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E load marathon race report: Gatineau Loppet 2014 a Success
By:  Team XC Ottawa   (2014/02/17)

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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 athleteslove the chance to compete in a world class event in their backyard, andwehad a successful weekend. With our bodies fueled by e-load, and our skis made super-speedy withVauhtiwaxes, we had 6 athletes (and5 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 alumniColin Abbot, andMatthias Purdontested out the new andimproved 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
Classic 51km results

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 isliving in Toronto withfew ski opportunities, can't seem toresist 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 . . .
Women's Race
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 onstrong, passing Sheila with4km to go.
  • Ingrid started conservatively and skied her way into 4th place in her first50km race
  • Eva impressed again with a 5th place finish

Sheila
Ingrid
Men's Race
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 distanceGatineau Loppet and placed 14th

51 km Men's Podium

Marc-Andre Bedard and Steffan


Andre



Karl
Freestyle 51km results
The Gatineau Loppetrace organizers and all the volunteers put on another great event. If you didn't take part this year, be sure to put the Gatineau Loppeton your calendar for next year. You don't have to race 50k - there are distances for everyone!
Many thanks toour coach John Surronen, the Vauhti wax guru, and our teammates who topped up oure-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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