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Eload Race Report: Nationals Distance Races
By:  Colin Abbott   (2011/04/01)

After a long season of training, racing and recovering comes the National Championships. After racing a team sprint, a 10km, a 15km and an individual sprint in one week comes the long distance race. After 30km or 50km on what is arguably the toughest race course in Canada comes the finish line. The finish line signals the end of one race, of a week of racing, a year of racing and for some, a lifetime of racing.

The courses this year were challenging to say the least. With 1750m of climbing over fifty kilometers, the race was comparable in terms of elevation gain to the Olympic 50k races in Salt Lake City and Torino. Given the difficulty of the course, the race started out at a reasonable pace, and nobody tried to be a hero on the first lap. Nonetheless I found myself losing ground to the leaders after 5km or so. I settled into a comfortable pace surprisingly quickly and found a group of about 10 other guys moving at my pace who I wound up staying with for about 35km of the 50. Feeding is important in any distance race, but I found out just how much it matters during my first 50k. I made the mistake of missing a few feeds in the first 20km, and after a strong effort to bridge the gap from our pack to another pack, I started to cramp up. As soon as that happened I grabbed all the eLoad and Fly feeds I could, and managed to keep the cramps at bay. As it was, I skied 20km to the finish with cramps in my arms, shoulders and legs.

At the end of the day in the 50k, Matthias was the top XCOttawa skier in 15th, Karl wasn't far off him in 16th, I finished up in 35th, Andre was 40th and Kyle was 45th. In the women's 30k Megan McTavish was 21st and Vesta Mather finished 28th. The 30k junior men's race saw Peter finish in 19th, and Lee end up in 33rd. Ingrid had a great day in her 20k race in the junior women's category, finishing in 12th.

Thanks to all the parents, coaches and athletes that helped out feeding, waxing, driving, picture taking and cheering. A few that should have their names recognized are John, Anna (thanks for the emergency eload feeds!), the Hawkings family, the Abbott family, Claude Marchand and Chad Yurich.

Full results can be found here.


Mister Potter.


Nansen trailing Andre.

Matthias and Karl.

Interesting Reading. . .
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