OCup #1

I am SUPER PUMPED about this weekend. It’s probably fair to say I’m in the top 10% of people excited about Ontario Cup #1 here in Thunder Bay.

For eight months our athletes have been training hard in the relative isolation of their home clubs. Every once and a while a district camp affords athletes the opportunity to train with new people and test themselves against old rivals…but mostly the seasons been full of team practices and even more solo workouts.

Ocups are like a family reunion [if your family is full of a bunch of badass skiers and coaches]. All your favorite people, some of whom you haven’t seen in ages, are all back together! Better yet- I’m guessing your arch rival is here as well- and even though you may act like you hate them we all know you became a better athlete this season knowing they were pushing you.

Probably the best and most nerve inducing thing about the first Ocup of the season is that while everyone knew where they stood last year…it’s a whole new bag-o-tricks this season. No one knows where they stand. Maybe you’ve grown three inches, or maybe you’ve perfected a piece of your technique. Either way you’re a better skier than you were last year and now’s the time to show it.

Today’s classic prologue was short and sweet. Athletes wound there way down from the stadium into the valley before climbing back out on Lappe’s trademark strideable classic hills. This course was a great opportunity for athletes to put all their skiwalking and classic rollerskiing to work. I saw a lot of great technique improvements there. Athletes skied- and some even won medals. Standout performances were had by 1st year Junior girl Jessica Demers of Porcupine who won her category by 23 seconds and Austin Valjas who won his category by almost 27  seconds. Beat that Lenny. http://www.zone4.ca/results.asp?ID=4257&cat=all

Madi Fraser of North Bay

Victor Hopper of Walden

Daphne Haggerty of Big Thunder/Lakehead

Tomorrow we do it all again with a classic sprint starting at 9:30am. So far the conditions are holding up despite the warm temperatures and semi-rain. And if it all falls apart- well, there are always pancakes and the Hoito.

Hoito WIn.

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