‘Loppet’ fun for all again

Jamie Mountain

It was a day of nice weather and good competition for those who attended the second-annual Rainy Lake “Loppet” on Saturday afternoon.
Hosted by the Rainy Lake Nordic Ski Club at its Rocky Inlet trails, nine skiers made the most of a mild winter day and put their skiing skills to the test against some friendly competition.
Six skate skiers participated in the 10-km race, with Arthur Van Ael nabbing top honours with a time of 39:20.
He was followed by Ilka Milne (43:51), Matt Chalmers (44:30), Steve Johnson (44:42), Burgess Eberhardt (47:40), and Gary Lucachick (59:57).
Megan Spooner, meanwhile, finished first in the classic ski five-km race with a time of 24:17.
She was followed by Alexis Norris (31:57) and club president JoAnne Formanek Gustafson (33:48).
“The second-annual Rainy Lake Loppet was a success,” enthused Formanek Gustafson.
“It was a beautiful day for the nine skiers to get out on the trails.
“The skiers represented a wide variety of ages and abilities,” she noted. “And for some, the goal was simply to get to the other end while others had a time goal in mind.
“Overall, it was an enjoyable day and all seemed happy with their performance!”
Several family groups who also were out on the trails joined the skiers in roasting hotdogs over the fire after the races where complete.
“We hope they’ll consider joining us next year. All are welcome to take part,” Formanek Gustafson stressed.
In other news, the club will cooking up pancakes, sausages, and all the fixings tomorrow (March 14) starting at 10 a.m. in celebration of receiving a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
A presentation then follow at 11:30 a.m., with Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford slated to be in attendance.
Rickford formally will present the club with a plaque to mark the work done as a result of receiving a grant from the OTF in January.
Formanek Gustafson also will talk about this new program and its expected impact.