Mono Nordic Ski Club hosts annual race with 120 competitors

February 1, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

It was touch and go for this year’s annual Mono Nordic Ski Club race when mild temperatures started melting all the snow.

However, the Club did a lot of hard work to make the race happen. They closed the trails at Monora Park for a few days prior to the race and did a lot of trail grooming to ensure the race could go ahead on Saturday, Jan. 27.

Almost 120 racers from clubs around the province turned out for the event.

There were 18 different divisions of age groups in both men’s and women’s competitions – nine men’s and nine women’s divisions.

All ages were included, starting from the U8 group.

“We do this every year if there is enough snow,” explained Erin Kipps, one of the event organizers, on the race day. “We have 119 racers. There are kids as young as five out there. We have our high school team here from Orangeville District Secondary School. We also have some college and university students. We have clubs from all over competing today.”

Five different courses have been set up at the park for racing. Different age groups compete at different distances.

“We have courses from 1.5k to 7.5k,” Erin said. “Everyone 17 and up will do the 7.5k course. We have one of the most difficult courses because there are so many hills – historically, this is a really tough course.”

The Club made changes to allow for the mild weather on race day and ensure the event could go ahead. Usually, skiers can pre-ski the course just to check out prior to the race. However, this year, this wasn’t allowed to preserve the integrity of the trails for the actual race.

The conditions meant the snow was soft, and that really gave the racers a challenge. Add in the mild temperatures, and the racers had a good workout on the course.

This meant that it was a very competitive day as racers had to adapt to the conditions to give their best effort.

New this year was an electronic timing device that competitors could wear around their ankles. The device gave an accurate time of the start and when racers crossed the finish line.

The event turned into a real success as both competitors and spectators took advantage of the milder temperatures and enjoyed the day.

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