The Boxing Day Burnoff, held annually at Nakkertok since well before the days of Pisten Bully grooming, skating, and carbon fibre equipment, perpetually promises excitement. In recent years, we have the storied McCarthy family to thank for keeping the tradition alive. XC Ottawa was pleased to help out and offer ourselves up for drubbings on the racing trails. In total, about 190 people raced, which is certainly a good turnout by Burnoff standards.
This year's events included the following features:
-2 person, skate sprint relay format
-Slow and soft conditions, with about twice as much snow as what we normally have at the Easterns.
-A World Cup-style jump (i.e., small by the standards of other sports, but kind of tricky on shaking legs and skinny skis)
-An exceptionally tough and long "long course".
-A very competitive field in the costume competition
-A strikingly high number ex-racer type people willing to push themselves to the extreme limits of fatigue with fairly weak credentials in terms of recent ski training volume.
"Thorpe", after tagging off to someone else on the Australian swim team.
Start of the medium event: The conspicuously tall person in white is Steffan Lloyd...maybe he should pick on somebody his own size.
The last climb. I can tell you that it was fairly soupy up near the top.
I am not quite sure who this is, but I hope he won a prize for the costume considering the extra drag he was willing to put up with.
Looks like someone who was a competitor in both a summer and winter Olympics dressed up in disguise to me.
The man on the left was known as Tom "the Bomb" McCarthy when he raced for Nakkertok. The man in red is St. McCarthycholas. He is a somewhat skinnier version of St. Nicholas and he helps to bring the gift of the Boxing Day Burnoff every year on December 26th.
Based on the snow flying up underneath this kid's skis, he is moving fairly quickly.
Start of the "long" event. This was a fairly competitive field, but somehow a really big guy named Andrew Stewart-Jones who trains for skiing on a rowing erg beat everyone else to the first exchange.
Riel Allain of XC Ottawa...clearly pulling ahead of someone wearing a dress early in the race.
I am not sure who this is, but the tights indicate he was in Thunder Bay in 1998, the racing suit top would suggest he was a member of the Ontario junior ski team before that, and the hat wasn't sold after about 1985. Very confusing.
Well, we didn't get all the McCarthys in the picture, but here are Ed, Tom and Margaret handing out some great prizes that included McCarthy baked gingerbread men, a number of ski bags and water bottle belts from Fresh Air Experience, and containers of E Load.
In addition to the McCarthys, Fresh Air Experience and E Load, we would of course like to thank Nakkertok for the venue, Dave Mallory for the grooming, and everyone else who helped out. Hope to see everyone again next year!
Interesting Reading. . .