This past week (Feb 05-08), the World Masters Winter Games were held at various venues in and around Quebec City. For skating enthusiasts there were competitions in short track, long track and marathon skating. The 50km was held on beautiful Lake Beauport north of the city. By all accounts the conditions were absolutely perfect. The 25 km was held on the refrigerated oval that has been established on the Plains of Abraham. Although SLSSC President John Ambrose registered for these events, he had to cancel at the last moment due to illness. If you wish to see the results you will have to find your way to the website of pentathlon des neiges.
A few weekends back (Jan 31 – Feb 1), the second annual Lake Memphromogog Marathon races were held adjacent to the picturesque Vermont town of Newport. The local organization was granted the rights to hold the North American Marathon Championships and these attracted some 28 entries over the two distances of 25km and 50km. Saturday’s 25km started in -20C temperatures with a brutal wind on one side of the 800m oval which resulted in a wind chill of -30C. Once the race was on there were no complaints of the cold as we warmed up with a steady and robust pace. Registration included skaters from Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Vermont, NY, Connecticut, Massachusetts and one skater all the way from Berkeley, California. This race was won by Jake Maarse, a 60 year old regular on the marathon circuit, of North Gower, Ontario. Our club was represented only by yours truly but my result was somewhat disappointing due to a heavy chest cold.
The 50km race the next morning started in balmy weather of -15C but still a nasty wind that contributed to a much lower temperature. In this race Tom Keene of Boston edged out Jake for the win. For the first time in ten years I did not finish a marathon event, having run out of steam after only a third of the distance – again my excuse was the chest cold.
The ice conditions were excellent and the organizing group at Newport deserve much praise for their dedicated work. This was only their second year of ice making and they have climbed the learning curve of ice making very quickly.
A 40km skate up the lake was planned for Monday and this would have included a border crossing into Canada. However due to heavy snow conditions earlier in the week the event was cancelled, much to the disappointment of many of the skaters who were looking forward to this interesting and fun event to skate a race transitioning from one country to the next.
I encourage those in the club who are interested in distance skating on natural ice with the elements that winter has to offer to consider the Vermont events for next year. Incidentally the weekend also includes 1 and 5km events. The oval is adjacent to the East End Restaurant, the race headquarters, which offers up on the Saturday evening a wonderful buffet and some of the best draft craft beer in the northeast. Marathon skating is not about winning medals but about participating in a fun and challenging event with wonderful people (highly skilled and not so) from far and wide.
If you wish to keep abreast of what is going on in the marathon skating world refer to www.marathonskating.org.
Picture below shows the lead pack rounding the south corner of the oval with the town of Newport in the background.
Congratulations to the SLSSC skaters who braved the weather this past weekend to participate in the Provincial Long Track Championships, in Ottawa. Personal Bests were set by all who skated, with several of our members reaching the podium for their specific age classes. Congrats to Aidan VanBeek for finishing 1st overall in the 12 years old boys category. Congrats to Chloe Segal for finishing 2nd in the 14 years old category girls. Congrats to Emma Grace Wheeler for finishing 3rd in the 13 year old girls category. Congrats to Connor Taugher for finishing 3rd in the Open Men (16-49) category. All 4 skaters will be representing Team Ontario at the Canadian Championship on Feb 7-8 in Saskatoon. Good Luck!
Mark your calendars! The time has come!
The St. Lawrence Speed Skating Club (aka: us) will be hosting the Eastern Regional Meet #4 on February 14th, 2015. The information package and registration form can be downloaded from the OSSA website. Forms and payment should be remitted to Heather, no later than February 4th, 2015. Hope to see all skaters sign up for this event. If you require a seed time, please speak to your coaches.
Congratulations to graduated SLSSC member, Alphonse Ouimette, for competing at the Canadian National Qualifier in Montreal, a few weeks back. Alphonse had a very good weekend, finishing 7th overall, out of 52 skaters, just missing qualifying for Team Canada (top 6).
For those interested, the complete protocol from the meet is available.
The Clarington Speed Skating Club will be hosting the Provincial Series Meet #2 on Nov 22-23. The announcement can be viewed on the OSSA website. Registration forms (individual or family) must be submitted to Heather, by November 12th, 2014.
Congratulations to the club skaters that attended the Provincial Series Meet #2, this past weekend in Cambridge.
Congrats to Aidan VanBeek for taking top honours in the Group 2 Boys 3, Mixed Gender group and to Alphonse Ouimette for finishing 3rd in the Group 1 Men 1, Mixed Gender group.
The PB’s page has been updated.
The Provincial Series will be commencing its season, for those who qualify, with the first meet scheduled for the weekend of November 1st & 2nd in Cambridge. The official announcement can be read on the OSSA website. The registration forms can be download by following the links (individual or family). Registration must be completed, and submitted to Heather, by October 22nd, 2014.