A record number of participants (since being rejuvenated in 2008) have registered for the 2015 Stride and Glide Sports, Spirit of the Rivers Loppet on Sunday morning. Typically registration has been around 130 participants but this year a whopping 170 participants have decided to join the festivities at the Otway Nordic Centre.
The entries are as unique as there are people entered. Many people are skiing with bunnies, others are pulling their children in chariots, there are previous year’s winners, two time Olympians, ex-national team members, ex-Canada Winter Games provincial representatives and visitors from Vanderhoof, Burns Lake, Fort St. John, and Whitehorse.
Perhaps one of the most impressive entries is Liam Connon. Last year, at the age of eleven years, Liam skied the 30km distance in a mere 2 hours and 11 minutes. He has registered in the open men’s category again this year.
Previous year’s winners include Lauri Karjaluoto who was the fastest overall in 1979 (that’s 36 years ago) and followed up with the fastest time again in 1980, 1992, and 1995. Lauri recently skied 73 kilometers in “one go” to celebrate his 70th year. Chris Paulsen from Burns Lake is back this year. Chris won in 1988 and 1993. Kris Yip who was fastest in 2012 is entered as well.
On the women’s side Esther Grondalen (Miller-Bahen), from Burns Lake, who represented Canada at two Olympics and was the fastest woman in this loppet in 1988, 1993, 1994 and 1995 is entered in the 30 km race. Olympic Biathlete Tuppy Hoehn is registered in the 7.5km recreational category.
Everyone is a winner at this event because the social side, family time and camaraderie are as important as crossing the finish line first.
The Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, a not-for-profit organization, has evolved over many years, to become a full service Nordic ski club and one of the largest of its kind in Canada. The club has had a membership in excess of 1800 in both 2013 and 2014. CNSC is run by a volunteer board of directors who meet regularly once a month. Each is dedicated to skier development and the promotion of the sport of cross country skiing for fun, fitness, recreation and health.
For further information contact:
Cal Benson Bill Warner,
Media Rep, CNSC Chief of Competition, Stride & Glide, Spirit of the Rivers Loppet