About half of the participants saw this as a last weekend of racing after traveling to compete in the Arctic Winter Games, Cadet Nationals and other high level competitions.
Saturday began with the classic style races. Some of the gold medal winners included Christopher Lirette, Agnus Wilson, Ilona Gyapay and both Moira and Tyson Green.
“The conditions were really nice,” said Wilson, a member of the Yellowknife Ski Club. “Hay River is a really nice course.”
Wilson, along with fellow club members Mary Buckland and Tamika Mulders made the drive down to Hay RIver for this weekend’s races.
“It is the last race of the year for us,” said Mulders.
After the classic style races were the less-competitive sprint races. Everyone received a medal at the end of their run but the competitive atmosphere was still there.
There were several photo finishes as the sprinters gave it their all to inch ahead of their rivals.
Bob White was very pleased with the weekend selected for this year’s races.
“We have perfect skiing conditions,” he said.
The cold air the nights before the races allowed the snow to layer and create ideal track conditions in a way that White described as being “set up like a wedding cake.”
A banquet was held Saturday evening for which the Catholic Church opened its doors. People packed into the basement with numbers higher than the organizers had expected.
After a warm meal, White called upon the original Ptub organizers, Chris Brodeur and Chuck Davidge to help award the medals. But before the presentations, Bruce Green, Brendan’s father spoke thanking the community for coming together to help the Olympic athlete make it to the Games. He then donated a piece of art given to the parent’s of Olympic athletes to the ski club.
Sunday’s freestyle skate event began at 11 a.m. with warmer temperatures and incident in one of the waves that will talked about for a while.
Angeline Magtibay and Mary Buckland were racing in the juvenile girls mass start category. As they started up the hill Buckland’s pole snapped in half, and she threw both to the side. Just moments after Buckland lost her pole, Magtibay threw her own away, and the two girls skated the 5 km trail together.
“I saw Mary with no poles so I figured it was the only fair way to race,” said Magtibay.
“I thought it was pretty heroic,” said Buckland. Her pole had been damaged last week in a swordfighting incident between some of her teammates.
“I thought it would be okay,” she said. “I duct taped it, but it didn’t hold.”
Everyone who saw it was shocked by Magtibay’s quick reaction and attitude in the race.
“We all just think that is so cool,” said White, “and in the fun spirit of the weekend.”