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.
SLSSC participants in the 25 km on Saturday. John B., John A. and Heidi (not in photo) competed in the 50km on Sunday as well.
SLSSC participants in the 10 km on Saturday
Tonya (Ottawa), John, Marco (Portland), and Jake (North Gower) with the thickest slice of Big Rideau ice in the history of the event.
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.
It’s marathon time! In just a little over three weeks the first marathon event of the season will be held at the Gaetan Boucher Oval in Ste. Foy P.Q. This is always a well attended event and a great kickoff for the marathon season – no cracks in the ice. Ice conditions have always been superb on this 400 metre refrigerated oval. There will be a free practice skate on Friday Nov 8th between 6 and 7 pm. On Saturday the 25km will be held at 5:30pm and on Sunday two races: women’s only 10km at 8:30am and then the one hour challenge at 10:30am. Refer to marathonskating.org for further details and a list of the marathons for the season. If you would like to try some distances this winter you should seriously consider the Quebec event since two of last years venues (Ottawa and Vermont) are not available for this season. I will be attending this one in Quebec City (always a fun place to spend some time), anyone interested in joining me? If so, see me at the Memorial Centre for further details re: transportation and accommodation. John A.
Here are the “Champlain Five” at the completion of the 21 km event at Lake Champlain. Left to right: Todd, Heidi, John B. Femke and John A.
A special thanks and congratulations to our President, John Ambrose.
He has taken part in 6 marathon events this year, He always does all the distances which are usually 10, 21 or 25 and 42 or 50km. His total mileage for the season is about 479 km. Recently in Sylvan Lake, he followed up 50 km race on Friday by skating a 100 km race on Saturday.
Through his love of skating – and particularly marathon skating – he has introduced many club members to the joys of long distances skated in the great outdoors.
If you didn’t get a chance to skate a marathon event this year, give some serious consideration to making it to at least one next year. It is good to mix your “skate fast and turn left” with a little “go outside, skate not quite so fast, and eventually turn left”.
Here is the final edition of the Marathon Musings.
The final marathons were held over two weekends in Alberta (Feb. 16/17 and 22/23/24) and I was finally able to fulfill a wish of joining in on at least one of these fun weekends. I travelled out to Sylvan Lake (near Red Deer) and with Gaetan Rochette and Pierre Gagne of Quebec City we represented the east in the three races over the three day weekend. Weather conditions were perfect with 0degree temperatures, sunny skies and little wind. The local Dutch dairy farming community put this event on each year and do a real first class job of ice preparation and logistics for the weekend. (80% of all skaters were of Dutch origin!) The 5 km track was in excellent condition although one had to be vigilant of the many pressure cracks that tended to run parallel to the line of skating. Gaetan, Pierre (80 years young) and I skated in a threesome for the 50km on the Friday and we finished together in about 2 hours and 26 minutes. Saturday was the real test with 100km to complete. The conditions remained excellent. Although Gaetan and Pierre and I all started out together they decided that after 55 km that they had had enough for the day. I continued to plod onwards and managed to finish the 100km in a little over 5.5 hours which was about 2 hours slower than the overall winner! On Sunday Gaetan and Pierre skated the 25km in excellent times but I decided to cheer from the sidelines as a result of being too spent from the previous two days. The overall winner for all three races as well as the 10km race was a professional woman marathoner from the Netherlands.
Sylvan Lake was a great experience and I highly recommend this event in the future for those of you in the club who are hooked on skating distances without challenging corners! Let’s make up a group in the next two or three years and travel out to Alberta for this wonderful event. Save up your nickels.
Five club members managed to find their way down to North Hero Vermont last weekend to participate in the first annual Lake Champlain Marathon. In spite of the perfect storm we all managed to arrive at different times but in time to reach the starting line for the 21 km event on Saturday. An early start of 10 am was delayed until mid-afternoon to give the Waterloo ladies time to negotiate bad road conditions. They arrived with 15 minutes to spare! Todd, Heidi, John A., John B. and Fimke all performed well with Todd putting in the best time with a fourth place overall in a field of 27. The 42 km on Sunday was held under absolutely perfect conditions with sunny skies and no wind. Heidi, John A. and Todd partook in this event and again Todd showed his skating strength and stamina by placing 6th overall in a field of 24. We all agreed that this was a wonderful weekend at a superb venue. Most of us stayed at the very comfortable North Hero Lodge where lodging, food and draft beer were all first class. We all agree that this is the venue to head for next year.
We must thank the various folks in North Hero who made this event possible. It was their first time and to put on such an event but they handled the steep learning curve admirably.
Marathon skating now moves out west with the Silver Skate Marathon in Edmonton on family day weekend and the Sylvan Lake (near Red Deer) being held the following weekend over three days. Anyone interested in joining me at Sylvan Lake for three races of 25, 50 and 100 km?
On Saturday January 26th Portland Outdoors held its 9th annual Skate the Lake event under perfect conditions. Due to very cooperative weather conditions and the dedicated event volunteers the ice conditions were the best ever for this event. Cracks were many but small and easily detected and the ice surface was as smooth as any Zambonied surface can be. A number of skating events were provided to meet the needs and abilities of the large number of skaters who attended the event.
SLSSC was overwhelmingly represented by 15 of our members comprised of 12 masters skaters and three of our competitive skaters. We had eight skaters in the field of 26 in the 10km event and they took away four gold medals in various age categories. Seven of our skaters competed in the 25km , producing a further three medals: one each of gold, silver and bronze. Two skaters took on the grueling 50km and produced a bronze and a gold.
Detailed results of the event can be viewed at marathonskating.org
(Sorry, this post got buried for a while -Steve)
Ottawa Marathon Weekend – St Lawrence Well Represented
Following a cold week with good skating conditions the Brewer oval came under the influence of warmer weather on the weekend that resulted in challenging skating on the Saturday afternoon and a wicked challenge for Sunday with extremely high winds. Of the 24 entries for the 21km, four were from our club (Connor, Kyle, Heidi and John). Connor and Kyle placed 12th and 15th respectively. John and Connor used the 4km race as a warmup for the 21 and both John and Heidi turned in good performances for the 21km event. On Sunday the 42km was modified to a one hour blizzard challenge as a result of winds up to 90km/hr. At one point during the race our lightest skater (Connor) was blown backwards! However he still managed, along with Kyle, to clock 61 laps while John knocked off four fewer (John prefaced this race with the 10km which was held one hour before the 1 hour challenge). Heidi chose short track in Kingston on Sunday.
Long distance skating is now becoming popular within the club and we have seven members, including four masters and three competitive group skaters, who have now participated in the half and full marathon MSI (marathon skating international) events. The next event is Saturday Jan.26 with the ever popular Skate the Lake at Portland on Big Rideau Lake and several of our members will be taking part in this event. The last event in the east will be the inaugural Lake Champlain marathon Feb 8,9 in Vermont. At least five of us are planning to attend this ‘probably loaded with fun’ event. It is never too late to sign up for either of these two events but if you just want to experience the event atmosphere you are encouraged to attend the Skate the Lake event as a spectator. For pictures of the Ottawa marathon weekend go to the MSI website and look for the event description and Alicia’s pics.
From the good people at Portland Outdoors:
Skate The Lake
Saturday January 26th, 2013
Skate the Lake 2013 is gearing up for another fun filled event, Sat Jan 26th 2013. Be sure to check out our new website for more exciting things being planned, our new website is;
Listed below is the program of races and fee’s involved, pre-register and save yourself some money
Race Pre-registration Fee Register Day of the event
Junior 5K Free
5K Adults $15.00 $20.00
10K $20.00 $25.00
25K $45.00 $50.00 25K & 50K will start at the same time
50K $45.00 $50.00
Special Olympic Race Free
Relay race Team fee is $35.00 Team costumes encouraged
Pre-registration closes Thursday Night Jan 25th ‘13
Registration forms are attached to this e-mail please print off and complete then scan and send back to email@example.com or you can fax to 1 866 300-8914
The schedule for the various races will be posted on line shortly.
Make plans to stay and enjoy the best fireworks display in the area that takes place at dusk.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
Here are the registration pdf files (also available on their registration web page).
STL 2013 Kids Registration Form – Bilingual
STL 2013 Registration Form – Bilingual -Revised w 50km
Relay STL2013 Registration Form
Olympic Ovals with Refrigerated Ice
Quebec City and Lake Placid
The first two marathon events took place in mid-November in Quebec City and Lake Placid in early December. Rusty skates and rusty skaters took part in the opening events at the Gaetan Boucher oval in St Foy, PQ. Conditions were mild but the ice was excellent. The regular season participants didn’t have a chance against the young hotshots from Quebec who have been training on this wonderful facility for quite some time. They blew us all away in both events. There was a strong contingent from Ottawa and as usual Suzanne Dionne showed well in the overall women’s category. The half marathon of 21km was held Saturday evening with a follow-up one hour challenge race on the Sunday morning. This skater, although disappointed with his slow times, placed second and third in his age category in these two events, and has never being able to come close to matching the superb skating of the winner of both events in my age category, Yves Garneau (69 years) of Quebec City who consistently skates times that challenge skaters 15-20 years his junior. Once again, I was the only SLSSC member to attend this wonderful event. And what is there that isn’t to like about Quebec City?
On the December 7th weekend Heidi and I travelled to Lake Placid to take in the Golden Skate marathons on the famous Lake Placid Oval. The registration of 134 entries for the three events was largest turnout of any marathon event in recent years. Being somewhat intimidated with all of the distance to cover over the weekend Heidi signed up only for the Saturday morning 21 km (already familiar with the distance from last January’s Bytown Marathon) but I was able to convince her that the Friday evening 10km would be the perfect warm up for the next morning (heh, heh). She took the bait and in both events did quite well for a Lake Placid first timer on near perfect ice. Now I had to convince her that because she had to hang around on Sunday morning while I competed in the 42 km she may as well give it a go and see what she could accomplish. Well, congratulations are in order, she completed the 42 km (a total of 73 km for the weekend) and now we have another club member infected with the marathon bug. I also competed in all three races and although there was a large field in my category (10 of the grey power set) I managed to capture a couple of third place finishes (10km and 42km) with very satisfying times. The highlight of the weekend was the strong second place finish of Kevin Frost of Ottawa in the 40s age category. This was an outstanding performance by Kevin who is legally blind.
After the Christmas break we move to natural ice conditions with the Bytown (Ottawa) Marathon in mid-January followed by Portland on the last Saturday of the month. In February the marathon circuit goes out west with five events in Alberta including a 100km event at Sylvan Lake.
Vytas (Pacers) and John following completion of 42 km
Constant (overall winner of all three races), Heidi and John