Residents flock to Sleeping Giant Loppet
Tim Brody - Associate Editor
Sioux Lookout was once again well represented at this year’s Sleeping Giant Loppet, held March 3 at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park in Thunder Bay.
For many, the cross-country skiing event was a family affair.
Mike and Nancy McCord took part in the eight kilometre trek with their children Ethan, Christopher, and Donovan.
Derrick and Kirsty Greene also took part in the eight kilometre trek with their children Claire and Lily.
Brad Woodrow, as well as his children Lake, Maple, and Winter, also skied the eight kilometre trek.
Ron Laverty and his granddaughter Sophie Lautermilch skied the 20 kilometre trek.
Doug Lawrance took part in the 35 kilometre trek. His son Rob Lawrance skied the 50 kilometre classic event along with fellow Sioux Lookout residents John Davies and Ian Staley.
“The Loppet at Sleeping Giant is always a great event toward the end of a long ski season,” Rob Lawrance shared. “It’s a day easily enjoyed with over 800 skiers of all ages and ability - some racers (a former US Olympian and a World Cup competitor this year), some recreational, but all having fun.”
He said it was great to see so many people from Sioux Lookout at the event. “Even while skiing most of us spend some time - between hills - reflecting on our great trail system (in Sioux Lookout) and how good we have it - big thanks to our (Nordic Nomads Cross-Country Ski Club) maintenance team for that.”
Lawrance finished the 50 kilometre ski in three hours and 48 minutes.
Reflecting on his ski, Lawrance said, “First year doing 50 km. Didn’t have a target time, just tried to distribute energy and tempo evenly over the distance.”
He added, “Couldn’t help but think of another local, Melissa Zarecki, completing 180 km over two days down in Quebec. Fifty km is peanuts in comparison so big shout out to her!”
Lawrance’s father Doug shared, “Sioux Lookout was once again well represented at the annual Sleeping Giant Loppet. It was great to see young families there - McCords and Greenes - skiing and having fun together. Our Nordic Nomads local cross country club president was there with his granddaughter Sophie, and three Sioux Lookouters - John Davies, Ian Staley, and Robbie Lawrance completed the 50km classic event. Congratulations to all.”
He added, “I love to go to this event for many reasons - the beautiful natural setting, the great organization and volunteer support, wonderfully groomed ski trails, the personal challenge, and the atmosphere of skiing with hundreds of others.
“I think it must be the largest participation one day sporting event in Northwestern Ontario. We have had a great ski season locally and many thanks must go to the local volunteers and trail groomers.”
Kirsty Greene commented, “This was our family’s third year in the event. We attend the Sleeping Giant Loppet because it is a great experience for the kids and a winter pastime our family enjoys.
“The cross country ski community is pretty amazing. Everyone supports and encourages each other while striving to do their best. That is what brings us back year after year.”
Nancy McCord said this was her family’s second year taking part in the loppet.
“It was just a fun family outing,” she said.
“Our kids really enjoy cross-country skiing, so we just thought we’d give it a try last year,” she added.
“It’s fun to see different Sioux Lookout faces mixed in among the crowd,” she said.
Sioux Lookout youngster Lake Woodrow completed the eight kilometre trek in 35 minutes, 10 seconds, finishing 19th in a field of approximately 250 skiers.
“We were maybe at kilometre two and Lake was on his way back. Amazing to see,” McCord said.
Ethan McCord said of his ski, “It was tiring even though I only went eight kilometres. It was fun.”
Donovan McCord said he had a good time skiing with family and friends.
John Davies completed his 50 kilometre ski in four hours, 21 minutes.
This was his fourth year at the loppet.
Commenting on his ski, he shared, “I didn’t have as much training as I normally do, but I managed to get through it.”
He said it’s great to see so many people from Sioux Lookout attend.
Ron Laverty commented, “It was really good. I think they had 800 skiers. The conditions were really good.”
Laverty, president of the Nordic Nomads Cross-Country Ski Club, said local trails remain in good condition.