Sunday morning Chris and I participated in the Kouchibouguac cross-country ski loppet. A loppet is a recreational cross-country ski race with participants of all ages and abilities. Times are recorded and results posted, but at the loppets I’ve attended there are no announcements of winners, just a general celebration of everyone’s good race.
More than 80 skiers from the Atlantic provinces competed on Sunday in either the 10 km (6.2 mile), 30 km (18.6 mile), or 50 km (31 mile) races. All distances could be skied using either the classic or skate ski techniques.
Chris decided to skate ski in the 30 kilometre race. It was his first time participating in a loppet. I was proud of him as this was also the first time he’d ever attempted to ski so many kilometres in one go. He finished with a time of 1:40:29 – a great result!
I decided to skate ski in the 10 kilometre race. Although it was a recreational race, I have a competitive tendency and tried to outrace as many skiers as I could. I pushed myself and finished the race in fifth place with a time of 34:27:8 – the fastest I’ve ever skied that distance. Normally I ski ten kilometres in an hour or so. I was very happy with my time and happy to know I can ski fast when I try.
This loppet was also special to me because Kouchibouguac National Park is near my hometown and is where I started cross-country skiing when I was 7 years old. My brother and I received cross-country skis as Christmas gifts and spent many days skiing in the park with my mom. I loved these outings. Sometimes we’d go for a few hours, and sometimes we’d take a lunch, ski to one of the huts, build a fire, and spend a few hours playing in the sknow. I moved away from the area after high school and still make time to go to the park every summer, but Sunday was the first time in over 15 years that I’d been on the cross-country ski trails. It felt nice to be back.
The post-race lunch was at the local community hall where I usually go for post-funeral lunches. I was glad to be there for a happier event. The traditional Acadian stew was served – Fricot – and door prizes were handed out. It was a nice end to a great day.