XC Ottawa put in a solid performance today in Canmore, on the tough 2.5 km Olympic and Centennial loops in the continuous pursuit. The women’s race was 10km and started at 10am. After a rushed and busy morning testing both skate and classic skis as well as warming up in both techniques the girls team (Sheila and Megan) powered off the start to a great classic leg, each of them spending some time in 4th position.
After two trips up the huge climb (both times in the track thanks to John’s super waxing job) and a fast descent into the stadium for the exchange, Megan was in 6th and Sheila 8th. Megan’s exchange showed room for improvement. Her ski flew off into the finishing lanes upon taking her first skating steps and she had to chase it down before continuing on to the skating leg. Sheila’s exchange was good … maybe they should practice this together before the next pursuit in Val Cartier!
Both women skated hard and strong to the finish, completing the course in 7th and 9th place respectively, a great improvement over last week’s race in Silver Star.
The men raced a 15km course which consisted of 3 loops of 2.5km in each technique. After another rushed morning and a difficult start, which fortunately didn’t involve any falls or broken equipment, both Karl and Andrew stormed up the classic hill in the track and flew down the big descents (again, thanks John!) all three times and found their positions in strong groups of skiers.
Both guys had clean exchanges over to skating and continued to prove themselves in the skating portion. Karl and Andrew were happy with their races and Andrew is feeling healthy again after last week’s cold. Karl was 20th and Andrew 34th. We are all looking forward to the weekend when we will compete in the skating sprints on Saturday and the classic short individual start on Sunday.
Tasha Betcherman dominated the women's race, winning by 53 seconds and Ivan Babikov won the mens race by 15.5 seconds.
Sheila at the race site.
Canmore Nordic Center.
Lead me's pack in the classic leg.
Andrew in there at the top of the climb.
Andrew coming over the hill.
Karl leading the pack.
Karl mid-pack...following Gavin Hamilton.
Andrew in the skate leg.
Ivan Babikov, the eventual winner.