The 28th annual Ptubs have come and gone, despite a lower turn out and some springtime weather, they went off without a hitch.
Around 50 competitors showed up for the classic race on Saturday, and the freestyle and skate skiing on Sunday. The regular turn out is about double that. Doug Swallow, biathlon coach said it was because of a few different factors, including the late date and scheduling conflicts.
“We usually get teams from Alberta and Fort Simpson and more from Yellowknife, but it’s their spring break so a lot of them may have gone on vacation,” he said.
But that didn’t stop the fun, as skiers from Yellowknife and Fort Smith were still there to compete in many levels and take home some hardware at Saturday night’s banquet at the Ptarmigan Inn.
For some, like Tenielle Paterson, 8, they just started their skiing career this year, but plan to return next season.
“I skied 2 kilometers. I was tired after, but not anymore,” she said during dinner.
For others, this is their last season, like Joseph Lirette, who will be going on to post-secondary education next year.
“He will be missed,” said Bob White, technical delegate for the event.
Don Boake, 11, was able to take the mic when receiving gold in the mini-midget boys 3-kilometres.
“It was my absolute best race and I didn’t care what place I came in.”
Not just the skiers received accolades at the banquet, as Pat Bobinski, course chief, was given the Pat Ricardo Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Hay River Ski Club.
Chuck Lirette, biathlon coach, also had a few things to say about the event.
“Hay River has always been the catalyst for biathlon, and its been a great year,” he said.
Not only were there three biathletes from Hay River compete in the National Biathlon Championships in New Brunswick, there were four biathletes which represented NWT at the Canada Winter Games, and Lirette introduced a piece of artwork from the games in Halifax, signed by the four competitors.
The Ptubs are the longest running cross country ski competition in the NWT.