Submitted by Mary Spring
With cross-country ski events across the province cancelled, Cross Country Ski Ontario challenged Nordic ski clubs to a kilometre challenge.
Members of Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club took part in this challenge, in which they individually skied and recorded their distances online, and did exceptionally well.
We are so lucky in Huntsville to have Arrowhead Provincial Park on our doorstep. The park was open all winter, giving families an opportunity to spend time outdoors and enjoy cross-country skiing. This was especially important when the children were involved in online learning and spending a great deal of time in front of computers.
The ski conditions this winter were wonderful and the staff members at Arrowhead worked very hard to maintain the trails. Overall, it was a great ski season.
One hundred and fifty skiers from Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club took part in the challenge.
Kilometres skied were tallied between January 1 and March 31, 2021, and skiers from Arrowhead Nordic skied a combined total of 56,310 km.
The top skier in the adult division was Ken Hawthorn with 4,707 km, an average of more than 50 km per day all winter.
The top skier in the youth division was Cate Gottlieb, aged 13, who skied 1,725 km.
The youngest skiers were all six years old:
The oldest skier, at 94 years, was Bob Hutcheson (also the world’s oldest waterskier).
Top girls in youth division:
Cate Gottlieb (13), 1,725 km
Skylar Gottlieb (11), 1,202 km
Fiona Shearing (15), 624 km
Claire Parsons (12), 531 km
Leah Richter (12), 472 km
Cate (left) and Skylar Gottleib (supplied)
Top boys in youth division:
Aidan Spiers (15), 1,430 km
Sam Richter (15), 1,408 km
Matthew Kuusk (15), 1,210 km
Sam Parsons (12), 513 km
Ryler Harris (11), 459 km
It is worth noting that five of the top 10 skiers in the whole club were age 15 and under.
Top women in adult division:
Denise Jordan, 1,026 km
Lindsey Gottlieb, 955 km
Jane Wolfe, 701 km
Sue Sedgwick, 669 km
Mary Spring, 665 km
Top men in adult division:
Ken Hawthorn, 4,707 km
Peter Gottlieb, 2,131 km
Steve Jones, 2,094 km
Dave Lomas, 2,051 km
Paul Hastings, 1,425 km
Let’s recognize our enthusiastic cross-country ski families.
The Gottlieb family’s goal was to ski 6,000 km this winter. They they skied at Arrowhead on 82 consecutive days.
“Skiing together was an absolutely incredible adventure for our family and we can’t wait to get back at it in December,” says Peter Gottlieb.
The Parsons family—Ken, Karen, Nolan, Nadia, Sam and Claire—had the largest family participation as well as the second-most family kilometres skied with 3,065 km. “We spent all winter being so grateful that the park could remain open,” says Karen Parsons. “It would have been a completely different winter for us with everything locked down if we didn’t have skiing to keep us outside and active. And having the km challenge definitely upped our game and motivated me to try to keep up with the kids.”
Kailey Richter’s family logged the third-highest number of kilometres with 2,840 km. She says, “I will always remember Winter 2021 at Arrowhead. I exhaled my stress into the forest each day that I skied. The daily routine in nature helped the five of us be well during the pandemic. We are grateful to the park staff for maintaining the incredible trails and to the community of skiers whom we connected with at a distance. Arrowhead gave us a sense of normalcy and well being during a challenging time.”
Overall, Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club placed fifth in the province. Congratulations to all of the skiers!
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