On the trail

Mild con­di­tions mean some changes to the race

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - BY MARK SQUIBB Mark.squibb@thep­acket.ca

Teams com­pete in Terra Nova Trek.

Sev­en­teen teams rep­re­sent­ing nine schools across the prov­ince com­peted in the 10th an­nual Trek Terra Nova last week at Terra Nova Na­tional Park.

“We’ve en­joyed do­ing this race ev­ery year,” Janet Feltham, spokesper­son for the park, told the Packet.

“It takes a bit of ef­fort, but it’s well worth it when you see the kids smil­ing and see their faces, and see how much fun they’re hav­ing.”

Each team con­sisted of four stu­dents and a coach, with a to­tal of 85 par­tic­i­pants.

Teams snow­shoed the eightk­ilo­me­tre loop, stop­ping along the way at var­i­ous sta­tions to com­plete tasks such as firestart­ing and paint­ball tar­get prac­tice.

Feltham noted a dif­fer­ent route was used this year to pre­vent par­tic­i­pants from cross­ing frozen ponds— a grave safety con­cern due to this year’s mild win­ter con­di­tions.

This route change meant a ski­ing as­pect was not in­cluded in this year’s race.

Feltham noted the eight-kilo­me­tre trek is no small feat for the av­er­age in­di­vid­ual and can prove quite chal­leng­ing, es­pe­cially for many stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing for the very first time.

Ni­cholas Burt, a Grade 9 stu­dent from Lake­wood Academy, said it was his first time on snow­shoes.

“I was ex­pect­ing it to be a bit harder… it was good, but tir­ing. We stuck to­gether.”

“It was pretty phys­i­cally de­mand­ing, but all in all it was a good ex­pe­ri­ence,” added his team­mate Greg Crant, who said this was his first time on snow­shoes as well.

“I thought the hills were go­ing to be a lot harder, and I thought down­hill would be eas­ier, but you can slip down­hill, so it’s more de­mand­ing there,” Crant ex­plained.

Jay­den Wal­ters, a Grade 7 stu­dent from Clarenville Mid­dle School, said he had some ex­pe­ri­ence with snow­shoe­ing, but this was his first trek.

“It was a bit chal­leng­ing but we got through it,” he told the Packet.

“We did pretty good… the most chal­leng­ing part was def­i­nitely the up­hill stuff,” added his team­mate, Ri­ley Rowe.

One of two groups rep­re­sent­ing River­wood Academy in Wings Point placed first, com­plet­ing the run in 90 min­utes and 47 sec­onds.

The group was awarded new snow­shoes to bring back to their school.

“It felt good be­cause this brings more op­por­tu­nity to bring more snow­shoes to our school,” Sa­rina Squires of River­wood Academy told the Packet. “It felt re­ally good. It opens op­por­tu­ni­ties for our school.”

Hot soup and hot choco­late was served to par­tic­i­pants af­ter the com­pe­ti­tion— a lunch very well de­served af­ter com­plet­ing this year’s trek.

A group shot of the 85 par­tic­i­pants and roughly a dozen Terra Nova Park staff

PHO­TOS BY MARK SQUIBB/ THE PACKET

A team from Tri­cen­tia Academy tak­ing off from the start­ing line.

Paint­ball tar­get prac­tice, along with fire build­ing, were in­te­grated into the eight-kilo­me­tre trek.

Stu­dents trekked an eight-kilo­me­tre loop.

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