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2008 Gatineau Loppet Reports: The Triple Folly
By:  Parham Momtahan   (2008/02/22)


“As far as possible, as fast as necessary”

Folly (dictionary definition)

n., pl. -lies.

  1. A lack of good sense, understanding, or foresight.

    1. An act or instance of foolishness: regretted the follies of his youth.
    2. A costly undertaking having an absurd or ruinous outcome.

Recipe: Take two layers of Gatineau Loppet, 53 kms classic and freestyle. Serve on top of 160 scenic kms of the Canadian Ski Marathon. Viola! Close to 270 kms for all three events, four days on some great skiing terrain, over two consecutive weekends. A challenge and a delight: particularly for visitors who can get it all with a 10 day stay in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

You may ask why one would do the “Triple”. My skiing friend Peter Hoffman who is a World Loppet Master put the worm in my head when he attempted do it on his 64th birthday. He almost succeeded except for missing some sections of the CSM because of an upset stomach. So I wondered whether I would be able to do it. Then my friend Trevor Plestid has been doing the CSM and the Keski 53 Classic over consecutive weekends for the past few years, always going faster than me, and often bragging about it. Of course, I had to do one better than him.

Some skiers from outside this region, particularly World Loppet Master skiers, want to maximize their participation and challenge having traveled all the way to the region from a far. Like the Australian World Loppet Master skier, Nic Bendeli whom I met on the CSM. He also successfully accomplished the “Triple” this year.

How did my “Triple” go? I had a great time on the CSM ( see http://www.xcottawa.ca/articles.php?id=970 ) I had a good ski on the Gatineau 53 classic and  managed to reduce my time by a couple of minutes from last year, finishing 120 overall at 4h:11m.  My 53 skate turned out to be more of a tour. By Sunday a combination of skiing hangover, going to watch a Senators’ hockey game (alas they lost), and my ‘in-progress’ skating technique caught up with me. My skate finish took about 14 minutes longer than my classic time. In the end though, the outcome of my foolishness, while arguably absurd, was hardly ruinous. I had no injuries or real hurts. I had bad cramps in my thighs on the skate race after the turnaround at 1B which slowed me down considerably, mainly because I did not take enough electrolytes, but it was helped by drinking lots of hot Gatorade at the next checkpoint. I participated in well organized events, skied over beautiful terrain, and met some really interesting folks.

So, I’m proposing to the XC Ottawa folks inaugurating a “Triple Folly Challenge” where all skiers who complete the "Triple", have their names on a web page on the site for bragging rights. They are thinking about it… I do believe this would also be a great co-operative opportunity between the CSM and Gatineau Loppet organizations to promote the “Triple” as a world-class distance challenge to get more international skier interest in both the CSM and the Gatineau Loppet…

Parham Momtahan

PS I’d like to extend a hearty thanks to my Nakkertok fellow masters who encouraged me all season (being called a nutter was definitely taken as an encouragementJ) and providing waxing suggestions and feeds for me over the weekend: in particular our head coach Mike Vieira who impressively also won the 16 kmc while supporting the Nakkertok racers all weekend, assistant master’s coach Jo-Ann Holden, and fellow master Derek Ferguson who came out and supported us even with a bad cold.

 All right reserved. Copyright, Parham Momtahan, 22 Feb 2008

Links to other ski stories by the author:

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