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Life beyond XC Ottawa - Catching up with Alumni
By:  Matt Brown   (2013/11/05)


This past weekend I caught up with XC Ottawa Alumni Kyle Power and Vesta Mather at their new place in Huntsville. I got to experience some Ontario cottage country training and catch up with the two.†Kyle explained that since moving to Huntsville he has turned†into a bit of a "hipster redneck." †It made me wonder, if Kyle is now a "hipster redneck" what is everyone else up to. So I decided to investigate. I contacted other alumni such as Logan Potter, Lee Hawkings, Matthias Purdon, Kyle and Vesta.

What years were you on XC Ottawa?

Kyle Power:2009 to 2013

Vesta Mather: 2010 and 2011

Logan Potter: I was on XC Ottawa for the end of 2013,2012,2011, and part of 2010.

Lee Hawkings: I joined XC Ottawa in the Fall of 2009 and left after the 2012-2013 season

Matthias Purdon: 09-13

When was the last time you cross country ski raced?

KP: 2013 Nationals 50km Skate in Whistler BC.

VM: I did a few races last year, the classic race at Easterns and of course the XC Ottawa Duathlon!†

LP: My last cross country ski race was Nationals in Whistler..apart from a Brewski in Whitehorse in April.

LH: Nationals last year would have been the last race I did but I will hopefully be doing some time trials on snow in the coming weeks in Whitehorse.

MP: 2013 Canadian National Championships- 50km Skate

Are you continuing to ski or race this upcomingseason?

KP:Forever going to be a skier. Racing on the other hand will be a little different. I do have some mild training plans in the works though. For example, I have signed up for the Gatineau Loppet!

VM: I'd like to do some more loppets, work on my long distance skiing and really perfect the technique of having a gel without getting it all over my face for the next 30 km.

LP: I will probably do some local races in Whitehorse but wont be travelling to compete anywhere.

LH: Not really for the entire season, just planning on racing World University Games in Italy this December.

MP: Heck yes.

Have you taken up or explored any other types of sports since leaving XC Ottawa?

KP:Fishing and Canoeing were two big focuses this summer. And I definitely put the hours in on the Lakes of Algonquin Park. I also ran my first Marathon in Ottawa this spring. Other than that, I tend to just enjoy some casual trail running and mountain biking.

VM: No Comment

LP: I'm still doing most of the other sports I used to do when I skied just less intensely, I still mtn bike but mostly only go uphill so I can go downhill though haha. But ya running still, been playing mens league soccer, did some windsurfing this summer and tried surfing for the first time in Tofino, loved it, want to do a lot more of that, and I want to †get into kiteboarding.

LH:†In general XC Ottawa never prevented me from doing other sports but I haven't really done anything new this year. Did more Mt. Biking and less Roller Skiing this year thats for sure!

MP: Kayaking fast (tippy) kayaks, river boarding

Where are you living now?

KP:†Shacked up with Vesta Mather in Huntsville, ON. But ya know just kickin' it in Muskoka (Cottage Country) with all the money I made ski racing with XC Ottawa.

VM:†As Kyle may have mentioned - living in Huntsville, getting used to "Cottage Country" and feeling like we need to own more Muskoka chairs.

LP:† Living in Whitehorse

LH: Whitehorse, Yukon

MP: Peterborough

What do you find yourself doing on a daily basis?

KP: I graduated from Carleton this past spring. The ski racing and school work for 5 years made for a bit of a long haul. So I was livin' the dream for most of the summer - Fishing and Canoeing as mentioned and cooking and baking in between. But these days I am working a lot harder on bringing home the bacon. My current job is with a construction company here in the area.

VM: I've been working in Algonquin Park, so the average day usually consists of a scenic drive and whatever is going on at work, and the weekend a scenic drive and then some†kind of adventure; canoeing, biking, fishing and so on!

LP:†working, eating, sleeping, usually try to get some exercise in.

LH:† I am taking three university†courses, house sitting for my parents (taking care of a wild-child of a dog) and training quite a bit, often with the Yukon Elite Squad boys, and fellow XC Alumni Logan Potter.

MP: Trying to write, playing music, contemplating training, sometimes training, reading.

What do you miss most about the team?

KP: Good friends. Shootin' the sh*t on the trails. Making fun of Andreezy.

VM: Training and hanging out with a great group of people - hassling Ingrid during time trials, commiserating with Katie about how hard it is to find toques that fit, having delicious potluck meetings, drinking coffee at Karl and Megan's.

LP:†I think I miss having a big awesome group of friends all doing different things that come together a couple times a week to crank out intervals and get better at skiing.

LH: I miss just being on a team! Its a lot easier to train when you have a big group that are all putting in the same effort you are.

MP: Double poling "the loop" with Karl. Shelter, food, sex, double pole the loop, culture, art... (Karl and I see eye to eye on this slight amendment to Maslow's theory of the hierarchy of individual needs).

What has your favourite hobby become since leaving the team?

KP: Smoking meat in the front yard while having a few Sunny D's (if you know what I mean).

VM: Trying to be an adult, failing.

LP: water sports maybe and guitar.

LH: I really like going for a nice espresso every now and then but its hard to say, I would think my lifestyle hasn't really changed much since leaving the team.†

MP: Long road rides with extended gravel sections

What are some long term personal goals of yours?

KP: Good job/career. So I can have a nice big pick-up truck and house with a Sauna like Karl and Megan's.

VM: Keep skiing of course, work on being less of a wuss on the mountain bike, buy some Muskoka chairs for recovery.

LP: Long term personal goals would be finding a job I really love to do, go travelling, mainly to places where you can surf.

LH: I'd like to continue training as much as I can, but more for my own personal enjoyment. I would like to try other sports more such as triathlon, kite skiing, surfing, sailing and alpine touring. I'd like to keep my fitness level in top form so I can do anything!

MP: Finish my Masters program in two years, go alpine touring, spend a week surfing and hiking the north coast of Vancouver Island, live like a vagabond/vagrant ski racer (or coach) some more... Become a radical environmentalist in one form or another.

Has your diet changed since leaving XC Ottawa?

KP: Probably not. I just feel a whole lot less guilty these days.

VM: Exactly what Kyle said!

LP:† I would say I eat less now just because I don't do as much but also trying to keep eating healthy cause I don't want to get fat, still eating tons of ice cream though...

LH: Not in any drastic sense. Not that I was really on a strict "diet" when I was on the team.

MP: Not too much. Lately I've been eating wild rice and quinoa more. The bulk barn made a killing off me last time I went.

Beef or Pork?

KP: Beef and Pork

VM: Yes.

LP: probably beef, love pork too but eat beef more and like burritos..love mexican food!

LH: Neither, at the moment I have been eating pretty much no meat except moose! I have so much in my freezer right now. Bacon is pretty awesome though!

MP:I have some pork sausages in my fridge right now.

You recently acquired a dog, is this to fill the void of cross country skiing?

KP: No but yes. I suffer from training buddies withdrawal after leaving the team. So I am looking forward to having a new running buddy soon!

VM: Possibly. Maybe a subconscious desire to transition my skiing to skijoring.

How has your love life changed since leaving XC Ottawa?

LP: Well it's been a good break from Ingrid asking me out on dates every week (*editors note: Ingrid and Logan have a†tumultuous ongoing insult war), but you know I always miss all the lovely ladies on XC Ottawa, and everybody knows girls obsess over cross country skiers so you know that it's been tough without that...

Kyle and Vesta recently acquired a puppy, do you believe this is to fill the XC Ottawa Void?

LH: I think it is to enhance the cross-country skiing experience, the little biter will probably be trained as an expert ski-joring dog!

MP: I am not sure how to respond to this question. I am pretty sure Kyle and Vesta are skiers for life so I don't think their dog will replace skiing for them. That being said their dog will probably prepare them well for "next steps" that might similarly tax their time management skills and have effects on much time they feel like devoting to skiing...

Any words of advice for current XC Ottawa members?

KP: I would like to leave them with the following quote.

"Give'r. You just go out and you give'r. You keep on working hard." - Fubar

VM: Crush Megan in the intervals while you can, because you won't get a chance to later!

LP: Words of advice would be enjoy the process, try to have fun everyday, and don't be afraid to rest when your not feeling it. When your in it it's easy to think missing an interval is going to hurt your fitness a lot but you guys are fit people and have been doing for years, fitness doesn't go that fast.

LH: Mostly just enjoy yourselves and don't take things too seriously! Immerse yourself in the team but don't let skiing take over your life! In the end you should still be having a fun time with it, I know I did!

MP: Keep the XC Ottawa spirit alive- it is an amazing thing that you are a part of.


Lee with XC Ottawa member Holly skiing at White Pass on May 20th


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Kyle walking his puppy Lukka


Kyle and Vesta's new puppy who may or may not be filling the ski void


Logan spending some quality time out Sheep Hunting in his free time


Kyle taking in the Algonquin Park Scenery this past weekend


Map of the trail system at Arrowhead Provincial Park I explored

photo 1_1.JPG

Mike Abott, Kendra Murray, Nansen Murray, and Myself in Arrowhead Provincial Park


Our feet got a little wet on our run when the trail turned into a river. Mike doesn't seem to mind.


Kyle, Vesta, and Lukka posing for a picture post run in Algonquin

Interesting Reading. . .
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