Since 1997 with the beginning of spring and end of the skiing season the 24 Relay at Lappe has been a test of endurance and speed for both recreational and elite athletes in Thunder Bay. In the 24 hour period from March 21 – 22 several records were set.
Kelly Henry of Thunder Bay skied just over 285 km eclipsing the former 265 km standard set in 2005. In the team event a four man squad of National Team Development Centre (NTDC) athletes Jess Winter, Harry Seaton, Luke Vilakainen and Michael Somppi smashed the 2002 record by 39 km and clocked in for a total of 556 km, a 23.18 km/hr pace. To show how fast the conditions were this is faster to speeds attained by the winner at the Canadian Championship 10 km freestyle races this past month ! Micheal Somppi just missed by .7 sec the fastest lap record held by former Canadian National and NTDC team member Adam Kates.
Over 135 skiers and 20 relay teams ranging from solo skier Henry and multiple athlete teams participated in the event which is a fundraiser for the NTDC and Lapppe Ski Centre. Thanks to the timing volunteers, potluck contributors and race organizers for a successful event.