Entering Phase II for the LCS Nordic & XCR Trail Rejuvenation Project
By Mr. Todd Harris
Cross-country running and skiing are historic sports, predating the need for asphalt and ski lifts, with a long pedigree at LCS. Over the last two years, the Nordic Signature program has made great gains toward our goal of creating more opportunities for more people to enjoy cross-country skiing, and much of the gain has come from the rejuvenation of the on-campus ski trails.
During the current fall athletics term, we had 23 athletes join our cross-country running team and happily put in solid training efforts every day — many choosing to incorporate a running habit into their daily routine regardless of whether there was an official practice on the schedule. Last winter, LCS saw record numbers of Nordic skiers enjoying our groomed ski trails, including OE classes learning to skate ski, staff and students skiing recreationally, and Nordic teams, both from LCS and from the local community, training regularly.
This week we embark on Phase II of the trail rejuvenation project.
LCS in partnership with Kawartha Nordic will be hosting the OFSAA Nordic Ski Championships in February 2022, and with an eye on showing the Nordic community the standard that is normal for LCS programs and events, we are building an amazing 900m sprint loop around the Andy Harris Track. The loop has been designed to work with the available topology to create a challenging and exciting course suitable to a Provincial Championship. With the potential for more than 700 people at this event, the course has also been designed to provide nearly constant viewing opportunities from many different vantage points along the route.
The OFSAA sprint loop will have a lasting impact on Nordic skiing at LCS, as it will make a greater variety of terrain more accessible for skiers of all abilities while increasing the draw for the races we offer in the future.
The entire Nordic trail rejuvenation project has also aimed to take into account a number of ideas from sport psychology and landscape architecture, which can be distilled into the goal of creating a strong sense of place through memorable touchstones along the trails. The work in this area began with some small art and unique trail naming courtesy of Rory Gilfillan, Hugh Dobson, and Su Armstrong, and we are excited to now look toward working with a local artist to create even more pieces that will draw people outdoors and to use the trails.