Teams, solo skinny skiers shuffle over 80 km in four hours
Cross country skiing is widely considered to be one of the best activities for your health. It builds muscle tone, core strength, and cardiovascular fitness. It also burns calories at a rate few sports can match according to a study by the Cross-Country Ski Area Association a 175-pound man (79 kg) skiing at a moderate pace can burn up to 800 calories an hour.
That said, some of the competitors in the first annual Lost Lake Shuffle Nordic Relay probably had some catching up to do at dinnertime, exerting more than 20 times the recommended daily energy expenditure of 150 calories.
Held on a 3.5 kilometre course around Lost Lake, the Shuffle could be raced solo or as part of a team of three. The winner in each category was the individual or team that completed the most laps of the course in a four-hour period.
More than 60 people from age five to 65 came out for the event, including nine solo racers, which organizers Ian Goldstone and Chris Waller of The Cross Country Connection say was a good start for the Shuffle.
"We were expecting between 50 and 75 people this year, so were doing well with about 60," says Waller. "We only started getting the word around a few weeks ago, and this is a pretty good turnout for a new race. Next year will be bigger."
Goldstone says the race, aside from providing skinny skiers with some exercise and entertainment, was created to bring new people to the sport.
"Our main intention is to introduce more people to the sport. Its not a serious race but a fun one certainly there are winners, but basically everyone who participates is a winner. The solo guys had fun, the teams had fun. Were creating an event for everybody."
In the solo category, James Shaw was the top male, completing a full 25 laps of the course in four hours. Thats about 22 km per hour, for a total of more than 87 km the distance from Squamish to Pemberton and then some.
Ron Carmichael was about half a lap back of Shaw at the three hour mark, and ended up a lap back on the leader board. Rich Rawling, sometimes known as "Flying Ricardo," was third with 23 laps.
John Bence, who finished fifth in the mens solo race with 22 laps, said he knew the race would be long, and it was.
"For myself it was long, really long, but that was the whole purpose of the race," he said.
"The course conditions were good, not too hilly, but up and down and rolly the whole way around."
The key, he says, was to race it at his own speed.
"When youre up against people you tend to want to stay on the leaders tail. I didnt try to do that, just raced my own race."
Shaw took a slightly different approach, and tried to keep pace with the first place mens team, Team Whistler Chiropractic.
The solo women were all on the same lap throughout the day, although Jeneen Sutherland finishing her 17 th lap first to win her category.
Marie-Cat Bruno and Phillipa Wall were second and third, also with 17 laps each.
In the co-ed team category, Annes Boys, comprised of Anne Kennedy, Shawn Cruikshanks and Ian Goldstone, finished first with 23 laps.
Out On A Limb Lushes, comprised of Carolyn Rodger, Stephanie Anderson and Travis Anderson was second with 22 laps.
Team Thorn Marie-Anne Prevost, Bob Deeks and Astrid Cameron was third, also with 22 laps.
The mens team category went to Team Whistler Chiropractic, which was comprised of Keith Ray, Luc Degagne and Matt Bodkin, for their 25-lap effort.
The Weakest Link team of Colin Ernst, Jim Bishop and Chris Bishop, was second, also with 25 laps.
Nick Gates, Brian Chisholm and Matthias Jackob, racing as the Bavarian Barbarians, were third with 25 laps of their own.
The womens team category went to the Speed Demons with 22 laps, which included Nikki Kassel, Lesley Clements and Shalene Warren.
Also with 22 laps, and in second place, were the Speed Queens Joanna Harrington, Brenda Flann and Gail Morrison.
One skier short until mid-way through the race, the Girly-Girls completed 15 laps to take third place.
In the family race, Team Sudeyko Alan, Leah and Lorene took the category with 14 laps.
The Lost Lake Shuffle raised over $500 for the Whistler Rabbits Club. The money will go towards cross country coaching and instruction programs for children 13 and under in the Sea to Sky area.
Waller and Goldstone say the Shuffle will be back next year by popular demand.
"Were going to have to bring it back. Everyone who took part had such a good time that theyre asking about next year already. The people who missed it are saying they missed out," says Goldstone.