Kendra Murray and Colin Abbott didn’t have green eggs and ham for breakfast, but they had enough fuel to win 50-kilometre titles last weekend.
The two cross-country skiers were among nine from Whitehorse to win divisions at the 31st annual Buckwheat Ski Classic, hosted by the Log Cabin Ski Society near Fraser, B.C. on March 25
Many of the 279 skiers who took part were in costumes inspired by the works of Dr. Seuss, such as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and Oh, The Places You’ll Go.
“The race went quite well for me,” said Murray in an email to the News. “It was my second 50-kilometre ever, so I wasn’t sure how my body would feel. Turns out I felt really good until about 40 kilometres, and then suffered through the last 10. The course was excellent this year though, and it was a beautiful day, so that made the entire day exceptional.”
Murray took first with a time of 3:15:08.1. The 23-year-old, who won the women’s title at the Yukon championships two weeks ago, can’t recall winning a Buckwheat title before but placed third in the 50-kilometre event last year.
Last Saturday was Abbott’s first time winning the 50-kilometre men’s race and his first time pocketing a Buckwheat title in about a decade. He finished in 2:49:44.6.
“It was really slow going for the first lap, we were breaking trail through fresh snow,” said Abbott in an email. “After 15 kilometres there was still a group of 10 who were taking turns leading. I skied most of the race with Matthias Purdon and David Greer — we worked together well. I pushed the pace on the second lap and managed to get a gap.”
Included in the field of Yukon and Alaska skiers were 18 members of Quebec’s Chelsea Nordiq Ski Team that was visiting Whitehorse as part of the Canada Sports Friendship Exchange Program, which also saw Whitehorse skiers travel to Chelsea over the last month. Eight of the Chelsea skiers placed top-10 in their divisions.
“I would dearly like to thank all the volunteers that make the buckwheat possible — it is such a great event,” added Murray. “I would especially like to thank Buckwheat (Donahue) for putting it on year after year, each year it gets better. I look forward to next year already.”
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org