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Eload Marathon Race Report: 51km Classic
By:  Lee Hawkings   (2011/02/24)

             Although not the premier race of the weekend the 51km Classic Gatineau Loppet provided a ton of excitement of its own, with four XC Ottawa Athletes fighting for the prize money as well as many experienced loppet skiers from across North America and the world. Matthias Purdon, Peter Beisel, Lee Hawkings and Logan Potter raced the men’s race. Unfortunately we had no women’s representation in the race as they were all saving themselves for the A-event skate race the next day.

The conditions in the morning before the race were vicious. The majority of the course was rock hard ice as the Gatineau region experienced a thaw on Friday and then saw the temperature drop to – 10 degrees overnight. It was going to be an extremely fast day until it started to snow in the icy track. This made the waxing incredibly tough but thanks to John Suuronen and Vauhti we had plenty of grip and some of the best skis out there.

As the race started, there was about 5 minutes of chaos as the order got sorted out and the field got spread out to 2 tracks. Almost immediately it became clear that you had to ski outside the track in order to keep up, as the fresh snow had blown right off the icy trail, and piled up in the tracks. A lead pack formed with about 10 skiers including Matthias Purdon and Lee Hawkings. Peter Beisel had a bit of a rough start and Logan Potter started in the B-wave.

By the 25km mark the lead pack had been widdled down to 4 lead skiers with Matthias still in the running, skiing very relaxed. A few minutes back from that pack Peter and Lee were skiing together and Logan was skiing with some Carleton Teammates, Nansen Murray and Michael Abbott way off the front of the rest of the B-Wave skiers.

35km in it became obvious who had perhaps started a little bit to hard. Some common symptoms of this particular problem included cramping of the triceps, cramping of the inner thighs (those stabilizer muscles that got worked pretty hard when skiing classic outside of the track for 51km!!) and loss of energy (the ol’bonk!). Luckily we had some teammates out on course to give us the essential feeds of Eload and Fly to help prevent and treat these symptoms.

At the finish, the showdown began between the three top skiers that were left in the lead pack. Matthias Purdon ended up getting outsprinted to the line by Juergen Uhl and Phil Shaw. Nansen Weber of Nakkertok came in a few minutes later for 4th. After some controversy, the jury deliberated and Phil Shaw was disqualified for improper technique. This pushed XC Ottawa’s Matthias Purdon up to second and Nansen Weber to third.

For a more complete description of the controversy check out the article by CCC http://www.cccski.com/main.asp?cmd=doc&ID=7860&lan=0

Peter Beisel had a great second half to his race and ended the day in 6th. Lee Hawkings survived muscle cramping for the last 15km and was able to hold on for 8th place. Logan Potter hadn’t had quite enough skiing by then end and did a couple extra kilometers detour before finishing 18th.

For all of us who survived this day we would like to thank our coach John Suuronnen and Vauhti for the skis as well as our teammates and especially Eload for the feeds! We couldn’t have done it without you. With three skiers in the top ten, we must be doing something right!

Men’s Top Three

Juergen Uhl- Burlington, Vermont

Matthias Purdon, Owen Sound, Ontario - XC Ottawa!

Nansen Weber- Ottawa, Ontario


Women’s Top Three

Stephanie Howe- Bend, Oregon

Robyn Anderson- Stowe, Vermont

Mary Stewart- East Middlebury, Vermont


Full Results Here: http://www.sportstats.ca/display-results.php?lang=eng&racecode=47678

Click the little Camera Logo beside the persons name on the results to check out the photos from ZoomPhoto.ca

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