Yesterday was International Women's Day, and I had a fitting way to celebrate by participating in Nakkertok Nordic's end of the year event, Thea's Race. Nakkertok established the event to encourage women to demonstrate their competitive desire and enthusiasm for sport (something I"m passionate about too!). The event features races for all ages, and a recreational races as well on an easier loop, but the main focus is women's participation.
I teamed up with Kyla, and Liza raced with Ingrid.
The race is named after Thea Holloway, a founding member and past-president of Nakkertok, who made immense contributions to women and sport, and loved cross-country skiing, tennis, cycling or hiking. Thea's daughter Sue Holloway is an active member of Nakkertok and a driving force for this event. (Sue followed her mother's passion in a big way: she was the first Canadian to compete in both Summer and Winter Games in the same year - 1976, and won 2 medals in canoe sprint at the 1984 Summer Olympics).
Here is Sue at a recent workshop geared to help women develop confidence and skills on skis
XC Ottawa and Carleton University athletes excited to race!
Ingrid is ready to catch the excitement - now she can relive that exciting downhill!
Kendra Murray - enjoying the day
Maurice Holloway (Thea's husband) hands out the medals. Kyla and I managed to stay on our feet, and finished 2nd, behind the speedy Murray sisters from Whitehorse/Carleton U and just ahead of Katherine and Anneke from Nakkertok
Best of all, all the women got chocolate (and not just any chocolate - quality dark chocolate with ginger, fair trade and organic). Thanks for the Camino chocolate La Siembra Co-op!
Yes, men get to race too! The men's field was large, as they raced all males 14 years old and up together (the women's field was split). On a short course with a challenging ups and downs, this mean a lot of spills!
Colin, Andre, and Mark teamed up and raced in the big pack (check out some of their action in the wipeout video below!)
Andre, getting psyched
Steffan and Andre, before the start
Andre and Nicolas Pigeon in the exchange zone
Senior Men's podium - Andre and Nicolas take 2nd.
Many thanks to the Holloway family, Nakkertok Nordic, and the many volunteers that made this great event possible!
And here's a "wipeout reel" on a tricky downhill, courtesy of Steve Paradine. Lots of wipewouts, but I have to call out some pretty skilled skiing from XC Ottawa's Andre Marchand for his downhill teamwork (about 3:21 in video), and Nakkertok head coach Kieran Jones for his skier slalom at 5:00.