I travelled home last week for the holidays. It is always exciting to get back to see family and friends, but it was a tad bitter-sweet this time, since this meant leaving the snowy Gats for the dirt and rain in Bruce County. Not to worry though! While we didn't get the dumping of snow that Ottawa saw, Southern Ontario also received an early Christmas present from Mother Nature. By December 23rd, the trails at Highlands Nordic in Duntroon were in fine shape for the annual Yuletide Blast race. It was a great event, with a large number of delighted racers out to seek a fresh hit of skiers' cocaine (aka snow). Our thanks go out to Larry and all the volunteers at Highlands for a well-organized and smoothly-run event.
The day was full of the excitement of an early season race, seeing old friends again, fresh snow, and the freedom from school. For many, I think the low-pressure atmosphere was a perfect way to get back into the race routine, feel comfortable and fast on snow, and revel in the post-exam stress release.
There were definitely a number of good efforts that day. Teammates reported feeling fit, although perhaps not entirely rested and prepared for the race (due to the weather, we were not sure the race would go until the last minute). It was a 7.5 km skate race for the open categories. On the men's side, Pete had a 4th place finish, and Carleton's Matt Brown earned 12th place. For the women, I, Holly Jones (Carleton) and Bella Waterton (Carleton) finished in 4th, 6th, and 14th, respectively. Full results are available at: http://zone4.ca/results.asp?id=5195. I must also give a shout out to the home club, GBN - good to see the fit young skiers hot on our heels!
For myself, day 2 of the holiday line-up was the annual "Reindeer Romp" hosted by Fitness Corner in Port Elgin. This is a fun run which is also a food drive and fundraiser for the local women's shelter. Participants are strongly encouraged to dress up in goofy Christmas costumes. Plus, it's one more good opportunity to catch up with old friends. What more can I say!
On behalf of XC Ottawa, we wish you and your families the best. Hope you enjoy the holidays. Thanks for reading!