A pack of skiers takes a sharp bend in the men’s sprint final of the Haywood NorAm and Buff Sprint races last weekend at Sovereign Lake Nordic Club.

Nordic racers fight cold at Sovereign Lake

Athletes battle extreme cold at Sovereign Lake Haywood NorAm and Buff Sprint races.

Athletes faced an extra test last weekend at the Sovereign Lake Haywood NorAm and Buff Sprint races. Not only did they have to perform their best physically and skillfully, they had to contend with – 20 C temperatures.

Saturday’s agenda included a 15-kilometre classic race for open men and 10km for open women. With a delayed start Saturday morning due to extremely cold temperatures, it was worth the wait as the men’s 15km FR started at noon in the sunshine, warming the snow slightly and allowing skis to glide.

Following another delay, American skier Brian Gregg took first in 15-kilometre open men’s classic, finishing in 41 minutes and three seconds, just ahead of teammate Matt Liebsch. That helped Gregg increase his FIS (International Ski Federation) points standing. In third place was Graham Nishikawa of Whitehorse.

Heidi Widmer of Calgary’s Foothills Nordic topped the women’s 10km classic, followed by Amanda Ammar of Canmore and Foothills’ Zoe Roy.

Widmer described her race to be “cold, with lots of climbing, but it was so beautiful out there, it was hard not to focus on the trees.”

The junior/juvenile categories were cancelled Saturday and moved into Sunday’s schedule.

In the women’s sprint, Allyson Marshall of Salmon Arm, now training in Canmore, squeaked in behind Andrea Dupont of Canmore.

Marshall had to jog to stay warm between heats. She usually tries to charge in the end, but found it a challenge in the cold.

Dupont said staying relaxed was the key to victory.

“The last uphill you have to kick on it and the finishing stretch you have to finish strong.”

Emily Nishikawa of Whitehorse, sister to Graham, placed third.

Patrick Stewart-Jones of the Nakkertok club in Quebec shaded Philip Widmer of Canmore in the men’s sprint final.

Widmer described Stewart-Jones as the stronger skier of the day

“Coming up the last hill, Patty pushed harder at the top and took the lead there, held on to it and even increased it to the finish,” said Widmer.

“My hat’s off to Patrick because he raced really well.”

Many of the racers are headed to Rossland next weekend to gain Olympics qualifier points.


Just Posted

Vernon eco-friendly home tour builds support for students

Canadian Federation of University Women host fifth annual fundraiser

Westwold stars in thriller film

Beyond the Woods set to release in June 2019

Fire destroys pickup: Vernon Fire Rescue

A vehicle is a total write off after a late night fire, the Fire Department says

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Rainy days ahead

Rain in the forecast until Wednesday

Hitting the trails with Vernon’s Bush Babes and Bros

Dawna Jodoin’s love of trail running has led to a booming Vernon business

VIDEO: Fire contained to garage beside East Kelowna house

Garage is fully involved, say firefighters

Big White Fire Department raises more than $100,000 for new cross walks

The annual Rooftop Campout helped raised funds over the weekend

Total hogwash: Mr. Banks gives Okanagan cars a piggy polish

Mr. Banks, who lives on the Critteraid farm in the Okanagan, was offering the service on the weekend

Kamloops chamber of commerce director let go after controversial Facebook posts

Facebook account had derogatory comments about Muslims, Justin Trudeau

Kokanee swimmers leave mark on provincials

Eleven Vernon swimmers were in Kamloops for the competition

B.C. RCMP officer cleared after Taser incident seriously injures woman

Woman with knives refused to comply with orders therefore officer used appropriate level of force

Letter: Technology, not govt, reason for costly vehicle repairs

In regards to the full page ad, written and signed by David… Continue reading

‘Bikinishe’ swimwear retailer prompts Better Business Bureau warning

Watchdog has gotten dozens of complaints about company, which has been using fake Vancouver address

Letter: More public involvement key to swaying council

Unless more people attend council meetings, little will change letter writer says

Most Read