The sun shone on the hills of Shannondale Ski Trails, as over 110 athletes took part in the Cross-Country Ski Association of Manitoba (CCSAM) Provincials hosted by Boundary Trails Nordic Club (BTNC).  

Head of the Organizing Committee Andrew Vanden Berg described the weekend. 

"Saturday was our Mass Start Gate Technique Race and Sunday was our Mass Start Classic Technique Race. We had athletes skiing distances of 1 kilometre for the young ones, like 8 years old and under, 3 kilometres for a little bit older, 5.8 kilometres for a little bit older yet, and all the big youth and adult master skiers were skiing an 11-kilometre race of both days." 

He was happy with the way the weekend went. 

Three women enjoying cross-country skiing

"It went so well. One of the biggest factors in hosting an outdoor event is the weather and Mother Nature was very generous and gave us great weather to hang out outside and ski race. But we're very thankful for that. We had over 80 years racing in both days. We had over 110 registered all together we had. Athletes coming all the way from Kenora. We had some volunteers and staff coming from Boissevain, so basically right across the province. Winnipeg obviously is a good supporter of the event." 

Vanden Berg thanked the volunteers and athletes who came out to support the event, hosted for the first time on Shannondale trails in Thornhill, adding the ability to showcase the hills of Shannondale was made possible by owner David Lumgair, who created and maintained them for over 30 years. 

Fourteen-year-old, Jessica Kagan is in her second year of competition with the club having participated last year in Kenora and recently in Westerns in Kimberly BC talked about her experience at the weekend. 

"I love skiing. I like everything about it. It's fun. I love going fast. I love practicing and racing, and the people are very fun and supportive. Everybody's really encouraging, no matter what your speed is. This weekend was a very good experience for me. I managed to place second in both my races. It's very nice that David Lumgair here from Shannondale let us have that event on his land."  

Some kids enjoying cross country skiing in Manitoba.

Kagan received silver medals in both of her races the 11.25 km Skate and Classic Ski Races. She thanked her coaches Andrew and Cheryl and her friend Anika Wiens for getting her back into skiing.  

Shannondale Ski Trail owner David Lumgair was there to welcome everyone and witness the event. 

"The weekend is opportunity to share the beauty of nature and take people out into nature where they learn the value of nature. We are also seeking to have people experience what fresh air can do for them. Further to that, people who do cross country skiing here, go home happy and I'm sure they're happier for many days ahead. And their happiness that they have, they will be passing it on to the people that they work with, and the world is a happier place." 

Lumgair said the Boundary Trails Nordic Club trains at Shannondale and is pleased to be part of supporting a team that makes up a large part of the Manitoba Team.