On October 3rd, a total of 14 skaters from the club participated in the combined Regional Series #1 / Provincial Series Warm Up meet in Ottawa.
There were lots of PBs set. See the updated PB list here.
SLSSC is once again offering a 1⁄2 hour Learn-to-Skate program on Tuesdays from 6-6:30
pm. This program is aimed at children 3 years and up with no previous skating
experience.The focus is on teaching the fundamental skating skills appropriate for any ice
sport. Any type of skates may be worn.
The program is offered in two sessions, fall &winter, and the cost is $100 per session. Each session is 10 weeks: Oct 20-Dec 22 & Jan 5- Mar 8.
Registration Day for Learn-to-Skate Session 1 is Tuesday, September 15, 6-8 pm at the Memorial Centre
Get your registration forms and money to Heather by Tuesday.
There will be lots of opportunity to help out at the meet as well. Talk to Rob Giroux for more details.
See you there!
On Saturday January 24th the 11th edition of Skate the Lake at Portland was held. This year was the best ice that I have ever experienced at this competition. Good ice but tough conditions as the usual wind on the far side was at it best (or worst). By the time the 25 and 50km events started the wind provided a brutal force with which to contend. SLSSC showed a strong presence as usual in the day’s events. Darlene Nelson,Emma Grace Wheeler and Julia Wheeler entered the 5km, Betty Hogeterp and husband Bill (former club member) entered the 10km along with ‘Gimpy Knee’ Heidi, John Bols took on the 25km and John A. had a struggle with the 50km. Four of the five Schoneville family (former club members) competed in the various event distances. However the surprise of the day was the extremely strong showing of Chloe in the 25 km who placed very high in the overall standings and took a gold in her age class. Great showing Chloe in your first ever marathon event.
Here are a couple of great pictures of some young Rapids getting ready to race at the Quinte Meet. Click on the image for a larger version…
The inaugural marathon weekend marathon for Lake Memphemagog at Newport Vermont was held on the March 1/2 weekend. A week before the event we didn’t know if there would be such a skate as the organizers didn’t know if they could provide decent ice, having never organized such a skating event. It was only by luck that the MSI (Marathon Skating International) president, Neal Hundt, had stopped by two weeks earlier on his way to the Quebec Plains of Abraham marathon to grab a bite to eat and that he caught up with Phil White. Phil is the local ‘mover and shaker’ when it comes to organizing long distance events for Newport and after talking to Neal decided that maybe they should add speed skating to the list (along with in-line, swimming and cycling).
In two weeks they had an organization established with plenty of willing volunteers and proceeded to develop an excellent 700 meter oval on the lake. We had 1,5, 21 and 42km events. For the latter two events, due to the short notice, the field of skaters was small, however, very enthusiastic. Those who attended (about 23 skaters in the longer events) had nothing but praise for the organization and the quality of the ice. Most skaters were from the US with four of us (including Heidi and myself) from Ontario and two from Quebec. We all had a good time and the restaurant at oval-side provided a wonderful seafood buffet on the Saturday nite. The same first class local craft beer as we experienced at Lake Champlain last year was available on tap here as well. The competition was of a high level and both Heidi and I came away with a wonderful prize of free registration for next year’s event. This prize was not for winning a race, but for being the last ones in the ‘barn door’ following the 42km race. Although we both skated personal bests, the competition for this event was of very high caliber.
All agreed that Lake M. will be on our personal calendars for next season.
The marathon season extended from mid-November opening up with the Quebec City marathon that is held at the Gaetan Boucher oval in St. Foy and ended with the inaugural Lake Memphemagog marathon weekend at Newport, Vermont on the first weekend of March. In between we had several others including Lake Placid, Skate the Lake (Portland, Ontario) and Plains of Abraham, with one marathon being cancelled in mid- February at Lake Placid. In addition to these ‘local’ marathons there were marathons on the Halifax oval and two in Alberta (Silver Skate in Edmonton and Sylvan Lake near Red Deer (this latter event was moved to the Red Deer oval due to unfavourable ice conditions on Sylvan Lake). The events were well attended with the exception of Skate the Lake as a result of very poor and hazardous driving conditions for intended participants, and Lake Memphemagog due to short notice. But all were successful and enjoyed by all who attended. This year the North American marathon championships were held in our backyard at Portland (Skate the Lake). Our club was well represented at the NA championships with 15 of our members entering the various events. Heidi attended four of the five marathon events in our region and John participated in all five (ten races). It was unfortunate that the second Lake Placid event was cancelled due to hazardous driving conditions since eight from our club were signed up to participate. Better luck next year and hopefully we will attract more club members to a suite of events in 2014/15.
On the weekend of Feb 8th and 9th, during the famous Quebec Winter Carnival, the inauguration of the Plains of Abraham marathons was held. A refrigerated track of 430 m was constructed on the historic site of the Plains of Abraham, overlooking the St. Lawrence River and the old city.
There was a very healthy and enthusiastic turnout for both the 25km on Saturday and the 50km on Sunday with most skaters coming from the Quebec City and Montreal regions with only three skaters from Ontario competing and a couple from the US.
Saturday’s conditions were brutal with extreme winds from the west, however the westerly direction of the track was downhill (yes, downhill, slightly) and the tail wind up the opposite side aided this slight uphill section. The ice was in perfect condition and all skating times were very good, particularly on the Sunday for the 50km with little wind (but -20 degrees C) with which to contend.
Even though placing at the bottom end of the overall skaters’ times, I did skate a personal best for the 50km with a faster pace than in the 25. My personal good times were not enough to podium in my age class in either race due to a large group of very fit and fast aging Quebecers. They sure are great outdoor enthusiasts in Quebec and take their fitness and sports very seriously.
The organizers of the event plan to hold the races annually during the winter carnival and I highly recommend attending if you are looking for a wonderful skating experience in a great historical city at a very festive time of the year. Another new marathon weekend was scheduled for the weekend of Feb 15/16 but has been cancelled due to stormy conditions.
This past weekend saw the Skate the Lake Event celebrate its 10th anniversary and the SLSSC joined in on the celebration with a total of 15 club members participating in various races over the two days. The Event was also given the right to hold the North American Marathon Championships. The ice conditions were the best ever experienced in the history of the event, however, this was balanced off with extreme windy conditions on Saturday. Although much colder on Sunday there was no wind and the sun shone for throughout most of the day’s racing. Unfortunately for the event, many pre-registered would be participants did not arrive as a result of the poor and often dangerous driving conditions. At least six of the regulars from Waterloo had to turn back due to the road hazards. However, those who attended enjoyed the two days and smiles were all around. Jake Maarse of North Gower and Catherine Kwiecien of Waterloo won the overall men and women’s categories for the North American championships which are based on combined results of the 25 and 50km races. SLSSC did extremely well, medaling in many events, gender and age categories. Complete results will be posted on the Marathon skating website.
Click on the Gallery picture for a larger version.
Two skaters missing from the photos are Emma Grace and Chloe Segal who competed in the 5km on Sunday and who came in first (Chloe) and second (Emma Grace) overall.