Portlandia on Ice

Skate the Lake 2013
  • Jan 06, 2013
  • 280 words
  • 2 minutes
Photo courtesy Portland Outdoors
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Thanks to the folks who held our national sport hostage for a good chunk of the season, Canadians have been a little on edge about all things skate-related. But with a fresh new year under way, it’s time to make peace with the place of ice in our lives. Can you think of a better way than gathering on a crisp, clean January weekend with family, friends and fellow competitors and skating your hearts out?

On January 26, come on out for the ninth International Big Rideau Lake Speed Skating Marathon, part of Skate the Lake, brought to you by the community-minded folks at Portland Outdoors, a non-profit organized by area residents “dedicated to bringing out the best” in year-round outdoors activities in Portland, Ontario.

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Launched in January 2004, the event has expanded to feature competitive 5k, 10k, 25k and 50k races, a Special Olympics and a kids 5k race. The races are held on Saturday, but registration opens on Friday and continues Saturday morning. Mid-afternoon Saturday, don’t miss the 1k relay, where five-member teams are encouraged to don costumes before hitting their stride on the lake’s loop. Spectators can warm up around bonfires, eat chili and Dutch pea soup (aka Snert), sip hot chocolate and enjoy the fireworks as dusk falls over the lake.

An historical community perched on the south shore of beautiful Big Rideau Lake, Portland is one of a handful of picturesque eastern Ontario villages that includes Westport, Newboro, Elgin, Chaffey’s Lock, Athens and Seeley’s Bay. Come for the skating, but stay over to explore one of Ontario’s most picturesque rural communities.

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