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

VIDEO: Community ‘comes together’ at opening ceremonies

The nation will focus its eyes on Red Deer for the next… Continue reading

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

THE CANADIAN PRESS HOUSTON, B.C. — Coastal GasLink says it has suspended… Continue reading

Syrian chocolatier to hire, mentor refugees: ‘They come here to contribute’

ANTIGONISH, N.S. — A one-time Syrian refugee who founded a thriving Nova… Continue reading

RCMP in Kamloops, B.C., say robbery and kidnap victim was found safe

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The Mounties say a woman was… Continue reading

Saskatchewan NDP calls for plan to reduce child hunger, cites high food bank use

THE CANADIAN PRESS SASKATOON — Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili says the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Community ‘comes together’ at opening ceremonies

The nation will focus its eyes on Red Deer for the next… Continue reading

Graham: U.S. should be stronger on Canadians detained in China

MUNICH — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday the response by the… Continue reading

Conservative leaders to attend pro-pipeline rally in Saskatchewan

By Stephanie Taylor THE CANADIAN PRESS MOOSOMIN, Sask. — Federal Tory leader… Continue reading

Games athletes making themselves at home at RDC

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Welcome message from the mayor

On behalf of Red Deer city council, the City of Red Deer… Continue reading

Canada avoids world’s top players in opening round of Davis Cup

MADRID — Canada has avoided a confrontation with any of the current… Continue reading

Canada’s McKeever swaps skis for tuxedo, nominated for Laureus World Sport Award

CALGARY — From a glitzy awards ceremony in Monaco to the nordic… Continue reading

Scrutiny, family woes pile pressure on pregnant Meghan

LONDON — When Meghan Markle became engaged to Prince Harry, the American… Continue reading

Most Read