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2006 National Championships
By:  Tom McCarthy   (2006/02/28)


This week, XC Ottawa will travel to Thunder Bay, Ontario, to take part in what is for many the most exciting and fun races of the year; the 2006 National Championships. Many other countries have their National Championships in January, but Canada has traditionally held theirs at the end of the season, to allow those touring in Europe to come back and race. I like having Nationals at the end of the year; with most of the hard racing behind us. It’s a relaxing week, where you can race hard with nothing to lose. I also like that a lot of the top guys are just back from Europe and are either sick or really tired, which provides a stellar opportunity for the domestic guys to step up!! This year, I think we’ll have a few recent Olympians in the mix, which should provide some extra motivation to kick down.

XC Ottawa is looking forward to a good week at Nationals. The club relay is Sunday, and XC Ottawa will have two strong men’s teams and one women’s team ready to go for that skating race. Tuesday and Wednesday is the pursuit, which is still run in the old-school two-day format, a 10k time-trial classic on Tuesday and a pursuit 15k skate on Wednesday. Friday are the sprints, skating, and Sunday is the ultimate race of the year, the Nationals Championships 50k, which happens to be in classic format this year.

Nationals this year is at Lappe Ski Club outside of Thunder Bay. Lappe is a legendary ski centre in Canada, and apparently they have tonnes of snow this year. I have heard rumours that they’ve extended the height on their epic final hill, the aptly-named Grunt. In an exciting twist, the sprint races will take place in a park downtown; apparently the course has been carefully prepared and will feature several elevation changes onto plateaus of differing heights. Should be a great, downtown course!

We will post updates and pictures when possible. The official National Championships website is www.skinationals.com

Stay tuned!

Race Schedule

Sunday March 5

Canadian College and Universities National Championships (CCUNC) Relays
Club Challenge Relays (Boys/Girls)
Club Open Relays (Men/Women)

Tuesday March 7

Short Distance - Classic (5km - 10 km)
Interval Starts, Lappe Nordic Centre

Wed. March 8

Medium Distance - Freestyle (5 - 15 km)
Mass Start, Lappe Nordic Centre

Friday March 10

Individual Sprints Qualifications
Elimination Heats

Sunday March 12

Long Distance - Classic (7.5 km - 50 km)
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