Loppet changes didn’t dilute the fun

MARSH LAKE For safety’s sake, race organizers moved the 2006 Marsh Lake Ski Loppet Classic course from the trails at Judas Creek onto the…


For safety’s sake, race organizers moved the 2006 Marsh Lake Ski Loppet Classic course from the trails at Judas Creek onto the frozen lake.

Although seasoned skiers missed the hills, turns and trees of previous loppets, everyone agreed that perfect weather, great snow conditions and the spectacular view made the race a good one.

Race registration totaled 224, a decline of about 80 from last year, according to chief of race Pat Healy. She cited strict enforcement of the registration deadline, uncertain weather conditions and the change in venue as reasons for the drop in numbers.

“At first, some people weren’t too pleased that we moved the race onto the lake, but there wasn’t enough snow on the trails,” Healy said. “The safety of our skiers has to come first.”

With air temperature just below freezing, no wind and glimpses of sunshine peeking through the overcast sky, those who had hoped for a more exciting race course happily settled for a great day on the lake.

“It’s flat; I’m used to skiing at Log Cabin in BC,” said Erik Coufal. “There’s a lot more poling than I’m used to, but the course was really fast, and the view is great,”

The Skagway resident skied the 20-kilometre course in the time he had predicted: 54 minutes, 18 seconds.

Coufal said it was his first time at the Marsh Lake event. For Coufal, this classic loppet was “a training tool for the Buckwheat Classic” to be held in Skagway in March.

The Marsh Lake Loppet attracts skiers of all ages and abilities. The event’s theme this year and every year is “family and fun.” Saturday’s loppet had both.

Six-year old Maggie O’Conner-Brook is a four-year veteran of the Marsh Lake Loppet.

Maggie’s mother, father, sister and brother cheered her on when she won the one-kilometre Atom event. Four members of the O’Connor-Brook family completed 10-kilometre races.

Another Atom, two-year old Caius Taggart-Cox, won the youngest competitor award.

Caius wore the No. 1 bib. His mother, Jodi Cox, sang every song she knew as she coaxed her youngster along the one-kilometre course.

“In other races you sometimes see an attitude that is intimidating,” said competitor Peter Staley. “It can turn kids off the sport. Here there’s a multitude of categories and classes. It’s about people having fun. That’s as it should be.”

He once coached the TEST program for young cross-country skiers.

Dressed in leather chaps, a cowboy hat and shirt, and yellow-and-red striped tights, Becky Cadsand was the last skier of the day to cross the finish line.

Arriving 30 seconds before the cookie table closed, she completed the 20-km race in two hours, 17 minutes.

Becky thought she could have done better but five trips around the way station’s Tequila Junction slowed her down a little. A novice skier, Becky put on the boards for the first time this year.

The Marsh Lake Loppet offers no Red Lantern Award but Becky did win the Captain Fun Award. This award is given in memory of Peter Milner to the skier who seemed to be having the most fun.

The Betty Lou Sheardown awards for fastest male and fastest female skiers in the 20-km races went to Ray Sabo and Sara Nielsen.


Atom-1 kilometre

1st – Maggie O’Connor,


2nd – Hannah Shier, 0:05:52.0

3rd – Hannah Deuling, 0:06:10.0

Special O – 2.5 kilometre

1st – Wade Kaye, 0:13:56.0

2nd – Frank Marnoch, 0:17:47.0

3rd – Gary Chaplin, 0:22:53.0

PeeWee Boys – 2.5 kilometre

1st – Marcus Deuling, 0:14:51.0

2nd – Kyle Wallace, 0:19:25.0

3rd – Benjamin Cannings,


PeeWee Girls – 2.5 kilometre

1st – Morgan Paul, 0:15:52.0

2nd – Galena Roots, 0:16:12.0

3rd – Nathalie Hynes, 0:18:25.0

MiniMidget Boys, 2.5 kilometre

1st – Trevor Bray, 0:15:25.0

2nd – Logan Frasher, 0:16:51.0

3rd – Danny Moore, 0:17:51.0

MiniMidget Girls, 2.5 kilometre

1st – Holly Bull, 0:13:33.0

2nd – Claire Lindsey, 0:17:56.0

3rd – Emily Wilson, 0:18:00.0

Midget Boys, 2.5 kilometre

1st – Mickey Wilson, 0:13:45.0

2nd – Mac Potter, 0:13:52.0

3rd – Thomas Etue, 0:16:53.0

Midget Girls, 2.5 kilometre

1st – Amanda Jensen, 0:16:15.0

2nd – Evelynn Kitchen, 0:17:58.0

3rd – Mandy Castle, 0:24:13.0

Juvenile Boys, 10 kilometre

1st – Fabian Brook, 0:37:34.0

2nd – Knute Johnsgaard,


3rd – Spencer Sumanik,


Juvenile Girls, 10 kilometre

1st – Janelle Greer, 0:36:10.0

2nd – Dahria Beatty,0:39:27.0

3rd – Heidi Brook,0:39:36.0

Junior Boys, 10 kilometre

1st – Liam Kiemele, 0:37:17.0

2nd – Alex Simmons,1:08:29.0

Junior Girls, 10 kilometre

1st – Emily Nishikawa, 0:36:09.0

2nd – Bryn Knight, 0:37:20.0

3rd – Justine Scheck,0:46:19.0

Masters 1 Men, 10 kilometre

1st – Rob McConnell, 0:51:10.0

2nd – William Papenfus,


3rd – Lyle Dinn, 0:56:10.0

Masters 2, Men 10 kilometre

1st – Charlie Roots, 0:40:33.0

2nd – Ron Sumanik, 0:44:53.0

3rd – John Snider, 0:54:36.0

Masters 3 Men, 10 kilometre

1st –  Carl Rumschidt, 0:55:27.0

2nd – Syd Cannings, 0:55:43.0

3rd – Bob Mitchell, 0:58:14.0

Masters 4 Men, 10 kilometre

1st – Rene Champagne,


2nd – Tom Fairman, 1:07:53.0

3rd – Ken Mulloy, 1:28:50.0

Junior Women, 10 kilometre

1st – Lecia Papenfus, 0:51:56.0

2nd – Corinne Tetreault,


3rd – Jenny Bonny, 0:58:53.0

Masters 1 Women, 10 kilometre

1st – Kelli Taylor, 0:59:12.0

2nd – Bernice Alderson,


3rd – Alison Sisson, 1:03:36.0

Masters 2 Women, 10 kilometre

1st – Elizabeth Reid, 0:53:10.0

2nd – Helen O’Connor,


3rd – Debra Fendrick, 0:55:54.0

Masters 3 Women, 10 kilometre

1st – Susan Carr, 1:02:19.0

2nd – Lorna Hutchinson,


3rd – Sue Langevin, 1:11:00.0

Junior Men, 20 kilometre

1st – Ray Sabo, 1:04:55.0

2nd – David Greer, 1:04:57.0

3rd – Sam Lindsey, 1:07:37.0

Senior Men, 20 kilometre

1st – Glenn Iceton, 1:13:55.0

2nd – Jonah Clark, 1:18:25.0

Masters 1 Men, 20 kilometre

1st – Marc Champagne,


2nd – Sean Mather, 1:20:20.0

3rd – Rob Rees, 1:21:06.0

Masters 2 Men, 20 kilometre

1st – Dave Brook, 1:07:18.0

2nd – Dan Reimer, 1:11:18.0

3rd – Dan Shier, 1:18:28.0

Masters 3 Men, 20 kilometre

1st – Dermot Flynn, 1:28:53.0

2nd – Grant Abbott, 1:31:43.0

3rd – Anton Kuchne, 1:32:08.0

Senior Women, 20 kilometre

1st – Sara Nielsen, 1:09:38.0

2nd – Michelle Boleen, 2:06:17.0

3rd – Becky Cadsand, 2:17:08.0

Masters 1 Women, 20 kilometre

1st – Michelle Rigoni, 1:26:33.0

2nd – Kate Brown, 1:48:47.0

3rd – Tracy Remple, 1:49:50.0

Masters 2 Women, 20 kilometre

1st – Lorrie Greer, 1:25:43.0

2nd – Jaana Schall, 1:39:21.0

3rd – Wendy Nixon, 1:49:17.0

Masters 3 Women, 20 kilometre

1st – Karen McKenna, 1:37:15.0

2nd – Wendy Jickling, 2:02:49.0