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Finale Coupe Québec 2013
By:  Megan McTavish   (2013/03/24)

This week the team is out in Whistler racing at the Canadian National Championships, but before heading out there a few of us decided to head to the Finale Coupe Québec to sharpen things up.

The races were held in the picturesque Laurentians, specifically at the racing trails of Far Hills in Val Morin.  It is about 200km from Ottawa, so not too far away at all.  In fact, Andre decided to just drive up Saturday morning, race, and then drive back home. 

Karl, Sheila and I (along with her family and her son Evan's friend Pierre) rented a little cottage at Chalet Suisses and spent the weekend soaking up the culture in what is cottage country and a popular vacation destination for Montrealers. We stayed in Val David, which is only about 7kms from Val Morin. It has a cute downtown with many cafés and restaurants.  We sampled some crêpes, hot chocolate, pizza and espressos while there. 

There are ski trails everywhere you look in this area, probably due to the influence of Jackrabbit Johannsen, who is credited by many with essentially introducing cross country skiing to Canada. Jackrabbit lived for many years in Piedmont, not far south of Val Morin.  The many great trails (especially the old-fashioned skinny kind) made warming up and cooling down a lot more fun that at the average race site.  There were beautiful lakes and lookouts and you had to be a bit careful to not get carried away and miss your race! The mid-winter weather and sunshine didn`t put anyone in a bad mood either.

As for the racing, it was a very traditional weekend with a short distance individual start skate race on Saturday and a longer mass start on Sunday.  With the high level of racers in Quebec these days, the competition was tough and it was a great tune up for Nationals. 

In the skate race Megan finished 5th, Sheila 7th, Karl 10th and Andre 12th.  It was a fast, fun course with a few challenging downhills. With 15 second starts there was plenty of action on the course.

After Andre went home, Kyle and Vesta showed up and joined us for the classic race.  This was an exciting event as well with Karl finishing 5th, Kyle 17th, Megan 6th, Sheila 9th and Vesta (alumni) 18th.  Both Kyle and Megan succumbed to the icy downhill and performed some impressive acrobatic moves, but managed to get up and back into things relatively quickly. 

Overall, it was a great event and a super venue.  We will definitely keep Far Hills on our radar and hopefully return sometime in the future! 





Men's start


Kyle leading a pack


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