2008 CSM Stories: An Incredible Event
By: Bruce Mason (2008/02/14)
The Canadian Ski Marathon is an incredible event, as Chris Macknie's most excellent post reported yesterday. The logistics required to prepare the 160K route and organize the hordes of volunteers is surely a task of unimaginable proportions. And Chris is right - those gold Coureur des Bois skiers lugging the massive backpacks are absolutely amazing athletes.
Some memories of this year's event:
• Being passed on the final section by a couple of skiers sporting Nakkertok jackets and displaying perfect technique, unlike my sorry fatigued shuffle. I was pretty certain they must have only done the last two or possibly three sections. When congratulating them at the finish line, the father proudly introduced his 13 year old son Fraser, and reported that they had skied the entire 10 sections. Fraser was beaming, but more intent on congratulating me than bragging. And he wryly took a shot at his Dad for getting lost on the drive there and arriving 20 minutes after the starting gun.
• Chatting with a lady from Stowe, Vermont on the bus afterwards who proudly introduced her four beautiful young daughters. The five of them had all skied, including her 18 year old, a gold Coureur des Bois who slept outside overnight in the gold camp. The Mom was raving about the event, and said it could never happen in the U.S. with so many volunteers, and with everyone being so friendly.
• The 80 year old gentleman who was introduced at the banquet, and who sprinted up to the stage and humbly responded that he had skied 7 of the 10 sections. Wouldn't it be nice to think that at 80 years old you could still do that!
Hopefully this fabulous event can survive as a Canadian winter celebration, despite being ignored by our media.