The Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6, an event lasting from Friday to Sunday at the Riverbend Golf and Recreation Area, is a test event for next year’s Canada Winter Games. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

NorAm Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships begin in Red Deer

The biggest cross-country skiing competition in Red Deer’s history is underway.

Nearly 500 racers are competing at the combined Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 from Friday to Sunday at Riverbend Golf and Recreation Area.

Over the past four years, Red Deer has hosted three Alberta Cups, but those don’t compare to the size of this event, said Tom Marr-Laing, president of the Parkland Cross-Country Ski Club and also the Chief of Competition for the event.

Skiers from all across Western Canada, and some from eastern provinces, came to compete.

There are even a few Olympic-level skiers here to get as many points as they can to improve their position in the national standings.

“We often don’t get those elite level athletes competing in the Alberta Cup – the standards and the expectations are much more stringent at the national level,” said Marr-Laing.

There were sprint races Friday, while Saturday will focus on 10-15K races and Sunday will be about relays.

“There’s a lot of excitement and a lot of fun,” Marr-Laing said. “It’s been 18 months of work preparing for this weekend, as well as for next year’s Canada Winter Games.”

This weekend is a test event for next year’s games. Marr-Laing said about 95 per cent of the work to make the test event a success is already complete.

“It’s been a particularly challenging year because there’s been little snow. The snow we’re standing on now is man-made snow.

“There’s a few grey hairs people have put on to get ourselves to here, but looking at where where we were to now, I’d say we passed the test,” he said.

This week’s warm weather has caused some complications, Marr-Laing added.

“Our snow base is quite thin and some places took a bit of a beating (Thursday). But we have a crew out now with snowmobiles, skid steers and they’re carrying a bunch of snow into the hills that were hurt by the sun,” he said.

When the Winter Games were announced, it freed up the capital to upgrade the trails, Marr-Laing said.

“If we didn’t have the Winter Games, we wouldn’t be doing this event this weekend. The two go hand-in-hand.

“We’re going to have a facility that’s going to be fantastic for Red Deerians to enjoy recreationally … and if we want to host more of these kind of events in the future we can now do that,” said Marr-Laing.

Alanna Butler, Red Deer Nordic Ski Community, said there was a good turnout of skiers from the local club.

“It’s always a good experience for them to race with different athletes,” said Butler.

“It’s fun for them to be on home ground because they know the trails well. With the trails being widened it’s really fun for them to ski on now,” she said.

Day One Winners

  • Junior Women 1200m: Kaia Andal, British Columbia
  • Senior Women 1200m: Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt, Quebec
  • Junior Men 1200m: Tallon Noble, British Columbia
  • Senior Men 1200m: Jesse Cockney, Alberta
  • Juvenile Girls 800m: Marielle Ackermann, British Columbia
  • Junior Girls 800m: Molly Miller, British Columbia
  • Juvenile Boys 800m: Stephen Lamon, British Columbia
  • Junior Boys 800m: Ian Oliphant, British Columbia
  • Midget Girls 300m: Zara Bucher, British Columbia
  • Midget Boys 300m: Pedar Ree, British Columbia


sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6, an event lasting from Friday to Sunday at the Riverbend Golf and Recreation Area, is a test event for next year’s Canada Winter Games. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Just Posted

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Manslaughter charge laid against Red Deer man more than a year after homicide

A manslaughter charge has been laid against a Red Deer man, more… Continue reading

Woman facing charges after pedestrian critically injured in hit and run

A woman is in custody in connection with an alleged hit and… Continue reading

Friday hail storm came at a bad time for farmers

Amount of damage a hail storm does often depends on how far along crops are

Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game 8-6 in 10 innings

American League 8 National League 6 (1o innings) WASHINGTON — A record… Continue reading

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Man suffers critical injuries, Red Deer police arrest woman in pedestrian crash

A man is in hospital with critical injuries and Mounties have arrested… Continue reading

Cull hasn’t been able to solve bunny burden in Alberta mountain town of Canmore

CANMORE, Alta. — Problems persist in an Alberta mountain town overrun with… Continue reading

Canada should help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany: civil liberties group

OTTAWA — A civil liberties group is urging the Canadian government to… Continue reading

Westerner Days: Send us your photos

Your reader photo may just make the pages of the Adovcate.

Adam Henrique signs $29.1M, 5-year extension with Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Centre Adam Henrique has signed a $29.1 million, five-year… Continue reading

Fashion firms upend design routine to focus on speed, trends

NEW YORK — Prototypes? Passe. Fashion company Betabrand saw that knitwear was… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month