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Training in the Big Land
By:  Vesta Mather   (2012/06/27)

A few weeks ago I took some time off from my new job in Algonquin Park to visit XC Ottawa’s summer eastern outpost – none other than Kyle Power! During my vacay, I compiled a list of my own personal top-5 Lab City vaguely training related adventures. Enjoy!!

1) Hiking Trails: with a sub-alpine environment (especially on the local mountains) hiking trails in the area have some amazing scrambles, climbs, waterfalls, and views! I lucked into coming during a week for very good weather, although it was not without the odd dark cloud. All the different trails we ran were beautiful, and the open hill allowed unrestricted exploring.

Exploring! Where to next?

Climbing some kind of tower at the top of Smokey Mtn and finding out why they call it the "Big Land".

Kyle scrambling up the side of a Waterfall! 

2) Ski Trails: besides what must be some great skiing in the winter, the Menihek Nordic trails are amazing in the off-season. We ran and biked a couple of these, including an especially terrifying (for me on a mountain bike!) section of trail called Koch’s Delight, which I managed
to inch down twice!!

Great day for riding!

An typical evening view across Dumbell Lake after finishing a run on the ski trails!

3) Iron City Duathlon: my last full day of the visit, I ran my first race since university, and also marked the start of my racing career as a “semi-retired” ski racer, running the 2nd leg of the Iron City Duathlon. Kyle blew in from the bike leg and handed off to me in first, keeping me on my toes for the fastest women’s time on the run and the overall team title. Afterwards, the lake provided a nice ice bath for my legs, and explained why it was a duathlon and not a tri!!!

Kyle preparing for the bike leg of the Duathlon.

Much needed cold water therapy after a hard run!

4) More Swimming: even though it was mid-June, the ice hadn’t been off the lakes long enough for them to warm up much…. But one day was just hot and humid enough to brave the lake. But instead of wading in gingerly, I prefer the plunge method! Also, worrying about cold water can distract you from the height you are leaping from!

Cliff jumping!

Toe shoes are ideal for this.

5) And lastly…Taking tourist pictures! My all-time favorite.

Wild Labrador flowers

One of the "smaller" haul trucks used for mining.

A trip to Labrador will make you tougher!

Interesting Reading. . .
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