Lo­cals win snow­shoe races

The Glengarry News - - Sports in the Glens - News

BY MAR­GARET CALDBICK

Staff It was an­other great day on the home trails for Wil­liamstown na­tive Rob Le­feb­vre, who siz­zled the 7.5 km course, lop­ping across the fin­ish line in first at 34 min­utes, 51 se­conds in the men’s di­vi­sion, on Satur­day, mark­ing the third time in as many years that the Wil­liamstown run­ner has topped the field of the Sum­mer­stown For­est leg, of the Dion Snow­shoe Se­ries.

Race day was a frigid mi­nus 12, with lit­tle wind fol­low­ing a blus­tery night of fierce tree­top­pling 80 km/h winds that prompted a spe­cial weather state­ment. The sole ca­su­alty of the freez­ing tem­per­a­ture was the dig­i­tal time clock which froze, leav­ing time­keep­ers to clock the race man­u­ally.

Race direc­tor Gilles Parisien pre­dicted fast times af­ter Fri­day’s thaw was fol­lowed by deep freez­ing tem­per­a­tures overnight. The win­ning times were re­spec­tively three and five min­utes faster than last year for the men’s and women’s over­all win­ners.

Lynda Gin­gras of Ot­tawa, in her first race in the Sum­mer­stown For­est, heated up the track in the 7.5, fin­ish­ing first over­all in the women’s di­vi­sion with a time of 36:30. In the process, she put a real scare in Le­feb­vre, who felt her on his heels the en­tire race.

The men’s win­ner in the shorter recre­ational 3.5 km race was Wil­liamstown run­ner Wen­dell Lafave, in his sec­ond-ever snow­shoe race, fin­ish­ing in a stel­lar time of 23:57.

“I’m not a snow­shoe racer, I was av­er­ag­ing 32 min­utes in prac­tice, and I’ve only been out three times,” ex­claimed a de­lighted Lafave.

Le­feb­vre, in the 7.5 km men’s, was fol­lowed by Guy Do­rion in sec­ond place at 37:29, and Philip Arse­nault in third at 39:27.

Gin­gras was fol­lowed by Har­mony Koi­ter in sec­ond in the women’s race at 41:40, and Lisa Leskien in third at 42:14.

A bright light in the race was 8-year-old sen­sa­tional Brax­ton To from Ot­tawa. The young­ster show­shoed the 7.5 km race with his dad, Cliff Traf­ford. Though he fin­ished last in the com­pet­i­tive adult race, to fin­ish was an ac­com­plish­ment for the young ath­lete, who is train­ing for a 10 km race. Brax­ton says he loved the for­est course ex­cept for the few up­hill sec­tions. He at­tributes his fin­ish to lis­ten­ing to his body and al­ter­nat­ing be­tween run­ning and walk­ing to make it to the fin­ish.

At the con­clu­sion of the race, medals and prizes pro­vided by lo­cal spon­sors were handed out to the first-place fin­ish­ers, and as is tra­di­tional, the rest of the prizes were drawn and pre­sented to all par­tic­i­pants in the spirit of ca­ma­raderie which pre­vails in the Sum­mer­stown leg of the Dion se­ries.

Par­tic­i­pants are al­ways im­pressed by the food and hos­pi­tal­ity of the vol­un­teers at the Sum­mer­stown race.

In­side the warm-up trailer, re­turn­ing vol­un­teers Suzanne Ross and Jan­ice Jodoin helped or­ga­nize reg­is­tra­tion and laid out the gen­er­ous af­ter-race buf­fet of calo­rie-rich food and hot cho­co­late.

Among the race’s 15 vol­un­teers was Ca­role Pepin, out on the course tak­ing pho­tos for the race’s web­site.

A por­tion of pro­ceeds from the race will be do­nated to help sup­port Beyond21.

Com­plete race re­sults are avail­able on our web­site at sportsinth­e­glens.com

Se­ries points were awarded in the 7.5 km race to­wards the Dion On­tario Snow­shoe Run­ning Se­ries. The Sum­mer­stown For­est leg was the fourth of the se­ries.

Next on tap is the Dion Ga­naraska For­est Snow­shoe Race (near Port Hope), set for Feb. 17, with the fi­nale, the Dion Howlin' Husky Snow­shoe Race, booked for Feb. 23 in the Kingston area.

Fam­ily Day at the trails

The Friends of the Sum­mer­stown Trails in­vite you to take ad­van­tage of the trails over the Fam­ily Day long week­end. Spe­cial events are planned and equip­ment rental will be avail­able. Please see our web­site for up­dated de­tails.

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