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Minto Run For Reach Report

It looks like I beat Road Rash Chronicles to the punch- photos coming later…

The Minto Run For Reach- cold & windy. But thank goodness no rain.


That’s a me at the start line at 11:44am- more pictures coming later

I was driven up to Montreal very early on Saturday morning by my friend Gero and a couple of his friends- an Olympic canoe racer and one of their friends. The trio went to Montreal so they could compete in a tournament- their sport is like water polo, except they are in small kayaks- and they play in a pool.

I made my way on Sunday morning to Ottawa thanks to a couple of skaters from VRL Le Club- Marie-Eve- the trusty driver and Claudia Thibadeau, her kayaking/ rock-climbing side-kick and along with my special girl Morgane. As we left Montreal, snow-flakes were dancing around in the wind. As we travelled down the highway between Montreal & Ottawa, the skies turned blue. As we drove past gas stations and corporate offices that had flags, I could tell the conditions were pretty windy.

We arrived to Ottawa and picked up our race-kits. All the skaters gathered at the Il Peloton booth. A crowd of runners and inline speed skaters co-existed but didn’t seem to mingle much. The runners were finishing their event and we were getting ready to start.

A small & enthusiastic crowd including skaters from Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto took to the streets for Canada’s first outdoor race of the 2008 season. Skaters raced up & down Ottawa’s Queen Elizabeth four times for a total of 21km’s.


Start line- about to start the 2008 Canadian outdoor racing season!

Skaters gathered for the starting gathering around the start area at 11am. At 11:40am, skaters were asked to line-up for the start. Looking at the starting line, I was happy to see that the lined looked like crowded & packed line- this is not something that I am used to seeing in Canada in early April. The Canadian weather and winters don’t really allow skaters to skate outside on a regular basis until late April or early May. A crammed starting line was a sight for sore eyes.

As soon as the race started, I took the lead and led a relaxed pace. I wasn’t in a rush to go anywhere. I focused on technique and staying out of trouble in the start- I wanted to see the puddles of melting snow (water) and stay clear of any gravel

The race organizers made sure the track was swept clean of debris, however, in some areas, there was about 50cm to 1m of the road that was eaten up by dust and rocks and gravel, which made it very slippery.

A 15-skater strong pack formed in the early goings. There were a few attacks from skaters from Ottawa, but Youri Juteau and Herb Gayle kept things in check, chasing breaks and keeping the main bunch together.

The first major break took place early on in the race during an up-hill. Benoit Letourneau- who has improved a great deal, both technically & strategically since last season- found himself at the front along with Youri Juteau. After the little gut-check of a hill, they were off the front. Sensing that these two guys could put the hammer down and leave the group, I quickly joined the duo.

The three of us skated with a brisk but relaxed pace, exchanging leads and cooperatively take the race in our hands for the next 30-minutes. We worked together- and when Benoit Letourneau found himself running in the mud in one of the turn-arounds, Youri Juteau and I waited for him.

The finishing order was decided in the last couple of km’s- Montreal’s Youri Juteau had just finished a lead. Benoit Lamarche picked up the pace and Youri could not hold on. After I rested in Benoit’s pace, I did the same thing, setting a pace that was slightly higher than what Benoit could hold.

Toronto’s Sarah Hopkins was the first female finisher, coming in a few minutes after me. Morgane Echardour came in a couple of minutes later to claim 2nd. She was followed again a couple of minutes later by Ottawa’s Dominique Lalonde.

A large group of us went out for pizza afterwards- good times with skaters and people from Ottawa, Quebec, and Toronto. It was nice meeting the staff who run Road Rash Chronicles.

[You will find all the results here]

SSW Report Card: Minto Run For Reach
Race course= excellent, well swept
Atmosphere= fun, but there was no music! We like music
Turn out= good, but more skaters from Ottawa?
Awards= they need improvement in this category
Goodie Bag= almost makes up for lack of awards- very good goodie bag 
Food= thanks for the food- plenty of muffins & fruit + water
Volunteers= helpful and always smiling
Weather= cold, windy, no rain
Entry Fee= reasonable, fair, pre registration was an option
Timing= chip timing; simple & effective- but I think the times are off by 6-minutes
Officiating= not really an issue- starter gave us clear instructions
Results= on the web even before SSW came home
Crowds= small but supportive

Women’s Top Finishers
1- Sarah Hopkins
2- Morgane Echardour
3- Dominique Lalonde
4- Candy Wong
5- Melanie Durmont

Men’s/ Overall Top Finishers
1- Peter Doucet
2- Benoit Letourneau
3- Youri Juteau
4- Stephane Tremblay
5- Alain Legacy

10 Responses

  1. Psst. I posted sooo long ago.

    It was great to finally meet the man and not just hear about the legend. 😉

    Benoit’s last name is Letourneau not Lamarche.

    See you in Montreal !

  2. Benoit Letourneau, not Lamarche. Time to switch the brain back from ice to inline!

  3. Psst. But Benoit Lamarche does exist, he is a 2 time Long Track Speedskater!

  4. *2 time Olympian

  5. Go Pete! yeah…

    (sorry I don’t have anything more interesting to say, coffee has not marinated my neurons yet)

  6. Les temps ont été corrigés sur sportstats :o)

  7. Peter, I heard Stephane Tremblay is coming to Québec city for a training camp in the month of May, are you coming to?

    Benoît (Lamarche) also did a comeback last year to skate the world masters in Calgary, a something 20 years later from his Olympic races, also in Calgary. He said afterwards that theses races, 20 years later, where more rewarding for him than in ’88, when he left the O games with a biter taste in his mouth from his performances.

  8. Hey Gab- I don’t think I’ll be there. Something tells me that I have something planned for that weekend. Will you be there?

  9. well you should. Is ”something” your budget or you mind, because if it’s your mind…
    I plan on going skating with the group if they allow me to, but the summer training starts in may as well, so time, and energy I suppose, will be short!

    ps. I think cngb.blospot.com will be runing by then, if our webmaster gets it going.

  10. It falls on a competition that I will be attending in Trexlertown, I am pretty sure.

    Ill be looking at that website, can’t wait to se it.

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