Not only were Whaleback Nordic Ski Club members excited to host the 44th Annual Coleman's Newfoundland and Labrador Ski Marathon, they were also well-represented in the competition.
© Frank Gale photo
Esther Oosterbaan of Whaleback Nordic crosses the finish line in the 13 km Cruisers Women’s division.
A total of 69 members took part in the races, earning them the Ernie Langins trophy for the team with the highest number of participants.
There were several strong finishes for local skiers:
– Luke Dunphy was the first to cross the finish line in the 40 km Senior Men’s race (2:08:48.9);
– Jack White scored first place in the 40 km Masters 4 Men’s race (2:35:13.4), while Graham Oliver placed second (2:40:03.4);
– Marigold Benoit won gold in the 20 km Junior 1 Girls’ division (1:24:01.8);
– Claire St. Croix finished first in 13 km Jackrabbit Girls’ race (0:57:52.3);
– Kipling Deeley placed third in the 13 km Junior 2 Boys’ race (0:55:55.8);
– Michele Dawson finished third in the 20 km Senior Women’s division (2:32:07.0);
– Peter Kearley placed second in the 20 km Senior Men’s division (1:23:34.8);
– In the 20 km Veterans Women’s division, Jacqueline LeGrow scored the top spot (1:20:57.4), Elizabeth Chaisson place second (1:52:39.6), and Margaret Philpott finished third (2:02:01.9);
– Bruce LeGrow was first in the 20 km Veterans Men’s race (1:13:36.1), while Stephen Penney placed second (1:22:23.9);
– In the 13 km Cruisers Women’s race, Veronica Hayden placed second (1:36:22.80, while Judy Dunville was third (1:36:26.9);
– Issac Blundon placed first in the 13 km Cruisers Men’s division (0:56:22.8);
– In the 7.5 km Active Living Women’s race, Jill Benoit scored first place (0:56:35.3), Dana Blundon finished second (1:02:19.7), and Gerada Hunt Whale placed third (1:20:18.6);
– In the 7.5 km Active Living Men’s race, Mike Benoit was first (0:56:35.7), Ryan Parsons came in second (1:07:07.3), and Zachary White was third (1:07:08.5);
– In the 2.5 km Tiny Tots division, James Burt placed first (0:25:18.9), Caleb Whalen finished second (0:38:12.50), and Grace Burt came in third (0:38:15.3).
The marathon attracted more than 150 skiers such clubs as Blow-Me-Down Trails of Corner Brook, Airport Nordic of Gander, Clarenville Nordic,
Pasadena Ski and Nature Park, Exploits Valley, and Avalon Nordic.
In addition to the participants and volunteers, Mr. Oliver noted weather conditions and a fast course helped to make the day a success.
“To those of you who came out to be ‘winter active’ at Whaleback, thanks for coming,” said Graham Oliver, one of the event’s organizers. “If you didn't make it this year, I hope to see you at he 2015 Whaleback Loppet or at the 2015 (provincial) marathon.”
Blow-Me-Down Trails won the Arthur Baker Memorial Trophy for the team with the three fastest combined times: Lee Churchill (1:56:44), Jamie Merrigan (2:03:09) and Andrew May (2:09:17).
Blow-Me-Down also won the Percy Pieroway trophy for the club with the fastest female team on the 40 km course: Terra Hynes (2:44:19), Vickie Parsons (2:48:42) and Sheila Seaward (2:48:41).