Michelle Zilio, Ottawa Citizen February 18, 2012
While mild temperatures put a damper on Winterlude festivities, the balmy weather is good news for this weekend’s Gatineau Loppet.
More than 2,000 cross-country skiers from 22 countries were expected to the Gatineau Park hills for the 34th annual Gatineau Loppet on Saturday and today. The event is Canada’s largest cross-country ski race and one of 15 stops on the World Loppet circuit.
The temperatures hovered around the freezing point Saturday morning as seasoned skiers took off for the 31-kilometre and 51-km classic events. It was the first time in five years that co-ordinators did not have to change the routes due to a lack of snow.
[Amongst the 51-km racers was the prime minister of Estonia, Andrus Ansip, who finished in just less than four hours.]
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Gatineau Loppet, Canada’s largest cross-country ski race, welcomes weekend’s mild temperatures