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XC Ottawa Posts Strong Results at the Gatineau Loppet!
By:  Megan McTavish   (2008/02/19)

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XC Ottawa team members competed in a variety of races this weekend beginning with the classic races on Saturday.

Olympian, Wayne Dustin, decided that he would be a "tough man" and race both 53km races totally 106km for the weekend! He started out strong on Saturday to finish 5th overall. I'm sure getting up to do it all over again on Sunday was a difficult task but he was there bright and early ready to go again and had a good race, finishing in 21st position!

Justin Demers and Lindsay Los competed in the 29km classic competition as a part of their preparation for the Nationals long distance classic event in March. Justin raced strongly and, despite suffering from slippery skis, finished 3rd overall following two other strong local skiers, Mathias Purdon of Carleton and Aidan Lennie of Nakkertok. Lindsay was 4th among the women in her first long distance race. She says she'll be back for more fun next year!

In the afternoon, the 16km classic race went off and our Junior racer Zoe Braul was competing in that event. She finished in 4th position among the women. Danielle McVicar from Kanata Racers, who has been training with us for the last month, finished in 2nd just edged out by her big sister .

Sunday rolled around with questionable weather in store. Everyone was hoping that the freezing rain would hold off untill the races were over. Some people were lucky, but many of the later finishers came in covered in ice! The snow was faster than Saturday though so most people were happy with that!

In the 53km skate (see the play by play in the Eload Marathon Series article posted yesterday) Sheila Kealey came in 4th (a position she is very familiar with at this race!) and I (Megan) was close behind in 5th. We were both happy to get some prize money for their efforts! Karl was 6th on the men's side, just outside the money but had a strong race. Wayne (as mentioned earlier) was 21st.

The final event with XC Ottawa racers involved was the 29km skate. The top skiers in this category started in the B wave with the 53km competitors, 2 minutes after the A wave. Craig Storey was one of these racers and he quickly caught the back end of the A wave and tried to get past as many of them as possible before the narrower trails. He caught up to me at the bottom of trail 15 (going up to Pink\'s Lake) and I let him go by. However, he realized that it was going to be impossible to get past the group of 20 or so that I was hanging off the back of. So, being the great team player that he is, he skied in front of me making sure I was with the group at the top of the hill. It was great to ski behind him and get into a relaxed tempo with nice big steps. Without him, I would have lost that group for sure! As soon as we reached the parkway, he took off and skied alone for the remainder of the race finishing 2 minutes ahead of the next fastest 29km competitor. Great race Craig!

We had a great weekend at the loppet with XC Ottawa at the top of many different races. We also had lots of fun and hope everyone else did too!

Special thanks goes out to our "feeding team" for Sunday's race - Thanks Edith, Justin, Erika, Wayne's sister, Brian and Zoe. Of course, thanks to our coach John for the great waxing jobs!

If you have any stories for us, please send them to info@xcottawa.ca.

See you all again next year!

 
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