The 35th edition of the Gatineau Loppet, which took place this past weekend from February 15 to 17, is now over, and organizers have started to tally the results for this winter event. For participants and organizers alike, the bottom line spells SUCCESS!
Everyone agreed that the new linear classic 55 and 38 km courses starting from Lac Philippe were a hit. Gatineau Loppet President Yan Michaud indicated that he was delighted with the weekend and the exceptional trail conditions. The skiers, who were keen to try them out, could not stop raving. “You can just imagine how thrilled the Board of Directors and the Organizing Committee are with the positive reactions from the participants. In the next few weeks, we will be assessing our options for repeating these linear courses for the next edition,” indicated Mr. Michaud.
According to skier Stefan Desfossés, this course “should be on the program every year, it was simply beautiful.” The big winner of 55 km classic, Benoît Chauvet, echoed the sentiment, admitting that this was the first time he had skied this kind of race, where the skiers got to spend that much time among the trees. It should be mentioned that Gatineau Park, where the Gatineau Loppet takes place, is one of the biggest cross-country ski sites in North America, with more than 200 kilometres of groomed trails.
It should also be noted that the Gatineau Loppet unveiled its two new recognition programs: the Legend´s Path and the Veterans Club. The first Legend to be inducted was Sheila Kealey, who was selected by the committee in charge because of her dedication to cross-country skiing and her excellent performances at the Gatineau Loppet. Ms. Kealey finished both the 55 km classic and the 27 km freestyle in second place this weekend, and today was named Personnalité de la semaine by Le Droit and Radio-Canada. The Veteran´s Club (35 or more Gatineau Loppet races) honoured Robert Faltus (35 races), Ronald Faltus (36 races), Chantal Métivier (39 races), Ross Mc Lean (42 races), Raymond Young (44 races), and David Kennedy (45 races).
We are also pleased to report that the Gatineau Loppet is a finalist in the Festivals et événements touristique category of the 27e Concours des Grands Prix du tourisme de l’Outaouais! The winners will be unveiled on April 12 from the Palais des congrès de Gatineau.
“In closing, we would like to thank all of the skiers, supporters, spectators, volunteers, partners and organizers who took part in this year´s event,” added Mr. Michaud. The next edition of the Gatineau Loppet, the highly popular family event that goes down through the generations both among the racers and the volunteers, will run from February 14 to 16, 2014. You won´t want to miss that rendez-vous.
For additional information, consult the Gatineau Loppet Web site at www.gatineauloppet.com.