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Eload/Emend Marathon Report – 2012 Nationals 50km/30km Race
By:  Kyle Power   (2012/03/29)

The last race of the 2012 Nationals came down to a gutsy fight for Team XC Ottawa. The prior events in the warm slogging conditions were tough for all and this left some good mixed emotions for the final dance of the week!

Although conditions did shift a little bit for this long distance classic day, being slightly cooler and for the most part we were seen out there wearing most of our normal race attire. The temperature over night got below zero and the course harden to be pretty fast in the early laps of the day. But as predicted, the temperature warmed during the morning and the sun beaming down on the course made for a mixture of snow conditions. There was some hard abrasive snow, sugary snow and wet snow, which did complicate the grip wax a little for our team. Not to mention that the race for both the Men's 50km and Women's 30km was held on the very challenging FIS homologated 5km loop. Count em' up!

Overall, this particular race for the Team will be a memorable experience in our racing careers and one that brings some interesting stories. There were severe crashes and mishaps that even led to broken skis and poles for more than one out there on this day. We definitely owe our awesome support staff for keeping it cool and all together! Thanks to Coach John, Jess, Camille and Justin in the wax room and running skis and extra wax out on course. Another shout out to our sponsor Eload/Emend for our much-needed feeds and to all of our helpers who got them to us out on course!

Some interesting race highlights include;

Petey "Steel Ballz" Beisel had a little spill early in to the first lap which resulted in a broken binding and skiing with one foot only resting on top of his ski. Things got real, when he reached the big steep downhill that sweeps left at the bottom, with no tracks, and carrying some warp speed. Needless to say the end result got very messy and Pete found him self in the woods temporarily knocked out. No points for style but thumbs up across the board for courage and finishing that race! Yeah buddy!

I was feeling a little heart burn action in the early stage of the race. There was no way I was going to consider not drinking my eload feeds because of this, so my complete shot in the dark question as I skied pass Jess was, "can you get me some Tums?".. Sure enough about lap and half later, Tums were trickily placed in my hand. Bottom line is that, Jess can make stuff happen and fast! I also heard that might be a first for a special feed in a race.

Megan was the second team member victim of an ski causality. She broke one pretty early on in to the race (see pic below) and went through two replacements. Our wax crew did a super speedy job getting another race ski fully prepped and delivered out on course. Megan also had a great race and the unfortunate event didn't even seem to phase her. Her years of racing experience really showed!

Other interesting things included some bonking experiences, on course re-wax applications, broken poles, painful laps of fighting for survival, and lap miscounting and yelling. You know, all the usual things that a classic distance race should have.

But in the midst of all that occurring we still manage to persevere for some solid results on a tough day!

In the Men's 50km classic race XC Ottawa's top finisher was Matthias Purdon racing to 39th place in a competitive Senior Men's field. Then it was Karl Saidla in 43rd spot followed shortly after by Logan Potter in 44th place. Kyle Power finished 60th and Peter Beisel and Andre Marchand were 62nd and 68th.

In the Women's 30km classic race XC Ottawa's top finisher was Megan McTavish in 20th place. Vesta Mather placed 37th and not far behind was Kyla Vanderzwet in 39th. Anna Geiger-Whitlock and Katie McMahon were 46th and 52nd.

Full results can be here:


Below are some pictures that highlight the grueling day. Photo credit goes to Bernard Pigeon (SkiNationals Website), Ingrid Hagberg and my Parents.

More photos can be found here:



Matthias and Pete settling in to the Pack.

Andre striding it out. This guy was determine to finish it hard to the line!

Kyle and Logan lapping through the stadium one of many times!

Megan looking relaxed coming through the stadium!

Broken ski...

Anna enjoying her 30km classic. Distance classic is one of her favorites I think!

Katie striding in good form!

Vesta fighting hard up the hill!

Well that's a wrapped for Nationals 2012 and XC Ottawa's Winter race season. Thank you for checking in on all our race reports.

Happy Spring!

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