Downtown Nordic was well represented at the Pinawa Loppet, with over 15 members participating. Congratulations to some of our members who switched genders just prior to the race. Welcome to the new girls Coreya and Jimma! Unfortunately, the Pinawa folks were more conservative, and decided to have Corey and Jim race as “men”.
The organizers proved to be rather deceitful. The original race notice promised a civilized 25 km event. On the day prior to the race, the organizers reported that the distance was now going to be 30 km. Post-race, my Garmin yielded 31.67 kms!!!! Obviously infuriated, I had to investigate further. Research at the Manitoba Archives revealed some interesting history. It seems that 120 years ago, the Chief of the Pinawa area promised the hand of his homely daughter (Pinawatta Wintoniw who had a pet bison named Loppet) in marriage to the one who could ski the distance of 31.67 km the fastest. Several young bucks stepped forward to take on the challenge, with a studly Norwegian winning the event (Steve’s great great grandfather, Bjorn Scolesy).
Incredibly, our world-renowned coach Steve took first place overall today. Well done Steve, although it was a toss up in the first loop of the race with Brian Horton taking an early lead. It was a clean sweep for Downtown Nordic with Steve, Brian, Jamie and Corey taking the top finisher positions in the 30 km event. The winning continued with Junior Downtown Nordic star Levi Nadlersmith taking first place in the 15 km event. Corey won the “Clumsiest Finisher Award” with a nose-dive-face-plant combination on the finish line, which drew applause from all seven spectators in attendance. Mia wins the “People Magazine Celebrity Award” for bringing along her own personal coach Susie. Gyula wins the “Now Dating A Tree Award” for his intimate relationship with forest at the bottom of “The Screamer” hill. He claims to have bumped into the ghost of either Pinawatta or her pet bison Loppet, prior to the romantic rendezvous with the tree. Kristin wins the “Hollywood Stars Hallucinations Award” for seeing stars throughout her race. Way to go Kristin for not listening to the accompanying voices. Finally, Freddie won the prestigious “Most Time Spent Enjoying The Race by Voluptuous German Skier Award”.
Seriously, the Pinawa Loppet was an incredibly upbeat experience, with positive
energy all around. The trails were well groomed, and the hills provided plenty of challenges for those of us now accustomed to the vast mountains of Windsor Park. Thanks to the Whiteshell Ski Club for putting on such a well organized world-class event, with wonderful hospitality and five star food. I would strongly encourage other Downtown Nor dickers to participate in upcoming races. They are a great venue for trying out the skills learned during our practices, and also provide an awesome social outlet for us otherwise socially awkward individuals.