E load marathon race report: Gatineau Loppet 2014 a Success
By: Team XC Ottawa (2014/02/17)
Gatineau Loppet organizers were happy about their race weekend: ample snow, amazing grooming, and an increase in participation. They refine the program yearly to make the event more popular, and this year's event was certainly on the right track.
Many XC Ottawa athletes love the chance to compete in a world class event in their backyard, and we had a successful weekend. With our bodies fueled by e-load, and our skis made super-speedy with Vauhti waxes, we had 6 athletes (and 5 alumni) competing in the long distance races of Canada's largest cross country ski event.
51 KM CLASSIC
Riel Alain, Peter Beisel and XC Ottawa alumni Colin Abbot, and Matthias Purdon tested out the new and improved point-to-point classic course. The great snow conditions and course layout made for a great day with some spectacular results. Here's how the boys did
- Colin won, with a commanding lead
- Peter raced strong and finished 4th (top local finisher)
- Riel finished 7th in his first distance event at the Gatineau loppet
- Matthias was a bit under the weather, so stopped "racing' half way and toured to 21st place overall.
Riel in 51km classic
51 KM FREESTYLE
Sunday featured the Canadian long-distance championship. XC Ottawa's women's lineup included Sheila Kealey and Ingrid Hagberd. XC Ottawa alumni Eva Szabo, who is living in Toronto with few ski opportunities, can't seem to resist the allure of this distance skate race and joined the women. Steffan Lloyd, Karl Saidla, and Andre Marchand and XCOttawa alumni Kyle Power and Gavin Hamilton (also now in Toronto) raced in the men's event. It was another great day with some exciting finishes. Here are the highlights . . .
For the first time, the women's event had a separate start leaving 2 minutes behind the men's "A" wave. While this did mean having to pass quite a few men on narrow uphills, it was a better start than in previous years, and pink bibs were a nice touch . . . XC Ottawa raced to strong finishes:
- Sheila finished a close 2nd. She skied much of the race alone after breaking away from other women on Penguin hill at 20k, but national team biathlete Claude Godbout came on strong, passing Sheila with 4km to go.
- Ingrid started conservatively and skied her way into 4th place in her first 50km race
- Eva impressed again with a 5th place finish
The men's race was an exciting one, and XC Ottawa athletes had top finishes.
- Steffan Lloyd and national team biathlete Marc-Andre Bedard battled it out from start to finish, ending with a finishing sprint that Bedard won.
- Karl raced strong and finished 5th
- Andre raced his first distance Gatineau Loppet and placed 14th
51 km Men's Podium
Marc-Andre Bedard and Steffan
The Gatineau Loppet race organizers and all the volunteers put on another great event. If you didn't take part this year, be sure to put the Gatineau Loppet on your calendar for next year. You don't have to race 50k - there are distances for everyone!
Many thanks to our coach John Surronen, the Vauhti wax guru, and our teammates who topped up our e-load along the way.
The pictures above are by Dave McMahon and XCZone.tv - you can check our his other photos here.
Other photo albums are available at the links below.
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