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Canadian Eastern Championships 2016: Preview
By:  Andre Marchand   (2016/02/03)

The Eastern Canadian Championships will take place this weekend once again at the amazing venue of Nakkertok South, where racers from across the country will be competing on Nakkertok's exciting race trails. We are very lucky to have Eastern's as a stay home race, and are hoping for some good results given that we have been training on the race course quite a bit!

Racing begins on Friday with the Junior A and older (18+) athletes racing a 1.4 km (Women) and 1.5 km (Men) Freestyle Sprint race, while the younger athletes compete on a grueling 3 km Skate Prologue. 
The Friday Sprint day is arguably one of the most exciting events to watch with five waves composed of six racers competing head-to-head in order to advance to the next round, and eventually race in the A-Final for the podium. It is guaranteed to be fast, exciting, and fun!

An example of a sprint wave at Eastern's, including myself and team Alumni Matthias Purdon, some very close quarter's racing!

Saturday will be a Freestyle Individual Start Middle distance race, with the Open men racing 15km, and the Open Women racing 10km. The Nakkertok race course includes many challenging features like Montée McCarthy (very steep uphill!), and Dirk's Dive (very fast downhill!), which will keep all the racers on their toes! 

Kyla racing away!

The Eastern Championships weekend will conclude on Sunday with a Long Distance Mass Start Classic race, where the Open Women will compete head to head over 15km, and the Open Men will race 20km. Mass start racing always guarantees excitement, and often carnage in the first lap, as racers scramble up and down the narrow trails at high speed!

Classic racing by Karl Saidla!

Everyone on XC Ottawa, as well as the local clubs, Chelsea Nordic, Nakkertok, Skinouk, and Carleton University, are looking forward to this exciting weekend of racing! 

If your in the area and want to cheer on your local skiers, and watch some exciting racing, Nakkertok is only 20min from downtown Ottawa, come on out! It will be a great weekend!

Andre M.
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