Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Fischer Loppet Ski Challenge


Fischer Loppet Ski Challenge - March 5 to 21, 2021

16 km Skate or Classic / 32 km Skate or Classic 

We are keeping the Fischer Loppet spirit alive in 2021, with this Personal Ski Challenge!

Hardwood will have the designated and marked 16 km Fischer Loppet course open from March 5 to 21.

You can register for FREE to challenge yourself to 16km or 32km in either skate or classic technique.

You can even ski the challenge multiple times or with both techniques or different distances.

Skiers times will be tabulated using the Zone 4 virtual race system, for your comparison and glory!

WHEN: March 5 to 21, 2021

WHERE: Hardwood Ski and Bike, 402 W Old Barrie Rd, Oro Station, Ontario. The course will Start and Finish at the main race Finish Line at the Timing Buildings. The 32 km challenge is two loops of the 16 km course.

WHAT: The Annual Fischer Loppet at Hardwood Ski and Bike features a 15km or 30km skate and classic discipline ski challenge.

A fun event and personal challenge for beginners and experienced skiers alike.

The Fischer Loppet course is NOT a closed course and there will be day skiers enjoying the trails as well. Be RESPECTFUL and KIND to all skiers!

Skiers are responsible for their own support, hydration, etc. You are sking or racing the challenge at your own time and self timed with gps watch or strava app.

IMPORTANT: All skiers must follow appropriate COVID Protocols, including maintaining 2m physical distancing and not skiing with groups larger than permitted.

REGISTRATION: Registration is FREE! Register at https://zone4.ca/register.asp?id=25644&lan=1&cartlevel=1 

Note: All skiers must purchase a trail ticket or have Hardwood season pass.

All skiers must also complete Hardwood Winter Waiver and COVID screening tool.

Parents skiing with children require a valid trail pass


Skiers times will be tabulated using the Zone 4 virtual race system. You will receive details and instructions once registered.

Age Categories: 12 & under, 13 to 15 yrs, 16 to 19 yrs, 20 to 34 yrs, 35 to 49 yrs, 50 to 64 yrs, 65 yrs & over.

There are no awards or prizing for times or placing.

There will be Draw Prizes for some lucky participants.  

Saturday, February 20, 2021

World Masters Course preview

Our friends at the Alberta World Cup Society will host the next Masters World Cup cross-country ski races in Canmore, planned for March 2022. Pandemic-permitting, of course.

These are the same folks who host the World Cup races when they come to Canmore. Expect a world-class event, in a world class venue in one of the most beautiful mountain destinations in the world.

It's still early, and many details are yet to be worked out, but why not mark your calendars for March 3-11, 2022, and start dreaming and planning now?

You can sign up to the event email list HERE >>>


Course Preview Video and Uphill Skate Skiing Technique

We made a course preview video, to showcase what it's like to ski in Canmore and highlight a section of the 10K/15K race courses.

The video details one of the more challenging climbs and includes a technique explanation for adjusting Offset technique (V1 Skate) for steep climbs.

You can watch "Course Preview Video and Uphill Skate Skiing Technique" on:

·         YouTube >>>

·         Facebook >>>

·         Instagram >>>

Please do us a favour, and share it with your friends on social to help get the word out.



Happy Skiing!

Kim (Kai & Chris)


Monday, February 8, 2021

Masters World Cup 2023 again in Seefeld (AUT)

 This year, the World Masters Cross-Country Ski Association had received an application from Estonia for the Masters World Cup 2023 for the first time. Unfortunately, the organizers of the Tartu Ski Marathon were forced to withdraw their application for the year 2023 and postpone it to a later year to be determined due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fortunately, a well-known Bavarian organiser stepped in at short notice: the SC Monte Kaolino Hirschau, Germany.The experienced team organised the MWC with 1070 participants in Seefeld (AUT) as early as 2003, as well as many national and international events since then.

Therefore, in 2023, the MWC will be held on the expansive Seefeld cross-country ski trail network again, which has been expanded significantly since the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2019.  The 3rd week of March is planned as the date. 

More information at www.mwc2023.com.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

January 2021 Update



Happy New Year. It has been a long time since I've been in touch, and I apologize for the lack of communication. It has been a very crazy and unprecedented time, and it seems like whenever we start to make any plans, they have to be altered or adjusted. Through all of this, I hope you have kept safe, well and as active as possible. Hopefully, you have been able to get out for some personal skiing. It certainly makes us realize how important outdoor physical activity can be! We have following a few updates. 




We had originally hoped to be able to offer a modified Points Series this year. With the increase of COVID cases in December, and the shutdown starting Dec 26th, we shifted our idea to a Virtual Loppet Series. We were just getting plans solidified for this, when the next‚Stay at Home‚ and Emergency Order came into effect. Therefore, to conform with regulations, to protect you and to protect and respect our host clubs and resorts, we have scrapped that idea as well. So, unfortunately for this year, personal skiing and training will be 

the order of the winter. 

We will aim to have the 2022 Points Series information ready in fall, 2021, so that you can get excited about that. In the meantime, enjoy the trails close to your home! 




We were scheduled to have the Ontario Masters Championships at Highlands Nordic, Duntroon, Feb 19-21, 2021. We have now postponed that event to approximately the same date, 2022. We'll keep you posted with exact event dates when we have more details. 



As you know, the World (and Canadian) Masters Championships, to be held in Canmore, Alberta in March 

2021, has been postponed to March, 2022. The date will be March 3-11, 2022. The organizing committee is working hard already, and has the courses up and marked! So, if anyone is able to get out to Canmore, either later this season (if travel re-opens) or early next, you will be able to pre-ski the courses! Here is the link to the 

maps: https://www.albertaworldcup.com/course-maps/  

Thursday, May 7, 2020

April 2020 Newsletter


The on-line registration for 2020-21 is now ‘live’ on Zone4. Please go to this website to join the Ontario (and consequently Canadian) Masters XC Ski Association:  https://zone4.ca/register.asp?id=23873

Or, go to Zone4.ca and ‘search’ for Ontario Masters Cross Country Ski Association Membership 2020 – 2021. If you require a paper form to fill in, it is attached here. 


You are not going to believe it! We had another 2 ‘challenges’ to the results, and Al White kindly went back to cross check. So, I have now attached the final, final, final results! I am so glad that these are so hotly contested, as it shows how interested everyone is about this series. However, there will be another ‘new rule’ for next year. We will send out a preliminary results sheet at the end of the season. Each person should check it carefully, there will be one week to send in any comments or challenges. Then, Alan will re-do the results and send out the final. We will send a reminder of all the Loppet Series rules in the fall. Thanks to Alan White for his work on this.


I am excited to announce that the Ontario Masters XC Championships will be at Highlands Nordic, Duntroon, Ontario, next year. The date will be February 26 – 28. This will be a great warm up for the Canadian/World Masters in Canmore. Circle this on your calendar!


The Masters World Cup and Canadian Masters Championships will be held conjointly in Canmore, Albert. The date is from March 4 – 12. You can see the schedule and a link to the accommodation/hotel list here: https://www.albertaworldcup.com/information/
The head of the organizing committee, Norbert Meier, was on our recent Canadian Masters AGM conference call. He reported that all plans are well in hand. They expect 1,200 skiers. They are closely monitoring the CoVid-19 situation, and have a logical plan with benchmarks depending on the status of the pandemic. We will keep you posted, in the meantime, be positive, be safe, keep well, train hard! 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

December Newsletter

December, 2019
The Canadian Masters Championships, will be hosted by the Menihek Ski Club in Labrador City, from March 26 – 29. That is a great time for snow, weather and the club promises to ensure that you have a great time. 
Register early for discounted pricing!

The Ontario Masters Championships will be in North Bay, Feb 21 – 23. You can see all the information, as well as registration and early bird rates, on North Bay Nordic’s website:
And, the first 20 registrants will receive a bonus of an ‘Ontario Master XC Ski’ logo’d accessory carabiner! Wow, register fast for this!!
Thanks to Tom Cook and the North Bay Nordic committee for their work and we look forward to a great weekend of racing and camraderie!

The updated list of Loppet Points series, titled ‘Revised Calendar of Races’ are posted under Calendat of Races link. There were a few minor alterations to race dates, so check the page. As well, you will notice a NEW aspect,
To streamline the finding of each eligible Ont master skier’s results in race events, we’ve decided to ask you to email the points coordinator Maureen Bretz within ONE WEEK of the event with the following info:
Race event:

Class(es) competed in:
Your time:
Its up to you to send these in to be counted for the points, and it’s a simple process for you to do by email after each race. This will greatly simplify the process of finding everyone’s results and compiling points.

Please contact Maureen Bretz at Maureen.bretz@sympatico.ca if you have any questions. 

Do you know that the registration fee for Ontario/Canadian Masters is only $20??? A true bargain! We thank the 63 members who have already registered for 2019/20.
For those who still need to register, please visit Zone 4:
* also, please note that as of Jan 1, 2020, only people currently registered with the Masters will receive the next newsletter!!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

November Newsletter

We are excited to announce that the Ontario Masters Championships for 2020 will take place at North Bay Nordic Ski Club. The date is Fri. Feb 21 – Sun. Feb 23. Thanks to Tom Cook and the Organizing Committee in North Bay. It will have the same format in previous years:
Friday - 10 km classic
Saturday - hoice of 20 km skate or 20 km classic
Sunday am - 10 km skate
Registration will be up on Zone 4 by December 1. The first 30 registrants will receive a bonus ‘Ontario Masters XC Ski’ accessory carabiner! So, register early (and often Ha! Ha!)
Registration is open for the 2020 Canadian Masters Championships, which will be held in Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador. The date will be March 26 – 29, 2020. Please find attached the bid and details. You can register here: https://zone4.ca/register.asp?id=22185&lan=1&cartlevel=1You can view the details on the Canadian Masters Website:http://canadian-masters-xc-ski.ca/documents/Master%20Bid%202020-Menihek.pdf
MWC, Cogne, Italy 2020
Registration is now open for MWC 2020. Go to the host website at www.mwc-2020.com to register. There are still 2 rooms available at the Hotel Petit for Canadian skiers. Please contact Bruce LeGrow if you wish to book ASAP! We are arranging a bus transfer from the Turin Airport to Cogne (March 3 and 4) and from Turin to the Turin Airport (March 14). We anticipate that the price would be approximately $110.00. Please contact Wendy Grater by November 15, if you wish to be included.
Once again, we will be having the very popular Loppet Point Series of races this year. Your time will be adjusted according to the age related handicapping tables and the fastest male and female skier will receive 100 points. Each skier will receive points according to the percentage his/her age adjusted time is behind the fastest skier.
1. We will count the 5 best age adjusted races for each skier.
2. A skier must include at least 2 races from the Ontario Masters Championships at North Bay, Feb 21 – 23. 3. A skier must be a member of the Ontario Masters Cross Country Ski Association at the time of the event to have his/her points tabulated for the event. An exception will be made for a skier who has never been a previous member of the association.
Please advise Maureen Bretz (
maureen.bretz@sympatico.ca ) of any errors or omitted events. The 2019-20 schedule is attached.
Winners of last year’s series is still being tabulated, we will announce in the next newsletter, and present the awards at the Ontario Masters in February.
10 km classic
option of 20 km classic or 20 km skate 10 km skate
WINNERS are those who beat everyone older than themselves ... Submitted by Norm Spinks
This is a new way of recognizing the performance of older competitors in any sport. The above heading defines the method. No further words are needed. Age grouping is ubiquitous across many sports, notably running and cross-country skiing. This system is an alternative to age grouping and overcomes weaknesses of age grouping especially those pertaining to older competitors.
With age grouping, competing within an age group becomes increasingly difficult with increasing age. A competitor near the older end of a group has difficulty competing with someone at the younger end. Often this is compensated by narrowing the age span but this brings the disadvantage of too few competitors per group, especially older groups. Often a cut-off age is imposed above which all competitors are lumped into a single group. How fair is that?
Even in younger groups, age grouping can give misleading results. So-called winners in a group are often beaten by competitors in an older group.
The “Winners” method overcomes the above age-grouping weaknesses. But it does favour older competitors who have less people to beat. For example, the oldest competitor is an automatic winner provided he or she completes the event according to the rules.
Age grouping favours younger competitors. The “Winners” system favours older competitors. It could be used alone or in combination with age grouping.
In 2019, “Winners” were identified in three separate events: the Deep River Silver Spoon, a cross- country ski race in the classic technique; the Canadian and Ontario Masters cross- country ski championships at Timmins; and the Club Championships at Deep River Golf Club.
Results are given in the complete paper.
To summarize, the Spoon used 10 year age groups and cut-off ages of 60 and 70, depending on gender. Many older “Winners” are missed in the age groups. The Canadian Masters uses 5 year age groups with no cut-off. The number of “Winners” is similar to the number of age groups but skewed towards older age. Younger age groups can have no “Winners”, the so-called group winners being beaten by competitors in older groups. The Deep River Golf Club. Championship is no different from clubs across the province of Ontario in normally applying age recognition only to golfers over 55 years, the Senior Champions; In other words a cut-off of 55 years. For the women, only the oldest in the field of 10 was an extra “Winner” because she beat all three of intermediate age. For the men an extra five “Winners” were identified. A concluding main point to be made is that all five deserve recognition equal to that of the Senior Champion.

In 2019, in Timmins, Norm took the results from the 16 races held and, using competitor’s dates of birth. I have attached a summary letter from Norm, describing the results, as well as 4 excel sheets, with the ‘Winners’ listed. Norm’s short term objective is to simply receive comments, and ultimately would like to have this formula added to all competitions over a spectrum of activities/sports.
To make a comment to Norm, please send him a note to spinksn@bell.netThanks, Norm, for your tireless work on this!
Our new season membership season began on May 1, at that time, the Zone4 registration for next year became active. Thanks to everyone who has registered already. Here is a list of those who have aleady registered ( as of Oct 27, 2019):
Marcel Crete Rauno Makinen Stan Kaczmarek Peter Hoffman Ron Mahler
Ivan MacKenzie Glenn Edwards Christa Ramonat Norman Spinks Mary-Anne Church
Chris Huet Tom Lobsinger Allan Magi Mark Orzel Ken Hawthorne
Mike Huet
Susan Kaczmarek Todd Randall Woody Woods Ed De La Plante
Glenn Meeuwisse George Milne Harry Vanderlugt Ed Cottell
Risto Santala Michael Gordon Tom Cook Cathy Cottell
Len Pizzy Michelle Gordon Joseph Kryger Deborah DePass
Kit Pizzey
Susanne Vanderlugt John Blachford Wendy Grater
For those who have not, I have a link here to the Ontario/Canadian registration page.
I have also attached the old fashioned document in case you want to register by snail mail.
Attached you will find a copy of the accommodations that are available for MWC 2021 in Canmore. I realize that the event is still 18 months away but as the saying goes, ”The early bird gets the worm”. It will be the responsibility of each Canadian participant to book their own accommodations. This booklet was given to all national Directors during our recent meetings in Canmore. Each European Nation was to submit their top three choices for accommodations to the OC by the end of October. Based on that information the accommodations would be allocated so if Canadians wait too long some of the accommodations may be booked by the time they decide. I am sure there are other hotels in Canmore besides the ones that are listed here so hopefully it won’t be a problem. If you are planning to attend the MWC in Canmore, I strongly suggest that you make preliminary bookings soon!
I still have a number of the Canadian Masters Toques which are available. The toque is designed to compliment the racing suit, and is made by Sauce. It is the SWIFT toque, and available in 2 sizes, small/medium or medium/large. A copy of the design is attached. Cost per hat is $35.00 including tax, plus postage. Please contact Wendy Grater if you’d like one!