Local Nordic Racers Excel in Cold Prince George


Team Comradery PC: Bill Noble

A large contingent of Strathcona Nordic racers travelled to Prince George in early February in search of fast snow and podium finishes at the Teck BC Cup #2 – and the racers did not disappoint.

“Race conditions in Prince George were a bit different to what we are used to, a very cold -17 on both days of racing, but athletes performed extremely well nonetheless and learned lots about effective race preparation and competing in challenging conditions,” commented head coach Andrea Stapff of Campbell River. “I was really pleased with the excellent effort everyone put in for the sprint event on day 1, and especially what they all ‘put out there’ in the distance race on day 2.”

On day 1 skate sprint event, midget boy Hugo Henckel earned a bronze medal. Juvenile boy Gabe Gledhill dominated the race, with a gold medal finish, Aiden Noble close behind with a bronze. Emma Wong brought home a bronze for juvenile girls, and other top ten finishers included Anna Chatterton, Stephen Lamon and Amelia Wells.

In the day 2 skate distance event our local athletes braved blowing snow and extreme cold, but performed well with Gabe Gledhill earning a silver medal in the 7.5 km race. Aiden Noble was 5th, and Stephen Lamon 7th. Juvenile girls Amelia Wells came in 6th and Emma Wong 7th.

TECK COAST CUPS 5 & 6 and VI Loppet

Race Start 1

Young racers in the team event on Saturday. PC Kurt Galik

The Teck Coast Cups 5 & 6 took place this past weekend at Mount Washington (Nordic Area & Raven Lodge) on Vancouver Island. The Teck Series is a CCBC-sanctioned series for the various regions of BC and sponsored by Teck Resources with a focus on ageappropriate events (Atoms through Juveniles).

Saturday’s team sprint relay nordic ski-cross (free technique) was held for its second year and made for good all round fun, mixing ages and abilities. Sunday’s event was a nordic distance event - from 1 km for atoms to 2.5 for pee wees and bantams and 5 km for midgets and juveniles.

Included this year for the first time in conjunction with the Teck Coast Cup (rather than its usual late winter time slot) was the Vancouver Island Loppet with distances at 15 km (half) and 30 km (full) Loppet. The Loppet was challenging to compete with 643 m. total climb (30 km distance) and relatively steep descents on hard-packed and somewhat icy conditions.

Below are the top 3 times (all ages) for the two distances:
Half Loppet (15 km) (Men) Aiden Noble 46:19.7 (SNSC) Stephen Lamon 50:26.0 (SNSC) Gabe Gledhill 50:28.9 (SNSC)
Half Loppet (15 km) (Women) Emma Wong 57:43.9 (SNSC) ) Anne Mackie 58:42.6 (Hollyburn) Madeleine Guimond 59:49.9 (SNSC)

Full Loppet (30 km) (Men) Ross Lamon 1:26:11.3 (SNSC) Evan Girard 1:26:18.7 Connor McGrady 1:34:16.3 (SNSC)
Full Loppet (30 km) (Women) Tobi Henderson 1:35:00.4 (Whistler Nordics) (Oxbow, SK/Vic) Amelia Wells 1:38:10.0 (SNSC) Freya Wasteneys 1:38:35 (SNSC)

The last word goes to SNSC head coach, Olympian Andrea Stapff, B.A., Master’s (Sports Physiology): "This home race weekend was such a great opportunity to build community amongst our programs. For our youngest skiers to be part of a regional event and to ski side by side our Junior Development team and our Junior Race team athletes is so important. “The popular team relay event on a skier cross course, nordic style, is not only super fun but goes a long way to develop great skills. It was really fun to watch everyone get into the team spirit and give it a really good go through the various skill segments of the course. And I was really impressed with the way in which all the competitors handled the icy conditions in the distance races on the second day of the race weekend. “From the 30km full loppet course to the 1km loop for our youngest skiers; it was an excellent weekend all around."

Special thanks to CCBC, Teck Resources, the Province of BC, Mount Washington and Ski Tak Hut as well as all our volunteers for their support of and help with the event.

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Start of Sunday’s Loppet under a clear-blue ski. P.C. Brenda Blakely

A Year on Arctic Ice

Two of our masters racers, would like to invite you to a slide show of their experience on March 2nd. It would be great to support them. See the following:

As a fundraiser for the SWI (Strathcona Wilderness Institute summer programmes, SWI is pleased to bring Graeme and Lynda Magor to give a slide presentation entitled: "A year on Arctic ice: Overwintering on southern Ellesmere Island."

On June 21, 1999, three couples and one young girl (2½ year old Keziah) left the
Norwegian port of Oslo, aboard a 16.5m steel-hulled ketch, the Northanger, for a
year-long journey that would see them overwintering in the frozen ice of a bay along
the southern edge of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. Christened the Otto
Sverdrup Centennial Expedition, the trip was organized to celebrate the voyage of
the Norwegian explorer Otto Sverdrup, who also overwintered 1898-1902 on
Ellesmere Island aboard the 39m three-masted schooner, the Fram.

The presentation will cover the experiences of that journey, including a seven-week sled hauling trip Graeme made with the two Norwegians across the frozen sea of Norwegian Bay to Axel Heiberg Island to 81 degrees latitude following portions of the route Sverdrup travelled during the four years he spent mapping 260,000 square kilometers of the Arctic.

Location : the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College on Ryan Road in Courtenay.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with the show beginning at 7 and followed by a question and answer period. There is a cover charge of $10 per person, students half price, at the door. Or purchase online here.

What does Cross Country Skiing Reveal about the Human Condition?

The New York Times published an article and we are wondering if anyone can relate?

Click here for the article.


Our new poster child, Amelia Holyome, for Bunny Rabbits at our local Coast Cup. PC: Kurt Galik

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