Eleven intrepid Dublin students, two faculty members and two parents participated in the Canadian Ski Marathon (CSM) on February 11/12, 2017. The CSM is North America’s longest and oldest Nordic ski tour. Unlike most ski events, there are no winners or losers in the Canadian Ski Marathon: it is not a race. Each skier can select his/her own level of challenge and try to achieve it. One can ski as little as 12 km or up to the maximum of 160 km over the weekend.
The CSM takes place in February on a trail that is only groomed once per year between Lachute and Gatineau, Québec. The CSM is a two-day, 160 kilometer ski event that is divided into 5 sections each day, with an average of 16 kms per section. Skiers of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate and can do so safely. There are feed stations, first aid and toilets available at the end of each section, as well as shuttle buses that run between accommodation and checkpoints throughout each day.
The Dublin family of skiers skied over 585 miles over the course of the weekend, which is a greater distance than the drive to Quebec from Dublin and back. This year’s event was a particularly difficult version of the tour with adverse weather and significant cold. Saturday was a particularly hard day of skiing with a lot of hills and difficult downhills in constant snow and unseasonable cold. Sunday had more hills but with a little more open fields to ski on. Despite the adversity, the students exhibited proper Dublin Moxie and grit and more than a little humor as well.
Jared Lewis (Bennington, NH) and Robyn McIntosh (Chelsea, Quebec) each skied over 100 KM over the two days. Every skier bested any personal distance record, some pushing themselves well past limits they thought achievable. Mark Franklin (Keene, NH) had a particularly difficult first day, starting the marathon in race mode but hitting a wall, but rallied the second day to ski over 50 miles in total. Aggie Macy (Dublin, NH) was a powerhouse on the first day, finishing four sections with impressive energy and speed.
More than the athletic performance however, the students showed the spirit of the school. Trip co-leader Eric Nemitz said,” the number of skiers who came up to me and talked about the character of our kids was amazing. I’ve done this three times and never experienced such a positive and cohesive group. I have a huge amount of pride in our kids. They really had a sense of mutual pride…”
Dublin parents Stewart and Penny McIntosh created an ideal bonding environment for the team (our many thanks) when they found an off the grid chalet to house the team during the CSM. In a nature preserve fifteen miles off the nearest major road, the chalet served as home to the team for the two and a half day trip. Surrounded by pristine woodlands, a number of students went for a late night ski on Sunday after the grueling CSM further exploring Quebec in a snowstorm with fresh new snow underfoot.
Congratulations to student skiers: Aggie Macy (Dublin, NH), Antonia Bean (Montpelier, VT), Faith Lewis (Bennington, NH), Grace Harrington (Sharon, NH), Grady Allen (Shepherdstown, WV), Jared Lewis (Bennington, NH), Mark Franklin (Keene, NH), Olivia O'Rourke (Peterborough, NH), Robyn McIntosh (Chelsea, Quebec), Sita Moses (Dublin, NH), and Theresa Barth (Alexandria, Virginia) on a great CSM.