A couple boarding passes and a rental car and before I knew it I was back in Ontario after my junket to Minnesota.
Duntroon. Ever heard of it? There’s a cornfield, a liquor store and some pretty decent ski trails. It’s a few hours north of Toronto, in the middle of nowhere. My favourite thing in this place is the wild turkeys. I can’t wait until turkeys work their way up to the Yukon. Like a tourist to the Yukon marvels at ravens, I find turkeys to be both fascinating and tasty.
When I’m on the road I have to enjoy the small things because it’s easy to wonder why I’m in a place called Duntroon in mid-January. However I came here to race, not to spot fowl.
Classic sprint day!
Your average sprint course has a good amount of up, down, up, down. But this was no average sprint course, more of an up, flat, down, flat. In other words, easier.
Wax helps a skier to go up hills but will actually be slower on flats and down hills. So in this case I opted to use skate skis with no wax. Classic skiing without wax is like riding a bike but only being able to use your highest gear. I struggled on the up hills but made up time on the flats. It wasn’t a great day for me but it was my first time ever going wax-less in a classic race and I love trying new things.
The following day I placed 12th out of the 100-plus skiers in the 15-kilometre skate race, a little better.
But as quickly as I had arrived in Duntroon, I was leaving, this time destined for a somewhat more cosmopolitan town in Ontario, Ottawa. Ottawa holds at least one major ski event each year.
Earlier in January our nation’s capital received record snowfalls. It’s a good thing too, because shortly after I arrived, rain cut that snowfall in half. I was getting pretty tired of rain in winter.
With PistenBully groomers and snow machines hard at work, the trails weren’t half-bad and races went on as planned.
Another classic sprint, this time it was wax all the way and it worked out well for me — 6th place.
Best result of the year, moving on up.
After that, I had a 15-kilometre skate and a 30-kilometre classic.
The last race came as a relief. After five weeks on the road, racing several times a week, it was finally home time. Racing myself into the ground and travelling has taken a toll on my body.
It’ll be good to do some nice, easy training in Whitehorse to build up some strength before Western’s.
I haven’t skied on trails this nice since I was home for Christmas. Mount Mac, Mount Lorne, grab you’re skis, get out there. Trust me, you won’t find better trails anywhere in Eastern Canada.