This past Sunday, Wayne and I competed in a 30k classic race at
I had good memories of this 30k race at Orford last year, and really wanted an excuse to ski on these great trails again. Also, I like to get one loppet under my belt before the Keskinada, to practice little things like pacing and nutrition, and 30k was a good distance to achieve those goals without too much fatigue.
This race course is excellent. It has some nice but not relentless climbs, fun descents, and some flatter rolling sections. They had a good snowfall a week ago, so conditions and grooming were excellent. The course covers a 15km loop twice, and you can't help but be energized as you go through the start/finish area heading out for a second lap.
2006 winner Donald Farley won the men's race once again, ahead of
Phil Shaw in 2nd, and Steve Cyr in 3rd. XC Ottawa's Wayne
Dustin wasn't far behind in 4th. Here's
The start was good, I didn't see any crashes. Donald went to the front, Dana Klassen followed, and they opened a gap pretty quickly. I was able to catch back up on a downhill, but the pace was too hard for me, and I got dropped. Steve passed me, then Phil and I skied together, and we caught Dana, who wasn't able to stay with us. One of the bigger climbs at around 10k Phil made a move to drop me and catch back up to Steve. I skied the rest of the race by myself. Steve and Phil were out of sight for a long time, but I closed back to around 20 second at 20k. They opened up the gap again in the last 5k. I was happy with the race, in they end I didn't kill myself, since the Keski is this weekend.
My race wasn't quite as exciting, but I still had fun. The woman's field was small, and we left 2 minutes after the men. I got off to a good start in first place, and ended up skiing most of the race alone, so took to opportunity to focus on skiing well and relaxed. A highlight was a conversation at the start with a fellow skier: she was very animated, enthusiastic, and encouraging. I asked her if she did many loppets, she said some, and that she used to compete more in running. I found out that this was Jacqueline Gareau, one of Canada's top female marathoners, most famous for winning the Boston marathon in 1980 (the year Rosie Ruiz cheated by somehow cutting the course to cross the finish line as the first woman)!
Several Nakkertok skiers were in Orford racing in the Coupe Atomic classic races with excellent performances. Notably, Patrick Stewart-Jones won the Juvenile men's 10k, and his sisters Emilie and Katherine came 1-2 in the Mini-Midget 2.5 km (the girls also won the freestyle event Saturday as well!). Not to be outdone by his kids, after waxing and coaching duties, dad Kevin raced the 30km loppet.WAX
I seem to be overcompensating with grip lately since a slippy classic race in Canmore, consequently I sacrificed some glide for grip, and my skis were a bit draggy. But, it sure felt good to stay in tracks for all the uphills!
Glide: Vauhti speed graphite, spektra green, black fox
Grip: Vauhti Teho green binder, covered with 3 layers alternating carrot + green, covered with minus gel.
This is a well organized loppet on beautiful trails, only 3 hours