.: Ski XCOttawa.ca :: Skiing in Ottawa and Gatineau Park

2012 Season Preview
By:  Vesta Mather   (2011/12/16)


What XC Ottawa has been up to this fall, and what we are looking forward to over the winter!

So far, we have had a thorough on-snow training camp at the Foret, with lots of skiing and gravy had by all.

Through excellent planning on their parts, Sheila and Matthias headed out west to enjoy more snow, and some early season racing. While Shelia has returned to the land of mud, Matthias is staying out west, where we will get to see him again at the races in Whistler. He will be racing the NorAm this weekend in Rossland, so stay tuned for an exciting race report!

Those of us with accommodating jobs or accommodating exam schedules have packed up and are heading to Craftsbury, Vermont today, where a 1 km loop of man-made snow beckons us to the TD Bank Eastern Cup. 

Then over the holidays, team members will be travelling to a variety of exciting and exotic locations for training, including the Bruce Peninsula, the Yukon, Labrador City, Gatineau Park, the woods outside Sudbury, and Algonquin Park!


An example of said woods…nice, but not as nice as the snow out east!


As 2012 begins, the States will get another dose of XC Ottawa as Katie and Andre plan on making an appearance at a race or two during US Nationals. Anna will represent the troops in a pre-Nationals evaluation of Mont Ste-Anne, giving us the update on the race courses and the number of times Alex Harvey is mentioned.

This range of first season races (such as the Boxing Day Burnoff!) and vacation will all come into play when the team visits Whistler for the World Junior Trials/U23 races. With a distance skate on the 12th, followed by skate sprints on Saturday and a medium distance classic on Sunday, there is a little something for everyone and lots of good racing to be had!!

Andre doesn't let the cold conditions in Thunder Bay at last years WJT slow him down!

Upon our return to the “real world”, the following weekend should be an exciting one with the Eload-Emend duathlon Sunday Janurary 22nd (in the daylight!), with a new race course, for some variety from past years. Be sure to keep an eye out for registration for this not-to-be-missed event!  

February promises to be a month jam-packed full of exciting races, starting off with Easterns at Nakkertok. It is always fun to do a race weekend from home, and this year should be no exception.


Andre & Kyle bonding at Easterns


Sheila powering it at Easterns.

The following weekend brings the NorAm at Orford. Those of us who attended last year had so much fun between the racing and ski rilling, that this year most of the team will be making the trip, looking forward to classic sprints and mass start skate.


Kate and Vesta lead out the chase pack in last years NorAm at Orford. Picture from Information du Nord Mont Tremblant  

Another race weekend at home follows, with the Gatineau Loppet, and some long distance racing. Taking on the challenge this year will be most of the non-university skiers, as the university racers hone their sights on OUAs in Sudbury, and more stellar performances for Carleton. As well, Karl and Megan have a tentative plan to go to the Vasaloppet, a classic 90k, which puts the 53 k Gatineau Loppet in perspective. 


Karl racing the Birkie. Photo credit to Graham Frank.

With Nationals beginning March 17th, team members are planning on keeping a kick in their step with the Quebec Cup in Farhills the weekend of March 10th and 11th. Then it is the “main event” with Canadian National Championships in Mont Ste-Anne from the 17th to the 25th. XC Ottawa will be looking to make dominating performances in the Classic Team Sprint, the 5/10k Classic and Skate, skate sprints, and of course, the long distance races – 30k for the women and 50k for the men, this year in the classic technique.


Ingrid in the University team sprints at Nationals last year - on her way to a gold medal with team mate Adele Lay.

If the snow holds on, and our wallets aren’t quite empty, there may more a little more racing to wind up the season in the SuperTour finals (back in Craftsbury!) and the Quebec Cup Finals in Rimouski.


With a busy winter ahead, lets hope for some snow to go along with it – see you on the trails!


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