Canadian Ski Marathon

27 Jan 2021

Bruce Wurtele

02 Mar 2021

The Canadian Ski Marathon is coming to Kawartha Nordic this year! Kawartha Nordic has a special connection to the Canadian Ski Marathon and this year it will be skied (at least in part) on our own trails.

It was 1969 when Bill Lech, Herb Ferguson, Al Daniels and Marjorie Shephard attended the Canadian Ski Marathon in western Quebec and returned to Peterborough so enthused with the idea of hosting a similar ski tour in the Kawarthas. From that trip, and many volunteer efforts over the subsequent years to clear a trail from Apsley to Buckhorn, the Kawartha Ski Tour was born. Of course the Kawartha Ski Tour would evolve into Kawartha Nordic Ski Club and the wonderful community we enjoy today.

The Canadian Ski Marathon 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. The event offers something for everyone, regardless of age, endurance or ability. Each skier can select his/her own level of challenge and try to achieve it. One can ski as little as 12 km or sign-up as a 'Coureur de Bois' and ski the full course of 160 km over the weekend.  It is a true celebration of winter!

This year due to COVID restrictions, the 'Marathon' will be a virtual event taking place in many regions across Canada, starting on February 6th, 2021 and continuing through to Sunday March 7th. Kawartha Nordic is proud to say that we have an Official Training Trail, that is part of the regional network. You may have seen the signs!

Starting at the trailhead junction our Official Marathon Training Trail follows the 'outer loop' counter clockwise along Rabbit, Kenner, Trillium, PL Road, Owl, and Kawartha trails for 18.2 km. This year the virtual event has the same categories but adapted for independent skiing. You can sign up as a Tourer (15km+), half-marathon (45km in one day) or Coureur de Bois (2 consecutive 50 km days).

A dozen or so Kawartha Nordic members are signed up for the virtual Canadian Ski Marathon this year. Cheer them on if you see them on the trails and consider signing up for this special challenge that you can ski locally this year only!