George Grey goes out in style

Grey wins National Championship 50K

Canada's best skiers line up for the start of the 50K skate at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Actually, there were a few skiers from the U.S. in the mix as well. Mar 19, 2011

Skiers and spectators alike couldn’t have asked for better weather  for the crown jewel race in the Canadian National Championships at the Canmore Nordic Centre today.


Pate Neumann(9)from Canmore leads the breakaway pack of 13 skiers at the Canmore Nordic Centre in the men's 50K, followed by (2)Brent McMurtry of Calgary, (3)Drew Goldsack of Red Deer, and (17)Brian McKeever of Canmore. The eventual winner, George Grey is back in the pack.

 Even the large Canadian flag was hanging limp as 52 skiers took the start  at 8:30 a.m for the most gruelling of all this week’s events.

Read about the race from a skier’s perspective…there’s a good wrap-up on Pate Neumann’s blog of the week’s events, including the 50K where he finished 5th.

One more to go. The skiers go through the stadium at the end of the 4th lap, with the lead pack down to 11 skiers.

The skiers went around a 10K course for 5 laps. I have to say the Nordic Centre is the most spectator-friendly site for watching a ski race. From where I was watching, we could see the skiers go by 4 times on each lap, with excellent sight lines.

With 1K to go, it becomes a 2-man race with George Grey a few metres ahead of Brent McMurtry.
It was a tight race for the first 45K, as 11 skiers  jockeyed for position. Each time they went by, someone different was setting the pace.

George Grey crosses the finish line after 50K of racing, in a time of 2:06:58, with Brent McMurtry 3 seconds behind.

Grey is ending his competitive career after 11 years on the National Ski Team. Congratulations on a great race, and for representing Canada at 2 Olympic games and many world cup races.

Exhausted skiers at the finish line

It was amazing to watch the skiers take this sharp downhill corner

See the men’s results here Zone 4

In the women's 30K, Dasha Gaiazova takes the early lead(eventually finishes 2nd)

Climbing a hill in the women's race. (123)Brittany Webster, (124)Chandra Crawford, (134)Zoe Roy

On the 3rd and final lap, Chelsea Holmes opened up a 15-second lead on the first chase pack who you can see in the distance. Holmes held on to win in a time of 1:26:02, with Gaiazova 2nd, and Brooke Gosling 3rd.

See the women’s results here Zone 4

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