The fourth annual Lost Lake Shuffle Nordic Enduro race is set to go Jan. 8, with all new categories designed to bring out casual skiers and families.
The main event, a four-hour enduro where solo racers and relay teams of three see how many laps they can make of a 3.5 km loop around Lost Lake, will be back again this year. Some of the top cross-country skiers from the Lower Mainland will be back to challenge for the title, and the field gets more competitive every year.
The top male solo from last year, Vancouvers David Kvick, managed 24 laps of the course, or 84 kilometres, in just over four hours. Arlene Schieven, the top female, completed 22 laps.
Because four hours of cardio is a lot to ask from people so early in the Nordic season, organizers have added a shorter two-hour category this year for solo skiers.
"Being early season, some people arent interested in skiing four hours on their own. Two hours is more in line with other events through the province and wont blow anyone up and take two weeks to recover," said organizer Chris Waller from the Cross Country Connection.
There will also be a short 2 km course for the family event, where teams of three race together for an hour. One member of each family team must be 12 or under.
The emphasis this year is fun, with DJs playing music throughout the competition. Chris Quinlan will once again emcee the event, keeping the skiers and the crowds entertained.
The community support for the event has also grown with more businesses donating draw prizes, and everybody should go home with something from the after party. As always, the race will be followed by a chili dinner with beverages and snacks, all donated by The Grocery Store and Slope Side Supply.
As always the number of entries is capped at 100, so early registration is recommended at the Cross Country Connection.
The cost of registration is $60 for a team of three (male, female and co-ed), $25 for a solo and $30 for a family, plus GST. All proceeds will go towards the Whistler Nordics youth development programs.
The course starts on the beach in Lost Lake Park, and includes sections of the Lost Lake Loop, Lower Panorama and Old Mill Road, and athletes can use either skate or classic skis. Bib pickup starts at 9 a.m. at the Lost Lake Warming Hut, and there will be a pre-race briefing at 10:45 a.m. The main four-hour event starts at 11 a.m., the two-hour event at 1 p.m. and the family event at 1 p.m. Final laps must start before the 3 p.m. cut-off.
The awards and after party will start around 3:30 p.m. and run until about 6 p.m.
For more information or to volunteer for this years Shuffle, contact the Cross Country Connection at 604-905-0071.