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2013 OKA Ski Marathon
By:  Kyle Power   (2013/03/13)


This past Sunday was the 4th Oka Ski Marathon at Parc National d’Oka. A couple of team members decided to make the short trip from Ottawa and take on the 42 km skate race as prep for the long distance race at Nationals.

Between the 2 hour drive and the day light savings time change, we opted to stay about 500 m from the race site, at the Gîte Sous les Pins. We arrive just after dark missing the chance to explore and look around, but did have lots of time for an relaxing tasty dinner.

There was the option of 42km, 21km, 10km and kids 2km. All race distances started together, resulting in a large mass start of about 200 people and made for interesting race dynamic. Below is shot from the start of the race. XC Ottawa edge their way to the front on the far left!


Photo from Francois Milot


The course covered a variety of terrain, that included some fast parkway skiing, short and steep climbs and many tight swooping downhill’s that got the adrenaline flowing. The 42 km event completed two laps of 21 km loop and this also allowed us to tackle things a little more aggressively the second time around!

The stakes were quite high for this level of event and there was $5000 in cash and prizes up for grabs! An interesting twist to this race, perhaps inspired by the Tour de Ski, was the placement of a sprint about 10k out on the course. The first male and female across the sprint line would earn additional prizes.

The outcome for XC Ottawa was a cheesy success! Karl Saidla and Megan McTavish both took the overall Men’s and Women’s category. This earned them a combined total of $600 and about a couple years worth of Oka Cheese (see picture below)! Alumni Vesta Mather placed 2nd in the Women’s, earning $100 and some Oka cheese. Kyle Power was 5th overall and earn some Oka cheese for his 2nd place age category finish.


Full results can be found here:


Photo from Francois Milot

Photo from Francois Milot

Karl taking the sprint finish and appears to be smiling hard!

Women’s Podium!

Vesta and Megan with their sweet prizes!

Karl receiving the Men’s Champion prize. He’s a little sceptical at first…

But now he is pumped!

We loaded up the car with all the cheese and made it back to Ottawa before dark. All in all, it was a great day in Oka and we recommend adding this race to your calendar next year. We are also now feeling a little more prepared for the challenging distance races at Nationals. Not to mention looking forward to a year end wine and cheese party!

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