Last weekend at this very moment, I was participating in the Canada Ski Marathon, and of course I had my GoPro filming furiously. At least this was the case in the beginning. Filming in sustained cold weather can be a challenge. The camera fogged up after awhile, and then eventually froze to where I could not get the time lapse to work effectively. Also, I was focused on doing the race, which took a lot of my energy, so I could not devote a lot of mental energy to figuring out what I wanted to capture.
Related: Gatineau Loppet GoPro adventure
What is the Canada Ski Marathon
The Canada Ski Marathon is a two day event in the Outaouais region in Quebec that takes place over two days in early February. The race covers 180 kilometers or 100 miles of trails although the trail is broken into ten sections. Each section is about 18 kilometers or ten miles. Skiers can choose to do the whole 180 kilometers and become a Coureur des Bois or do as little as one section a day.
What I really enjoyed about this race is the focus is on the experience. Unlike most ski races, no one talks about what their time. The only time requirement is if you are trying to achieve Coureur des Bois status, you need to be through the last checkpoint at 3:15 p.m. on each day.
Another enjoyable aspect of the race is the sense of community involvement. There are hundreds of volunteers who help distribute food, assist skiers at the dormitories, drive the shuttle buses, and check skiers in and out at the checkpoints. There are also hundreds of land owners who allow the race to pass through their private property. It was a privilege to ski on these grounds as normally one would not be able to.
I will detail my personal experience in a future blog post coming out in the next week or two. This post is to feature my GoPro filming from the race. Although I did not capture as much as I wanted to, I did get plenty of video from the beginning of the race including the start.
My favorite part of the race was skiing over the Riviere Du Nord right after the start in the little village of Lachute, Quebec. The race started at 6 a.m. for Coureur des Bois participants, so it was still dark. Red flares marked the route on the river to light the way. Other skiers also had headlamps, so this also helped guide the way. I did not have a headlamp, but skiing in the snow is not too much of a problem. The snow reflects light and makes it easy enough to see. The beginning section is perhaps the easiest of the course, so this helps.
Thank you Tourisme Outaouais and the Canada Ski Marathon. My entry into the race and certain lodging arrangements were complimentary. This fact will not affect my coverage of the race. In this post and my next about the race I am only chronicling my adventure during the race with words, pictures, and videos and they are my own.
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