happy we were not dealing with the sub zero temps and heavy snow that was predicted for later in the day.

Team XC Ottawa definitely went for it today. We all skied hard races, leaving nothing in tank, and overall we were rewarded for our efforts with some great results.
Sheila Kealey was the team's top finisher in the 15km Female Event, in 13th place. Not much over a minute behind was Megan McTavish with a solid, 16th place. Ingrid Hagberg was having a great weekend and kept it up with a top 30 finish overall and was 7th in the Junior Women Category. Vesta Mather and Katie McMahon also skied hard and fast for top 40 finishes overall in the Mini Tour.
On the Men's side, top dog for the weekend was Colin Abbott in 12th position overall and was 5th U23 skier.† He was certainly feeling "fresh" and by no means let his recent travels from World University Games in Turkey, slow him down. Karl Saidla posted the team's fastest time of the day, and it was only by a small fraction of a second faster than Colin. Karl, impressively swallowed up a ton of skier's who started ahead of him, finishing in 13th spot overall. Matthias Purdon skied a hard race, holding onto his 28th position overall that he started the day with. Next was Lee Hawkings who had a stellar race. He also caught a nice few skiers who started ahead of him, finishing the day up in 33rd position overall. Myself and Andre Marchand skied hard and tough races to get 37th and 39th overall. Logan had solid showing making up some good ground on the pack, finishing in 40th. Peter was 41st and may have been feeling the effects of some superb uphill sprint action from the previous day.

Full Results can be found at zone4.ca. But, please note the listed placings are still Unofficial.

Here are some photos of the Men's race taken by Petra. Sorry for the lack of photos of the Women's race.
But lot's more photos and video's of the weekend can be found in a previous, 2011 Eastern Canadian Article. And also from muscianonskis.ca, where Jo-Ann Holden captured some great action shots.

Matthias starting the big 30km Classic.

Karl truckin' along like it's his job.

Colin bombing down Dirk's Dive.

The Pain Train about to pick up Andre. We were happy to have him on Board!

Me and Andre battling it out. I guess I could say I won this battle, but I don't think the war is over yet!

Lee skiing buttery smooth in the pack.

Logan striding it out quite nicely.


Colin skiing alone with the pedal to the medal, and definitely not letting up one bit!

Peter grinding it out on one of his laps.

Carleton Team's Nansen Murray was a beast to ski with today!

Lee charging up one of the last hills on the course.

Matthias probably pretty happy to be in the finishing chute after a grueling 30km.

Lee ending of his great race.

Lastly, I would like to re-Thank our awesome support team, that consisted of Coach John, and Wax Tech's, Anna and Craig. Their hard work and dedication made it possible for some great Team results!

Up next is the Gatineau Loppet and Canada Games races for XC Ottawa Skiers. Keep checking back for more race reports!

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