The Gatineau Loppet organizing committee today unveiled its full program lineup, and is now all set to celebrate the 36th edition of the biggest cross-country ski event in Canada. Cross-country skiers from around the region, but also from 25 countries around the world, will gather from February 14 to 16 on the trails of Gatineau Park.
Outaouais tourist development program
“On behalf of the partners of the Outaouais Region Tourism Development Program (ORTDP), namely, Tourisme Québec, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, the Conférence régionale des élus de l’Outaouais and Outaouais Tourism, I am pleased to announce that the Gatineau Loppet will receive a non-repayable grant of $9,000”, Gilles Picard, Chair of the ORTDP Steering Committee and General Manager of Outaouais Tourism, announced early today. “As the only Canadian competition among the 16 members of the prestigious Worldloppet federation of cross-country skiing marathons, the Gatineau Loppet attracts visitors from around the world. The unique nature of this event and the new features announced for the 2014 edition help to diversify and improve the Outaouais region’s winter tourism offer.”
Registration and schedule for 2014
In less than 15 days, the Gatineau Loppet site, which is located at École secondaire Mont-Bleu, will welcome thousands of cross-country skiers, who will line up at the starting point, ready to slide through the trails of Gatineau Park. Gatineau Loppet President Yan Michaud indicated that “registrations are still open, and the 25% increase in the number of skiers who had registered by December compared to the same period the previous year has been maintained. For this
36th edition, we expect to have as many as 2,500 skiers!”
There is still time for skiers to make the most of the Gatineau Loppet at the lower price. Race fees will go up on February 12. There will be eight races, offering something for every level of skier this year. Saturday, February 15 will be dedicated to the classic style, with the 5 km Metro News, 15 km BFL Canada, 27 km Otto’s BMW/SUBARU and the 51 km linear race, which this year will start from P17 in Wakefield. On Sunday, February 16, it will be the mini Sport Échange Outaouais (2 km), and the 10 km, 27 km and 51 km Polar freestyles. As well, for the first time, there will be three snowshoe races on Sunday, February 16: 2.5 km (initiation), 5 km (presented by Raquettes GV) and 10 km (presented by Atlas).
Carnaval Soleil Polaire
For a third year, as part of the Gatineau Loppet, the municipal councillors of the l’Orée-du-Parc and Parc-de-la-montagne-Saint-Raymond districts, Mireille Apollon and Louise Boudrias, respectively, are inviting families in the region to come and enjoy the Carnaval Soleil Polaire from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 16. There will be lots of indoor and outdoor activities, including entertainment for the kids, inflatable structures, face painting, treats, hot chocolate, roasted marshmallows…and kids of all ages are invited to dress up with costume to celebrate the Carnaval Soleil Polaire.
This year once again, the Mini Sport Échange Outaouais (2 km), the only Carnaval activity for which there is a fee, will kick off at noon on Sunday, February 16 with Pierre Lavoie, who urges families to come and ski and make some energy ice cubes! At 1:30 p.m. everyone is invited to attend a presentation by Lavoie on the importance of physical activity in the agora of École secondaire Mont-Bleu.
Chelsea Super Sprint Jeunesse
This year for the first time, the Chelsea Nordiq ski club, in collaboration with the Gatineau Loppet, the municipality of Chelsea and the CLD des Collines-de-l’Outaouais, invites you to the first edition of Super Sprint jeunesse. A tailor-made race in the heart of Chelsea, complete with humps, jumps, turns and several other challenges. The purpose of this event is to celebrate youth and sports. It is for young skiers between 9 and 17 years of age. Registration (www.zone4.ca) closes at midnight on February 12.
The Gatineau Loppet would like to thank its partners, including Ville de Gatineau, Polar, Otto’s BMW and Subaru, Swix, Services récréatifs Demsis, Fontaine Santé, BFL Canada, Fischer, Sport Échange Outaouais, Sportstats, Supérieur propane, Chelsea Pub, Biscotti, Raquettes GV, Raquettes Atlas, Metro News, Le Droit, Quebec’s Ministère du Tourisme, Tourisme Outaouais, Développement économique - CLD Gatineau, the Conférence régionale des élus de l’Outaouais, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and Winterlude.
For additional information, check the Gatineau Loppet Web site: gatineauloppet.com.
The Gatineau Loppet is run by the Simoncic Group, an agency that specializes in event management, and that also manages Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, the Festival franco-ontarien, the Franco-Fête de Toronto, and the St-Albert Curd Festival.