Story by Caroline Cox, photos by Lois Nuttal

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With temperatures hovering around -19°, layers were in vogue at the 2014 Sleeping Giant Loppet. But the cold didn’t chill the spirits of about 800 participants, volunteers, and spectators: attendees smiled, chatted,and cheered on complete strangers in the amicable way that is particular to long-distance sporting events.

Earlier in the week, event planners modified course distances due to weather, cancelling the 35 km route and dropping the farthest race from 50 to 40 km.  The new distances removed more remote locations on the course and allowed volunteers to take safety precautions by parking close to their assigned aid stations. The changes paid off—volunteer support, chocolate snacks, and warm drinks made the aid stations fun stops along the route.

Organizer Marianne Stewart claims there’s “something magical” about Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Certainly anyone who braved the weather saw that the race offers a winter wilderness experience that can’t be beat.

The Walleye Woody-Make-It Award Winner: Chris Hegg
The Walleye Flashback Award Winner: #90 Dan Duckart & #91 Denise Taylor, honorable mention to #391 Eric Bailey

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