Fast and Female

Marie Claire flying high

 Fast and Female

Marie-Claire Henry flying high, in photo on left. She joined a Fast and Female session in Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec a few years back. She realized that taking a sport to a high level is a lot of fun, and she was in great company with skiers at all levels from all over Canada.

Chandra Crawford is the founder of Fast and Female, which is based in Canmore, Alberta. She became an Olympic champion, when she won the skate sprint race in Torino 2006. 

Mission statement: At Fast and Female, we work with female Olympians to empower, inspire and motivate girls 9 to 19 years old to stay hooked on sports and the healthy lifestyle.

Our fast and female skiers from Parry Sound and their stories in their own words are right here.


The magnificent 4. 4 Parry Sound High school skiers with a great story.

PSHS Nordic at GB in HardwoodPSHS Nordic at GB in Hardwood

The entire team. But this story is about the Senior girls. 4 of them.

Its about the Relay race at GB, the qualifier for Ofsaa. 

Mr Poole is their coach. I am merely passing along a story I had asked them to tell the world. It was like I was there. Looking forward to see them in training over the summer.

February 20, Hardwood Hills.

GB is a long race day. Each skier does an interval start distance race in the morning, followed by an 800m sprint in a relay format in the afternoon. 4 x800m Relays that is. GB is the qualifier event for Ofsaa, it decides who goes to Ofsaa, teams or individuals. It is racing under pressure.

The relay starting line up for the senior girls: Sasha Istvan starting, followed by Lauren Nawroth, then Lindsay Raymond, to be anchored by Kate Beirnes.

What is required is a solid warmup for the distance race, plus having a good race plan executed. Then recover just enough to be ready for high speed and adversity, get warmed up once more for “the team” relays. Talk about pressure.

So what is interesting is that each skier's story includes her take on how the distance race goes. It really is priority for most of them. But then something big happens, bigger than skiing itself. Much bigger, as they realize they can pull off something big, if they could just ski faster than ever before, not mess up, tag properly, ya, really not let anyone down.

Here is Sasha's story.


Hi Peter

Thursday was an awesome race day.  To start off conditions were incredible.  My skis felt fast and it wasn't boiling or freezing cold.  The pre-ski went well.  We did actually ski the correct course which was nice.  

My warm up went much better.  I actually got out on time and felt I did a decent warm up.  I did a ladder of the zone and then some speed bursts.  As I was standing on the start line I felt quite nervous but as soon as I got away from the crowds and into the forest I was ready to race my own race.  I was extremely happy with how I skied technically.  I felt strong going up every hill and I thought I did a very good job of pushing over the hills.  That was my main goal.  To push over the crest of the hill.  There were some flat sections where I probably could have been pushing a little harder.  But I was doing my best two-skate and I was proud of that.  When  I crossed the finish line I knew I had raced a great race.  There was very little I could have done better.  

When I found out that I placed 8th I was very very happy.  As I cooled down I was feeling pretty good going into the relay.  

I didn't really know how to warm up for the relay so I just skied around a bit and did some speed burst.  I was starting for our team and I felt pretty good about that.  When we were lined up on the start line I was seeded first.  This was nice to know heading into the relay.  The relay was very exciting.  I again felt I skied my best and it was definitely good to have the other skiers pushing me.  I held the position of first place for my entire leg of the relay.  As I tagged off to Lauren she had a lead on the other skiers.  This was all great.  But as I made my way out of the exchange zone I had a breakdown.  During the relay I went outside of the course for a little bit.  I was terrified of the possibility that I disqualified our team.  When Kate came over the finish line first I was very nervous that our victory would be taken from us.  I didn't find out till awards that we were okay and did win.  This was probably the best thing I heard all day.  This made the day, I will always remember when the senior girls won everything.  

It was a great day.


Peter: Lauren is on a comeback mission. An entire year out with an injury. A year is an eternity for a young person. Dealing with doctors, physiotherapists, no sports, still working. But heck, she took it all in strides, farm girl. Life goes on, and her comeback came with a blast.

Hey Lauren, 

Kate tells me you held up the lead or close to it. So I understand Sasha came in for the first exchange in first place, then something much bigger happens to this magnificent 4!

I am super curious how the hell you stayed in front. This is war like racing. That is tremendous pressure, requires fast skiing and no giving in to those negative voices. Priceless stuff.

Tell me your thoughts during the 800m, can't wait.


Lauren waiting for Sasha Lauren waiting for Sasha

hey peter,

First off - I had one of the best races of my life thus far. I felt really strong going up the hills in Racers out, then i was able to keep the momentum throughout the course. I two skated in a lot of the flat parts; I find its faster and more effective than one skate in the flats, I can't seem to get the right cadence for one skate to not slow me down. I felt technically I was able to get past the fact that my legs were killing from all of the hills. Coming into the finish I felt really strong and powerful crossing the line.

Lauren skiing like never before.Lauren skiing like never before.

The relay; I was tired from the individual race still and then got nervous approaching the relay. Warming up I was afraid I wouldn't be able go fast enough, that i would slow the team down. But Sasha wasn't much ahead of the collingwood girl coming into the exchange zone so i knew I had to giver. I was the second leg in the relay. After almost skiing out of the exchange zone without a tag, I knew it was go time. I one skated up the whole hill, (proud moment #1) then continued to build speed and a lead between me and the girls behind me. In the flats I two skated. I felt really strong and powerful and with every stride i felt like i was gaining ground. Coming up to the hill before the exchange zone, I didn't know how strong i was going to be able to be. Getting to the hill I one skated up most of it then did quick and light offset to the top. When approaching the top, I looked up and only saw Lindsay in the start of the exchange zone. I knew I had done my job and got us a good lead so that Lindsay could take it and ski like hell. I was so happy. It was definitely one of my best days skiing ever. 




Lindsay is the most intense female skier around.Lindsay is the most intense female skier around.

It was amazing. Those 3 girls push me to experience a new level in my racing and training every single day, on and off the trails. Like you said the magnificent 4. Sasha started us off great, the rest of us had no choice but to try and top that, this was also after an extraordinary independent race for all of us. None of us out shined each other on the podium, definitely wouldn't have been the same out come with out them, or the rest of the team/ coaching/ you. I think I actually woke up the next morning still smiling. 


Kate's story.

Kate, the Rock, the anchor. The biggest fan of her team. Kate, the Rock, the anchor. The biggest fan of her team.

GB's was a really fun day. The distance race went really well. I wasn't too sure what to expect because it was a difficult course, but I was able to push up all the hills and recover easily on the flats and downhills. Sasha also started 15 sec behind and that reallllllly helped push me. I found myself pushing harder at parts that I might not normally just because I thought she was right behind me. The conditions were also great so that was nice. I just had a really positive mindset before this race and was super excited and that always helps me. I did a good warmup and timing and everything just clicked. At the end of the race I knew I had gave it my all. 

For the relays, the order was Sasha 1st, Lauren 2nd, Lindsay 3rd and myself 4th. We were all really nervous because we thought top 2 made it to OFSAA (which it may be more because GBs is hosting OFSAA but I don't know) and Collingwood and Huntsville were our competition. But Sasha had a great sprint keeping us in first and Lauren and Lindsay just created a bigger lead. Heidi Orhling was anchor for the Collingwood team, and even though we had a good lead I figured she would catch me. I went all out in the race but I was still thinking that even if Heidi passed me, we would make it to to OFSAA. But about halfway through the sprint, I realized we could win the relay and that's when I really pushed hard. And we won and it was wonderful and fun. I've skied with these girls for many years now and it was so great to experience this with them. 

It was such a great day and I am super excited for OFSAA! I hope Lindsay gets better though. I think with her we'd have a good chance at doing well as a relay team. 

Thanks for listening to me ramble haha



Kate has taught her team how to "take it". Kate has taught her team how to "take it".


The end of this story is about reality. Lindsay got seriously injured right after GB, it was devastating for her. She did not want to tell anyone, she was in denial, all the stuff athletes do when crap hits the fan. Her team mates would not understand, she was worried she had messed up their shot at doing well at Ofsaa. So these girls kept this inside for a while....

It was people around them who wanted to know what?

Turns out Lindsay was not able to ski for the rest of the winter. Serious knee injury. 

Lindsay did not want to watch that relay at Ofsaa, without her being part of it. That would be just too much, it would be very hard for her, but she did come. They embraced Gracie who had to fill in for Lindsay. Lindsay had a few hard moments that day at Ofsaa, but her team mates never let her down. They were there for her when she needed them most. Lindsay never really let them down. She knows that now.

Its great to watch how our young skiers deal with a difficult time like this.

Let's make sure we support them in every which way we can. We cannot protect them from adversity, but we can get them to deal with it in style. They sure showed me how classy they are! High 5 girls. 

Thank you

Peter Wiltmann


The magnificent 4 at Ofsaa in Duntroon. Left to right: Sasha, Lindsay, Kate, and Lauren.The magnificent 4 at Ofsaa in Duntroon. Left to right: Sasha, Lindsay, Kate, and Lauren.






Lynsey Bialkowki skiing at 2014 Nationals in Corner Brook, NFLD

My name is Lynsey Bialkowski, I am 23 years old and I currently live in Parry Sound, Ontario.  I have skied since I was about 9 years old and I have kept skiing all the way through high school and university, which is now ending.  I have been working a lot of my classic technique but I still prefer to skate ski over classic. I love skate skiing. Elementary school skiing is what got me interested into skiing competitions, they were a lot of fun and I enjoyed ski racing.  What I like about ski races is that when you are on the start line and you know you’ve done all the training leading up to this point.   Your ready to let everything go to hammer out the race course to see how well the training has pulled off.  I think I deal with the pressure by working on my school assignments to take a little bit of the pressure off of racing.  This year I am currently skiing in my last year at university and getting ready for the ski season to start soon.  I plan to ski the rest of my life, I find it very enjoyable and it releases other stresses.



                                                      Sarah Creasor competing for Guelph University (Photo: Gord Kerr)

Last year I started University, and had not planned on skiing.
For a bit of background I started skiing at age 6 and I raced all through elementary and high school, with some club skiing, and O Cup races mixed in there. I was always someone who struggled with nerves and pressures of racing….mostly self-induced haha. So the thought of racing at a university level was not that appealing to me when graduating high school. I took a year off between high school and university…this year consisted of NO sport specific training. I was still fairly active but nothing that would prep me for a year of university ski racing.
When I got to university, my sister happened to be in her last year there and on the ski team. I wanted some active people in my life to train with, but still wasn’t going to race. My sister, Erin, encouraged me to come out to some practices and just have fun. So that’s what I did. One thing I’ve always loved about the ski community is the openness and how nice everyone is. The Guelph Nordic team didn’t disappoint. When deciding between two teams, it was the atmosphere of the ski team that won me over.
Sarah racing at Ontario Cup in Duntroon. Her sister Erin cheering from the side.Sarah racing at Ontario Cup in Duntroon. Her sister Erin cheering from the side. 
So after over a year of basically not training, I jumped head first into training. It was difficult at times trying to get my head back into school and skiing, being new to university, and not very fit. They both had their own struggles. I ended up with shin splints in the fall, so had to take things easy for awhile…just what my race season needed.
So by the time I got to racing I was not feeling at peak performance and had some not so hot races. But I went through the season and had improvements every race. I started out at the back of the team…unsurprisingly. But the, I guess you could call it most impacting race, was at our OUA race (University Championships).
It was the last of 3 days of racing, neither day being ideal conditions so some added adversity…cause who doesn’t like that!?! Movie moment….wake up the 3rd day the sun’s out, it’s not too hot or too cold, skis are fast and we have a pretty fun course to race on. I was warming up and when normally I’d be stupidly nervous, I had my nerves in control. I did my own thing to get warmed up but I felt ready to race…finally! The race was a pursuit and I was closer to the end of our team to start…but not so far back that it would be impossible to catch up over 10kms - hopefully.
That was my goal, catch my teammates and we’d ski together.
Everybody has heard it at one point of another from your coaches, don’t base goals off results of other people, everybody has good and bad days.
Being able to adapt your plans mid race can also be interesting. When skiing as a group didn’t end up working, I kept trying to pick off people in front of me. It was going pretty well, this one girl (a Sarah as well), and I were fighting back and forth for the last about 3kms of the race. It was tough but we motivated each other and at one point I had the thought, “this is racing….this is what it should be like”, and I was having fun!
I finished that race on a huge high. I felt amazing and couldn’t think of many places that I could have pushed it harder. To top it off when the results were posted, I ended up being 2nd to finish on my team. That was great, and very unexpected but, what I was most happy about was how much time I had managed to cut off my races throughout my season. When I started I was many minutes off Guelph’s top skier(s) and even farther behind the rest of the competition. I was only about 1 minute off Guelph’s top that day. I ended up 24th in the pursuit. When racing against the National Development Centre from Thunder Bay and the rest of the high level university skiers, 24th was looking better and better all the time. For those of you who aren’t familiar with NDC while most university skiers put school first then skiing, most of these skiers have skiing as a first priority.
This race made me realize just what you can accomplish if you want it, and to never count yourself out of a race, or a season.

                                                    Shaylynn Loewen (left) with Lindsay Raymond pole walking
                                                                 at the McKellar Better Living Fair
Shaylynn answered 5 questions Pavlina Sudrich asked. Pav, we call her Pav, is a coach in Whitehorse, YK. She skied with the Firth sisters in the far north during their final years of competition. Being an activist and having coached Team Ontario for a couple years, "Pav" knows skiing.
1- How did you end up in the sport of cross country skiing?
  I started skiing at Humphrey school in their ski program in grade two or three, after my older sister did for a couple years before me. I did a little bit   of skiing at home before that, but not much.
  One thing that I clearly remember from learning to ski was not using poles for the first year or so of learning to ski, and when I finally was ready to      use poles it was so exciting!
2- What accomplishments are you most proud of? [these can be sport related- but don't necessarily have to be!]
     I'm proud of how much progress I've made (mostly in the past year) because of my training.
3- What major goals are you working towards right now?
     No major goals, but I want to focus on making my technique the best that I can.
4- If you had 3 tips for people what would they be? [some tricks, tips, or solid pieces of advice you've learnt over the years].
   nothing comes to mind
5- What's something people may not know about you?
  I like to paint 

Shayna Herr ripping it up at 2014 Nationals
Corner Brook, NFLD.                                         
 1- How did you end up in the sport of cross country skiing?
1. I ended up in the sport of cross-country skiing thanks to Barb Pettinger - my grade two teacher who thought I would enjoy skiing (boy was she ever right!).
 2- What accomplishments are you most proud of? [these can be sport related- but don't necessarily have to be!]
  Cracking into the top 20 a couple times at Nationals last year in Newfoundland is an accomplishment I am very happy with. I'm also proud of our senior girls relay team for winning gold at Ofsaa!
3- What major goals are you working towards right now?
 Unfortunately I suffered mono a few months ago so I haven't been training nearly as much as I used to. For that reason, my primary goal right now is to get back onto a daily training schedule, rebuild my strength and confidence and to join a ski team next year while I'm at university. My school related goal is to graduate the University of Ottawa in 3 more years with my bachelor of science specializing in human kinetics and possibly go to med school afterwards.
 4- If you had 3 tips for people what would they be? [some tricks, tips, or solid pieces of advice you've learnt over the years].
  A good piece of advice that I got from my coach, Peter Wiltmann is that you should always have a mini goal for each practise. Make every practise count and learn something, even if it the smallest thing. Don't forget to have fun as well! Another neat tip that really helped me was to visualize the course and make a solid race plan the night before a competition; having a plan makes race day go a lot smoother. One final word of advice is to always believe in yourself, have courage to follow your dreams/goals and never give up. You can do it.
 5- What's something people may not know about you?
  Something people may not know about me is that I was a member of the Canadian Junior National Dragon Boat Team in 2011 and 2013. It took a great amount of hard work and dedication to get there but it was definitely worth it. They were unbelievable experiences. If you already knew that, then another thing about me is that I'm not a huge fan of cats.
Hope thats sort of what you were looking for, it was a good way to procrastinate ha.
Of course you can add a picture, I love pictures!

See you in a couple more weeks (I'm so excited to ski!!),
 Coach peter: "Classic Shayna! All the best in your recovery"

Shayna's update November 2015
Claire (left) and Shayna in University trainng camp June 2015Claire (left) and Shayna in University trainng camp June 2015

Hey Peter, hope all is well and you're enjoying the snow! My mom's been sending me pictures and I'm so jealous! Here’s a quick story about the past few crazy years of my life! 

 Back in grade 12 I got early acceptance to university so I decided to focus on skiing during second semester. My training paid off - I was satisfied with my races’ results and at the end of the season I got sponsored by One Way. By the time June rolled around, I graduated and all was well...

In August, I suffered from mono. I got it really bad. I was not allowed to do any physical activity for nearly 2 months which was incredibly devastating. My fitness level dropped a ton and I did not continue with skiing (therefore I lost my sponsorship). Being sick for weeks really threw me out of the loop; the doctor had suggested that I differ from school until January but I didn’t want to. I was so excited for university and just wanted to start at the same time as everyone else. I battled through first year, which was very difficult mentally and physically and words can’t describe how much I missed my team.   

I got back into the swing of things in the summer and now I am here. I’m in second year, I joined the university’s rowing team and I’m so happy to be part of a team again. We had practice at 5 every morning (never felt more alive for those 8:30 classes!). I also helped create a Nordic ski team at the University of Ottawa!! We are now an official club and practices are underway yay. School is going much better too. Life is back on track.

So my fellow friends, remember that life happens, take the time to recover, regenerate yourself and keep following that path to success!

That’s all for now, so excited to be home at Christmas.




Shayna with Blackfeather in 2016Shayna with Blackfeather in 2016

June 17, 2017

Hey Peter,

How are things? I hope life and ski practises are going well and everyone is doing great. I was talking to Ghislain not long ago and hear there are still lots of rabbits. Sorry I took an ice age to respond - I didn't forget though!

Life is awesome here. I have been busy working with Black Feather again this year. I am in Parry Sound for a couple more weeks before I leave for trips; the first one is on the Dumoine River near Quebec, then I head up to Baffin Island at the end of July. I'm hoping to get out for a roller ski sometime in the near future. Sport has 110% impacted my life super positively! Adaptability is a main skill that I learned through ski racing that really helps me in daily life endeavors... it's handy to be able to stay calm and collected (most of the time ah) when plans are changing left, right and centre! I took so may other things away from skiing that I will be forever thankful for. 

Anyway, I better check my school email and do all that school stuff that hasn't been done. My plans change quite frequently but as of now, I'm thinking of taking a 5th year for my undergrad, then maybe taking a year off to travel, and then doing a 2 year masters/graduate program... so the education path is still pretty lengthy! Oh one more thing, I got the job as a student trainer (so I tape them, deal with injuries, etc) for the University of Ottawa varsity women's basketball team. So I will be involved with sport in a different way for the following year which is super exciting!

Take care,



 Update April 8, 2017
She answered the original questions again, are you good with cats now, Emily?
Hi Petie,
Lovely to hear from you. I hope all is well at home. 
How did you end up in the sport of cross country skiing?
Well I was in grade 1 and Mrs. Pettinger let my sister and I burrow skis, boots and poles from McDougall School so that we could part-take in Jackrabbits that year. Then naturally, my all-star racing career began in Grade 2 at the Humphrey Classic Classic. From there the rest is history..
What accomplishments are you most proud of? [these can be sport related- but don't necessarily have to be!]
Emily at OfsaaEmily at Ofsaa
This one is a tough one. In 2014 when Claire, Shayna, Charlotte and I won OFSAA gold for the relay race. More than anything that was just such a great memory to share with my best friends.  Outside of skiing life I am probably most proud of my schooling, I cannot wait to be a nurse someday. 
What major goals are you working towards right now?
This question reminded me that I need to update my goals list.....
Graduating. But really trying to keep balance in my life. Trying to remain active/happy in a bunch of ways (skiing, rock climbing, kayaking, running, weights, yoga, swimming, dancing, volunteering) and to stay on top of school work (without letting it freak me out). 
If you had 3 tips for people what would they be? [some tricks, tips, or solid pieces of advice you've learnt over the years].
1. Keep balance in your life. Balance between school, sports and social life - Peter says you cannot do all 3, I say give it a try! See if it works for you. There will be certain days and times for the year when you can only do 1/3 and other days when you can fit in all 3! 
2. If you are doing something that doesn't make you happy, then why are you doing it? Why waste your time? Is it really that important? (This was roller skiing for me.)
(Please note that school is important and you cannot quit that until you are done high school.) 
3. Always work on your forward lean. It's very important in classic and skate.
4. Eat lots of chocolate, it will bring you great joy. 
What's something people may not know about you?
Well, in recent years I have started to white water kayak. It is extremely challenging and frustrating, but also a lot of fun. I recommend it to anyone who can swim! 
There you go Peter! Hope to see you sometime this summer - if you need any help with ski practice let me know and I will try to come and help out!!! FYI - I will not be roller skiing, so any other dry-land training :) 
This is Emily's story during her time on the team:
                          Emily Beirnes (far left holding skis), right after finishing
                          a classic race at 2014 Nationals. Claire on the far right.
Here are my responses to Pav's questions!
1- How did you end up in the sport of cross country skiing?
 I got into cross country skiing at the age of 6 thanks to my grade one and two teachers, Mrs. West & Mrs. Pettinger at McDougall public school! They lent me skis & encouraged my mom to sign my sister & I up for the Jackrabbit Program at Georgian Nordic. 


2- What accomplishments are you most proud of? [these can be sport related- but don't necessarily have to be!]
 I am most proud of how far my technique has come since I started skiing. It's something I love to work on & have worked on very hard for the past number of years.  I do still have a lot to go but we are working on it!
3- What major goals are you working towards right now?
   My goals that I am working towards currently are continually perfecting my double pole, offsetting with my left side, getting into university & eventually medical school. 
4- If you had 3 tips for people what would they be? [some tricks, tips, or solid pieces of advice you've learnt over the years].
1 - don't look at the results of your 1st race each season
2 - make a race plan, nothing fancy but what works for you
3 - when two skating, punch the sky before crunching to poles, helps with timing a lot 

5- What's something people may not know about you?

  I am not a fan of cats

 Update April 8, 2017

Katie is 25 today, Happy Birthday. Here is her update:

Hey Peter! Thanks so much for the birthday shoutout! 

Well…my most recent update: I drove to H....... early this morning to try and ski. The folks at the desk told me that they were closed and that I couldn’t ski, but there was so way that I was going to have driven that far and not skied.  So I hiked over to the Meadowlands, strapped on my skis and got a solid 2 hour crust ski in.  There were some powdery sections as Barrie got some snow last night but overall really great ski! Every year I always hope that there will be snow long enough to ski on my birthday.  Maybe you shouldn’t mention to anybody at H.... that I was skiing there today…I don’t think they would like that. 
I’ll write up some updated answers to those questions in the next few days! 



                                                                  Katrina Madden, racing at 2014 OUA's for Waterloo University

Hey Peter, 

Sorry this is late reply, but I really wanted to do this! 
Here we go.
- Katie Madden, 22 yrs. old and currently living in Waterloo, ON.
I started skiing around gr. 9 and got involved with the high school team and haven’t stopped skiing since (10 yrs.).  I do prefer skate technique because I can go fast, but I’m learning to love classic skiing just as much— there’s nothing better than a nice, long classic ski out on the Beaver on a crisp February day.  My first experience with ski racing was watching an elementary school race at the Georgian Nordic, and I thought to myself ‘hey, I want to give that a try’. Started racing in gr.9 and have been hooked ever since.  What I love about racing of course is that you get to go super fast! Skiing is such a beautiful movement and there’s just something about being able to get out there and do it on a race course that is such an adrenaline rush.  I love that competition pushes me to be the best that I can be, both while racing and also in preparation, executing a perfect pre-race plan/warmup, being rested the night before, etc.  My favourite thing about racing however, is watching it all come together on race day.  Knowing how hard you’ve trained all year, putting in long training hours and technique work, it’s an incredible feeling being on the start line knowing that you’ve given it your best shot, all the work has been done and all you have to do is put a smile on your face, get out there and give’er! 
It’s easy in competition sometimes to get caught up in results, or get really bummed out if your race day doesn’t go well, but it’s something that over time you learn to balance.
Being a student-athlete also isn’t easy. When school gets busy sometimes that training has to give a little bit, but training is also a great break from school.  It always feels so good to get out there and train after a long day of studying.  This year I am in my last year of school, and training as hard as I can while studying.  I will be competing this year, heading to Vermont for the US super tour,  OUA’s, Easterns and Nationals, as well as some smaller Ontario races.
I will 100% be skiing for my whole life! As long as I can walk, I will definitely be skiing :) 
Phew, I think I covered everything! Thanks Peter for getting this together, I hope you got some great responses! 
Maybe we’ll see you guys at the Yuletide race this weekend? 
Katie classic racing for Waterloo U. Ontario Cup in Sudbury 2012

 Updated April 9, 2017 

Kate B. :

Hey Peter, 
I don't have any recent photos of me skiing, but here is one of me in a tug of war competition a couple weeks ago! It was a part of a large expo on campus called College Royal. There are beef and dairy shows, as well as petting zoo, tug of war, log racing, square dancing and lots of other stuff! It's completely student run and is a ginormous draw to campus. The whole thing goes on for 12 days but open house it about 3-4. 
I am the second last tugging, I am with my team of friends from the OAC (Ontario Agricultural college within the University of Guelph). My grandpa graduated from the OAC in 1964, and 3 of my uncles as well. My program is associated to the OAC  and there is so much stuff going on in the college, it's such a blast. We have all kinds of sports tournaments, banquets, competitions for anything. This past Friday actually was our annual pig roast where we go to someone's farm, eat pork on a bun and play football/ wrestle in the mud!! You literally get covered in mud! 
Anyways that's a little glimpse of my school life, I fit school work in there somehow!! 
Kate tug of war Agricultural school Guelph.PNGKate tug of war Agricultural school Guelph.PNG
Kate April 8, 2017:
Hi Peter! 
Hope all is well with you. School is great and I am really enjoying it, heading into exams now but it will be over just over 2 weeks!
Just read the page you had written with our input about GBs last year when we won on the GN website. I had forgotten about the little details of that day and it made me so happy to read through. 
I have not skied on the University team this year, but have been staying active with lots of running and going to the gym along with intramurals. I broke my foot playing soccer in October and that prevented me from skiing all winter (probably the first time this has happened since I was 4 years old). I was only home a couple times but my foot was never up for anything. I've started running again the past few months and that has been great but the injury really set me back and added to challenges of first year. Having to get around campus on crutches was hell. And not being able to do any sports was even worse. Along with already gaining weight from not eating as well I just felt all around crappy. But thankfully after lots of physio and help from friends I am back on my feet (literally). 
I really do miss the skiing, especially after reading that article. But I know that I am not up for taking on the ski team here. They are a lot of fun, and kind of intense too, and I know I just can't handle it on top of schoolwork and other extracurriculars. I was actually on 2 student councils this year. 

But, sport has not left my life and I have to make sure that I do some sort of activity every day to keep me from going crazy! All the stuff I learned about training and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while doing stuff you love is something I learned on the ski team and will stay with me forever. 

Kate when she was on the team. 


                                         Kate Beirnes, training at Kinsmen November 2013. A get away.

 Hmmm some good thinker questions.

1- How did you end up in the sport of cross country skiing?
I started skiing when I was 5. I remember not liking it very much and my mom making me go. But then I continued with it and actually started liking it! Haha I started liking it a lot. I loved the sport and decided to get more competitive with it. That just continued until where I am today. 
 2- What accomplishments are you most proud of? [these can be sport related- but don't necessarily have to be!]
I am proud of different ski races of mine. I have had good races and bad races but I learned more from my bad ones. I learned to persevere and try again. When you do that it's never really failing. I am proud of my realization of that. 
3- What major goals are you working towards right now? Right now I am working towards good grades. It used to come easy but now it's a bit more of a challenge! Haha. I want to get into a university in a cool destination. My goal is to be accepted to Memorial university for environmental science. 
 4- If you had 3 tips for people what would they be? [some tricks, tips, or solid pieces of advice you've learnt over the years]. Always tie your shoes before running. 
Fall in the snow at least one time during ski practice. 
Don't forget to have fun! 
 5- What's something people may not know about you?People may not know that I like to travel! I have been lucky enough to travel many different places in and out of Canada. When I am older I plan to travel more and live in the great white north. 
Kate racing at Ontario Cup in Duntroon, skate sprints. 2013



  Marie-Claire Henry racing classic style in Walden 2013 Ontario Cup

Hey Peter,

Sorry This took so long!
My name is Marie-Claire and I'm 18 years old. I'm currently living in Kingston Ontario where I'm going to school for Kinesiology. I started skiing in the Jackrabbit program in the bunny level when I was about 4 or 5,  and I've been racing since grade 5 with bother the club team and then with the highschool team starting in grade 9. I've been skiing and racing ever since. I love both skate and classic, but on a cold day with a lot of snow, nothing beats classic skiing in a perfect track set! What got me interested in competition was how fun a weekend of racing was, but my favorite part about a competition is the feeling you get when you cross the finish line.  As much fun as racing is though, it does take up a lot of time that could otherwise be spent on things like school work. It just meant that I brought homework with me to do at the hotel, and there were a few late nights to finish projects on time because I'd been away for a few days skiing. Time management was something I had to work on a lot. I've been training all fall and this season I'm hoping to ski for the Queen's University ski team and compete at Easterns and OUA's. After that, I plan on skiing for the rest of my life with a few races thrown in here and there just for fun. 
It was great to ski with the team a bit over Christmas, and good luck to everyone in Duntroon!