Lucy and DH spent the weekend competing for the third time in the annual Canadian Ski Marathon, “the world’s longest ski tour,” in which racers cross-country ski from the town of Lachute to the city of Gatineau in Quebec, across the Laurentian mountain range.
The marathon is divided into ten sections, with feeding stations and shuttle buses to retrieve flagging athletes. Over half of the several thousand competitors ski only a few sections.
Above is Lucy at the finish line yesterday after skiing all ten sections for a total of 160 kilometers — 99.5 miles. She is officially a Coureur des Bois — Canadian woods runner! (Poor DH crashed on ice on the first day, falling and injuring his shoulder, so was able to ski “only” 85K.)
I was very proud of them both. Before the race I had been filled with trepidation. Both have had persistent colds and coughs. DH had spent three days on the road last week, and was exhausted before they started. They had packed the car and left early, at Friday noon, in an effort to avoid the blizzard, but still the drive that is usually under four hours stretched to become eight. Their overnight accommodations consisted of sleeping bags on a gymnasium floor. When DH texted me cheerily at 3:15 AM Saturday, “Time for breakfast!” — the race starts in the dark at 6 AM — I shuddered. In Canada it was -10° F below zero.
Nevertheless they had fun and Lucy accomplished her goal, despite a case of swollen eyes from snow glare — in all the blizzard warnings, we never considered the need for sun protection — that caused her to ski the second half of the tricky course without her contacts. (Oh, my.)