Salomon Adventure Challenge
Capping off the Winter
Mont Ste. Marie
March 22, 2003
While the 'melting' season had begun, a vast amount of snow remained in the Lac Ste. Marie region of Quebec for the second Salomon Adventure Challenge of the 2003 season. Seventeen teams of three from as far as Windsor, ON and Quebec City, QC gathered at Mont Ste. Marie for an 8-hour session of Cross-Country Skiing, Mountain Biking, and Snowshoeing.
The 41.5 km racecourse worked its way through the rolling hills of the Gatineau Valley, bringing out the natural features of the landscape to challenge the teams. Despite overcast and rainy conditions, the temperature remained above zero all day, allowing the participants to stick to the 'fast and light' credo for clothing selection.
From high atop Mont Ste. Marie's 1910 foot Cheval Blanc peak, the race began with an off-trail snowshoe down the back side of the mountain. FAR Inc. expected the route choices to CP1/TA1 to be somewhat scattered, but a 'congo line' developed with Team Yeteam of Quebec City breaking trail - up to their hips in snow at some points!
All teams reached CP1/TA1, the transition to Mountain Bikes, within 11 minutes of one another so it was a mad dash to get en route to CP2 at Lac Campbell. Teams Taiga of Ottawa, Kinetic Konnection of Windsor, Jimmy's Night Out of Ottawa, and Yeteam lead the way at this point with Team Wonderlust of Toronto and Three Twigs in the Bush of Ottawa giving chase.
The Mountain Biking route from CP1/TA1 to CP3/TA2 was on a combination of logging, 4X4, and paved roads. Any Quebec race HAS to feature a few hills along the way and this race was no different. Team Tools of Toronto put teamwork into practice along this section, making up for beginning 20 minutes after the official race start (next time they'll remember to bring skis!). They towed, pushed, and shared weight along the way and had caught up to the top seven teams by only CP2 - although they did admit that the packed down snowshoe trail to CP1 made things pretty easy for them!
At CP3/TA2, it was time to ski - after a little climbing of course. The nicely packed ski route along the Riviere du Plomb valley to CP4 was a 400m-long climb up from the TA and Team Taiga and Wonderlust set off in a hurried pace. Skate skiers ruled the day on this trail as snowmobiles had turned a wide, wet trail into a nice, flat sheet of snow. More than one team shared a few laughs between TA2 and TA3 when they mentioned 'high-school' or 'university' as the last time they'd actually done this XC skiing stuff…no better way to get back into it!
Team Banzai of Hull loved this part of the course as they passed a few teams and made up for some lost time on the bikes. But, it was Team Taiga, Yeateam and Three Twigs in the Bush who blazed through this section with over a ˝ hour separating them from the 4th fastest skiing team.
From CP5/TA3, teams could chose between snowshoes, skis, or running shoes for the last 4 km of the racecourse. Add in a choice of whether or not to ford the river and there were many options in getting to the finish line (and a big plate of pasta) at Mont Ste. Marie's main lodge. Continuing their torrid comeback, Team Tools worked together to post the second fastest time from CP5/TA3 to the Finish but it was Team Yeteam who continued a strong outing, taking victory by only 8 minutes over Team Taiga.
Congratulations to Team Yeteam and Taiga who earn free entry to Salomon Adventure Challenge Bark Lake on May 11 but also to the many teams who experienced the fastest growing AR series in Canada for the first time at Mont Ste. Marie.
See you in Hope,BC for our first summer season Salomon AC!
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TOP TEN RESULTS
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For Full & Detailed Results and an entire Team Listing CLICK HERE!
||Quebec City, QC
||4 hrs, 5 min
||4 hrs, 13 min
||Three Twigs in the Bush
||4 hrs, 37 min
||Jimmy's Night Out
||5 hrs, 15 min
||5 hrs, 18 min
||5 hrs, 30 min
||Cyclefit Frosty Boyz
||5 hrs, 32 min
||6 hrs, 20 min
||6 hrs, 32 min
||6 hrs, 43 min