86 SKIERS TOOK PART IN SUNNY LOPPET
Cross country skiers headed out on the trails in the sunshine for the annual Holy Cow Nordic Loppet on Feb. 27. There were 86 participants taking part in the four distances, ranging from two kilometres to 24.
“The track was really fast this year. On Friday night there was some rain and then it froze,” said chief-of-race Glenn Bond. “It was challenging conditions for both the groomer and the skiers to come down the Holy Cow (trail). There were a lot of people saying ‘holy cow!’ It was quite, quite quick.”
The numbers were down from a record of 165 skiers in 2015, but Bond said it’s a strong turnout for a Loppet in B.C. Participants ranged from under five years old to 74 years old.
“Nordic (skiing) at Sun Peaks has really been growing over the years and we’re seeing that at the Loppet as well with more locals participating in the event,” he said. “That’s one of the special things about cross country skiing is we have kids racing, and I didn’t look at the exact ages, but probably from ages three or four to 74, so it’s a lifelong sport.”
Trent Smith posted the fastest 24 km time, finishing over seven minutes faster than the next competitor. Zara Bucher claimed the women’s 24 km race by 18.1 seconds. In the 12 km distance Dana Manhard was the fastest male and Alyssa Manhard finished first for the women. Tristan Hughes posted the fastest five km time and Ava Kwiatkowski had the fastest two km time.
People strived to post their fastest time, but Bond said it was the comradery that was the highlight of the day.
“That’s the cool thing about cross country skiing, and sport in general, is how supportive everybody is,” Bond said. “All the handshakes and high fives at the finish line that, to me, is what makes cross country skiing so great. Everybody is out there having fun and supporting each other.”