Tag Archives: race

Frigid weather, fresh snowpack greet snowshoers at annual race

The 7th annual Summerstown Forest Dion Snowshoe Race was held February 8, and despite the very cold temperature (it was -16 at start time), race director Gilles Parisien was very pleased with the turnout, as 42 participants took to the trails.

Worse than the cold was the trail conditions, with the fresh heavy snow that had fallen over the two previous days making it challenging going for the runners. Despite organizers packing down the 20-25 cm of fluffy snow, the trails were still soft, and the athletes had to expend a lot of energy to move forward, akin to running in sand. This, in addition to the cold, had a number of runners switch from the 7.5 km race to the shorter 4.4 km course.

With the absence of local favourite Rob Lefebvre, who had won the last three editions, Corey Turnbull, of Smith Falls took the title this year. A regular at the race himself, he finished as runner-up two years ago.

Turnbull says he enjoys running the Summerstown Trails, declaring, “I love the rolling terrain, the wooded first section, and then through the conifers. There’s a magic at Summerstown Forest that I don’t find in other forests.” He likes it here so much that he brought a pair of 15-year-old runners from the club where he coaches, and they finished 1-2 in the shorter race, well ahead of the other racers.

On the women’s side, Lisa Leskien, from Cambridge, reclaimed the title she had lost last year. Cornwall’s Caroline Samson-Bélair finished third.

For the shorter race, Ottawa’s Heather Lewis came in first, with Melissa McGrath, from Monkland, second.

After the race, an exhausted but happy McGrath exclaimed, “It’s so beautiful back there; it was worth the pain.”

This year’s race had an international flavour to it, with two participants hailing from the United States, on their way to Ottawa’s Winterlude. One of them hails from Beaumont, Texas! One wonders how much snowshoeing he does in Texas?

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 for amongst all the participants in the spirit of camaraderie which prevails in this sport.

files from Jean-Pierre Tibi

The Dion race is part of a series, with participants earning points. The next event is scheduled for February 15 in Milton.

Summerstown Forest Results – 7.5 km

  • 40:39 Corey Turnbull, Smiths Falls
  • 44:24 Dave McMahon, Chelsea
  • 46:50 Christian Bélair, Cornwall
  • 49:55 Sebastian Warner, Cornwall
  • 50:53 Lisa Leskien, Cambridge
  • 52:04 Lise Meloche, Chelsea
  • 53:00 Paul Shea, Gatineau
  • 53:30 Caroline Samson-Bélair, Cornwall
  • 55:39 Marc Chiarelli, Ottawa
  • 56:14 Rich Balderson, Nepean
  • 1:01:29 Sylvie Jacques, Ottawa
  • 1:01:39 Jennifer Gareau, Williamstown
  • 1:04:32 Josee Suprenant, Ottawa
  • 1:06:02 Guillaume Boileau, Cote-de-Lac
  • 1:08:28 Johan Stevens, Cornwall
  • 1:08:29 Crissy Stevens, South Glengarry
  • 1:09:04 Wendell Lafave, Williamstown
  • 1:09:58 Russell Dirks, Ottawa
  • 1:12:46 Mick Saunders, Stirling
  • 1:13:33 Chantal Lalonde Beaudette, Cornwall
  • 1:15:06 Tom Patterson, Smiths Falls
  • 1:22:56 Tamara Dirks, Ottawa
  • 1:22:57 Kris Jones, Port Orchard
  • 1:22:58 Diana Jones, Port Orchard

Summerstown Forest Results – 4.4 km

  • 23:59 Max Benda, Smiths Falls
  • 23:45 Jacob McLean, Smiths Falls
  • 36:42 Rafeek Mohamed, Cornwall
  • 37:58 Heather Lewis, Ottawa
  • 40:21 Melissa McGrath, Monkland
  • 40:38 Chuck Charlton, Ottawa
  • 43:11 Emily Van Koopen, Newington
  • 44:30 Clare Gallant, Pakenham
  • 48:54 Tasha Thompson, Cornwall
  • 49:06 Patricia Coons, Ottawa
  • 50:02 Lynn McCuaig, Lancaster
  • 50:20 Bryan Fedor, Beaumont
  • 53:45 Thomas Vo, Harrisburg
  • 54:32 Linda Ford, Cornwall
  • 54:33 Yvon Duval, Alexandria
  • 54:53 Rose Parent, Cumberland
  • 54:57 Leslie Ann Patry, Cumberland
  • 55:21 Tasha Spafford, Amherstview

The snowshoe race is organized by the Friends of the Summerstown Trails. Volunteers maintain the trails throughout the winter and provide special programming and equipment rentals (weekends and holidays). Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat bike riding are all available. The Summerstown Forest is located on Summerstown Road (County Road 27), 1.6 km north of exit 804 of the 401 at Summerstown Station.

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Saturday will see snowshoe race in Summerstown Forest

The Friends of the Summerstown Trails (FOTST) will host their annual snowshoe race on Saturday, February 8, in the Summerstown Forest.

The Summerstown Forest Dion Snowshoe Race (7.55 km) is part of the Dion Ontario Snowshoe Running Series (held in various locations in Eastern Ontario) and will be the fourth race of the season for the eight-race series. In addition to local runners, this race attracts athletes from the Ottawa, Kingston, and Montreal areas.

snowshoe racers
Snowshoe racers at the mass start of the 2019 event in the Summerstown Forest. (FOTST photo)

Local favourite Rob Lefebvre, who lives just down the road from the Summerstown Forest and has claimed the title numerous times in the past, is sidelined this year and will not be taking part in the race.

The Ottawa region will be well represented again this year, and the organizers hope that more local runners will sign up and challenge for the title. On the women’s side, Lisa Liskien, from Cambridge, will be back, hoping to improve on her third-place finish last year, after winning the race a couple of times herself in the past.

As was the case last year, a second shorter race will be offered at the same time: the Summerstown Forest Challenge Race (4.4 km). This shorter race is designed to attract more local recreational runners and younger racers.

Participants in both races are usually split evenly between male and female runners. Dion Snowshoes will provide a limited number of racing snowshoes for rental on a first-come, first-served basis. These snowshoes can be reserved at the time of online registration.

Both races are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and will be run on the beautiful tree-covered snowshoe trail network of the Summerstown Forest. Race director Gilles Parisien, himself a snowshoe racer, declared the Summerstown Trails course to be one of the best in the race series.

To register for the race, please visit the FOTST website at www.summerstowntrails.com

Race registration is capped at a maximum of 150 competitors. Race day registration will only be available 150 hasn’t been reached by race day.

Pre-registered athletes are eligible to receive a souvenir. There will be post-race draw prizes, hot/cold snacks, and awards for top finishers. Organizers will make a donation to Beyond 21, a charity that provides support to adults with developmental disabilities, on behalf of each runner who completes the race.

– with files from Jean-Pierre Tibi

Summerstown Trails

The Summerstown Trails are located on Summerstown Road (County Road 27), 1.6 km north of exit 804 of the 401 at Summerstown Station.

Through the winter, on weekends FOTST offers the rental of cross-country ski and snowshoe packages, as well as fat bikes.

For the latest conditions and more information, check out the Summerstown Trails on Facebook.

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Canoe race to take to Raisin River on Sunday

The annual Raisin River Canoe Race will take place Sunday, April 14, 2019, running 30+ km downstream from St. Andrew’s West through Martintown to Williamstown.

This is one of the highlights of the local sports calendar (as well as for my job), and once again I will be out shooting photos of the event.

You can check out my online pre-race story for The Glengarry News posted here. There is still time to register to participate, and spectators are encouraged to come out and cheer paddlers on along the route.

canoe race map
Raisin River Canoe Race (map courtesy of Raisin Region Conservation Authority)
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