By Ms. Sarah Thompson
Cross-country running and skiing are historic sports predating the need for asphalt and ski lifts that have a pure lineage and a noble purpose: to transcend the human struggle against nature by learning to strive together in harmony with one's environment.
Both have always been team sports, where we struggle together as a team and as competitors facing a common goal against common odds, and yet the experience is also necessarily personal.
On Wednesday, February 5, we held our annual LCS Invitational Nordic Skiing Race with over 100 athletes participating from 7 schools. This year, however, it was extremely exciting because it was our first time racing on the new ski trails.
It is not uncommon for athletes to collapse due to extreme exhaustion at the end of the nordic ski race, which did, inevitably, happen at our race. But this year, there was one major difference from previous competitions. This year, we overheard many athletes commenting on how “fun” the new course was, which was exactly Todd Harris’ vision for the LCS trails!
In the morning, the skiers competed in the distance races, which ranged from 2.25 km for the Elementary and Novice Boys and Girls to 7 km for the Senior Boys. In the afternoon, they were placed on teams for the sprint relays. We were fortunate to have near-perfect conditions - a cold and sunny day made the trails fast and beautiful to ski.
LCS had 20 athletes competing and the results represent the individual experience but don't tell the whole story. Everyone is encouraged to speak to the athletes about their race because each story should be honoured.
Here are the results of just a few of the athletes who earned a medal in their category:
- Ben Freeman, new to skiing this year, chose to compete in Junior Boys to challenge himself. He had a strong race, placing third overall.
- Anna Harris had an exceptional race, handily winning in the Senior Girls category by over two minutes, skiing 5.75 km in 17:39 minutes. Her graceful technique was inspiring to watch as she flew down the track to the finish line.
- Thomas Larson, a long time skier and competitive athlete, was also impressive to watch. He competed as a Junior Boy placing third in the Open Category, meaning against other athletes who compete externally. He skied 5.75 km in an impressive 16:45 minutes.
- Jana Rubel, also new to skiing this year, placed second in Novice Girls! Her steady pace and determined nature helped her find success. She skied 2.25 in 10:57 minutes.
Nordic skiing is challenging both mentally and physically, and all of our athletes pushed their personal limits on Wednesday. We are proud of their efforts and personal achievements.