How do 505 racers fit into a 2.5km Frozen Thunder?

This blog post is a contribution by Bogi Gyorfi.

XC Alberta Cup 1 & 2 at the Canmore Nordic Centre, Alberta Winter Games Qualifier @albertasport, @2018WoodBuffalo, #ItsGamesTime

I am very impressed with all the things that were happening this past weekend in Canmore. I’m not sure about the order of importance but many things contributed to the success of the first AB Cup race in 2017.

505 participants were registered. Wow, this is a huge number.  I don’t have the statistics from previous years, but I am sure this is a sign that XC skiing is getting more popular in our province. I have never seen so many youth participants. The Midget Girls category was the biggest with 52 girls gliding to race or hoping to qualify for the AB Winter Games from Calgary (Zone 3) and Canmore area (Zone 2).

The Alberta Winter Games will happen in February in Fort McMurray, and the qualifications just started in all the participating sports. It is a big challenge and a big reward for only two to three youth competitors who will get to represent their Zone at this mini-Olympics. The Alberta Games not only provide an opportunity to celebrate young athletes and encourage them to reach their athletic potential, but it is a big social motivation for kids to stay involved with the sport. They will have a chance to travel together and have fun with their friends. Thanks to Alberta Sports Connection for supporting this great program. Here is what my daughter (10y), who wanted to get on the bus to Fort Mc wrote:

 “I really wanted to make it to the Games because there is always a big national bus at the UofC parking lot where I train for gymnastics, and it was my dream to go on one of those busses with a team traveling. They are so big and look comfy so when I heard from my friend that you got to go on a bus like that to Fort Mc I wanted to do that. Also, I think it must be fun and cool to do a team competition like that.” 😊

 The most prominent challenge was that as the weekend races came, the winter disappeared, leaving only 2.5 km snow-covered trail to squeeze all 505 participants into the race. The @canmorenordicskiclub volunteers did a fantastic job adjusting to this and put on a smoothly run, great event. The individual start format allowed the vast numbers to even out and become a fair competition for everyone, but it lengthened the race day from the 8am-4pm. Thanks to all the volunteers who were supporting this significant effort.

So what’s the deal with the #FrozenThunder? I think it is a very cool thing that CNC offers for the XC community.  “It is an early season ski trail made of stored machine-made snow, to allow biathlon and cross-country skiers to start training at the end of October. Snow made the previous winter is stored for the summer in a protected location covered in sawdust. In the fall, the snow is spread onto the trail to create about 2.5 km trail to ski on.”  So with the natural snow disappearing in the past weeks of warm weather, this event fell back on the support of last year’s snow. Pretty cool that we have this option in Canmore.

The two days went by very fast with the Saturday Skate and Sunday Classic technique. The Foothills Nordic Ski Club had many athletes, proving the growth of the xc ski programs. Here are the club results mentioning the club’s top three athletes in each category. Congratulations to everyone who dared the challenge of the slick Frozen Thunder. You are all winners!

Skate   Classic
Senior-Men    Senior-Men 
2nd Matthew Neumann 10th Matthew Neumann
17th Tyson Smith 19th Tyson Smith
Junior- Men   Junior- Men
8th Haldan Borglum 8th Rhys James
9th Thomas Hulsman 12th Haldan Borglum
13th Michael Pullishy
Junior -Boys   Junior -Boys
2nd Reid Lovstrom 1s Ben Pryce
3rd JP Cummings 7th JP Cummings
5th Ben Pryce 22nd Jackson Hofer
Senior -Women   Senior -Women
1st Zina Lawson 11th Zina Lawson
5th India McIsaac
Junior- Girls   Junior- Girls
3rd Anna Pryce 2nd India McIsaac
5th Aleksandra Petrova 3rd Anna Pryce
6th Althea Brolsma 5th Althea Brolsma
Juvenile-Boys   Juvenile-Boys
1st Tom Stephen 1st Tom Stephen
2nd Logan Lumby 4th Logan Lumby
8th Raphael Marcdargent 14th Raphael Marcdargent
Juvenile -Girls   Juvenile -Girls
5th Julia Hill 3rd Julia Hill
11th Alison Gartner 8th Ella Stephen
12th Jenna Sherrington 10th Alison Gartner
Midget-Boys   Midget-Boys
2nd Marcus Skarsgard 5th François Gauthier
5th François Gauthier 6th Sam Stephen
9th Sam Stephen 9th Nicholas Hill
Midget -Girls   Midget -Girls
2nd Alexandra Hulshof 2nd Alexandra Hulshof
12th Aria Klotz 17th Desiree Paradis
18th Anya Klafki 26th Amelia Ray
Mini-Midget -Boys   Mini-Midget -Boys
2nd Matus Chlepko 4th Matus Chlepko
5th Luke Hulshof 5th Luke Hulshof
7th Anders Evanson 10th Mason Lumby
Mini-Midget -Girls   Mini-Midget -Girls
1st Leanne Gartner 1st Leanne Gartner
15th Flora Csonka 8th Flora Csonka
18th Avery Savin 13th Zoe Norman
Pee-Wee- Girls   Pee-Wee- Girls
2nd Raya Rolseth 3rd Raya Rolseth
5th Leah Taylor 5th Leah Taylor
Atom   Atom
2nd Mila Repp 3rd Mila Repp
Masters   Masters
6th Curtis Cook 2nd Pablo Adames
7th Jonathan Winn 4th Curtis Cook
4th Pablo Adames 1st Denise Hill
5th Robert Savin 2nd Denise Watt
1st Denise Hill 3rd Boglarka Gyorfi
2nd Denise Watt

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