Relay cross-country race returns to Ski Fest for a third season
One of the attractions of cross-country skiing is the outdoor experience the fresh air, the exercise and the views. Participants in the annual Lost Lake Shuffle will get plenty of each on Jan. 11 as they race around a 3.5 km track for four hours in solo, team, and family categories.
Although some of the skiers and teams are competitive, the emphasis has always been on families and fun said organizer Chris Waller from the Cross Country Connection.
"The competitive side of things is usually in the solo category," said Waller. "Last year the top men were separated by a few hundred metres after 26 laps and over 90 kilometres, and the lead changed hands a few times.
"The team and family events are where the fun really is, where everyone is having a good time."
The number of young skiers has also grown from year to year, and Waller is expecting a number of jackrabbit teams to take part.
"Were always doing things to get more families and youth out, thats what its really all about," he said. "All the proceeds will be going towards the Jackrabbits through the Whistler Nordics, to support their programs. Every year we want to see more kids out there skiing."
The event is capped at 100 participants, and last years event attracted almost 80 skiers. The Lost Lake Shuffle is in its third season, and Waller suggests that people register early to assure themselves a spot. There will also be an extra cost for registering on race day, before the official start at 11 a.m.
You can do the race alone or with a team of three in youth, family, male, female and co-ed categories using either skate or classic skiing techniques. Families with young children will also have the option of racing around a shorter course around Lost Lake.
There will be a DJ spinning records, draw prizes for participants (including a nights stay at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler) and an apres chili feast provided by The Grocery Store.
You can register at the Cross Country Connection, the Lost Lake ticket booth, or Meadow Park Sports Centre.
The Lost Lake Shuffle is part of SkiFest, a national celebration of cross-country skiing with resorts and clubs participating across the country.
Trail use is free for SkiFest, and there will be complimentary hot chocolate, snacks and cross-country ski lessons available. Half price rentals are available from Cross Country Connection, Sports Stop, Whistler Cross Country Ski and Hike, and Wild Willies.