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2008 Carleton Cup Recap

 

Holy Hanna, what a weekend! It might have been a small Carleton Cup in terms of

numbers, but it was a very eventful one, and not without its controversy. So…where

to begin?

The big news is our trophy was returned!!! Get it into ya! A little worse-for-wear, but it

is back. For the story, please read on.

We had 30 entrants in the race, and managed to raise approximately $1500 for the

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Ottawa Chapter. Not bad at all considering the

Rideau Canal opened for skating barely 24 hours before race time. Many thanks to

everyone who participated, and…

Congratulations to our 2008 Champions Michael Logue and Lauren Laba!

We met at 6pm at the Aulde Dubliner/Pour House in the Market for registration and

ping pong stories, and then we all piled into the school bus which took us to the

Somerset St. exit on the Rideau Canal, after making a stop at the Beer Store on the

way, natch. Fun, fun. After everyone became cognizant of ice conditions and the

importance of safety, we moseyed on down to the Canal for the start of the race. For the first time in our history, after the starter pistol was fired, everyone skated south, towards Carleton, as confusing as that was for us old-timers. We skated to just past the 5th Avenue exit, and obtained that all-important ticket from Carleton Cup officials Andy and Jason to prove we had skated as far as possible, and then turned around and headed back downtown for the second and third legs of the race.

It was the longest “run” in race history (approximately double the distance of the usual 800 metres or so), and by the time the dust settled, the fastest time was posted by Michael Logue at 25 minutes, 35 seconds. Way to go, Mike! Yet it was our women’s champ Lauren Laba who was the most innovative racer this year. Ms. Laba astutely noticed a loop-hole in our rules, which state: “Anyone caught accepting a ride of any sort, with the exception of any vehicle operating on the Canal itself, will be disqualified.” She came across safety personnel on the ice that were operating a “golf-cart” type vehicle, and she decided to hitch a ride, and proceeded to ride her way to victory, becoming the 2008 women’s champion and posting the third fastest time overall at 28 minutes, 12 seconds. There were a few ruffled feathers at the finish line as some questioned how one could actually win the race after receiving assistance of this kind and/or using ‘artificial power’. However, Ms. Laba’s victory is completely legitimate and within the rules. While the pundits begin their chatter, let us all say: Nice hustle, Lauren!

The Awards Ceremony began with the majestic sound of Ross Davison on the bagpipes, as he walked together with Scott Rondeau through the bar towards the stage. Scott was holding a white plastic bag with something inside that looked kinda lumpy and about 2 feet tall (is this guy a showman, or what?!?!). There were audible gasps, raised eyebrows, with many of us thinking “he’s not actually holding the….nah, it couldn’t be!” When the suspense reached a fever pitch, Scott finally opened the bag to reveal the Carleton Cup. Unbelievable!!! You simply had to be there to fully appreciate the sheer heaviosity of the moment. This writer was so overcome with emotion that standing became an impossibility.

For those not aware of the back story, it goes a little something like this:

The trophy went missing at the end of the night of the last Carleton Cup on January 28th, 2006. After filing a report with the Ottawa Police, hanging “Missing” posters all over town, a full page 3 Ottawa Sun article with a picture of the Cup, and many CBC Radio interviews over the course of 2 years, we were almost ready to give up hope. Then we received a call that the trophy was alive and well and living in Ottawa . Arrangements were made, and CCFF Ottawa Chapter President André Chartrand drove into Ottawa ’s sketchy Little Italy neigbourhood to retrieve our holy grail. The person in possession of the trophy was not interested in the reward money, and no questions were asked. It was all very “cloak and dagger”.

So the 2008 champions were able to drink the sweet nectar of victory from the bosom of the Carleton Cup. Our beloved trophy, missing for two years, has made its triumphant return.

WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was an unconventional Awards Ceremony, and in a very good way, but we neglected to thank our very able volunteers, without whom we would not be able to operate our event. They are: Marilyn Soueidan, Allison Lui, Jason Heinen, Johanna Drake, Jade Racicot, Danielle Millaire and Jessica Lapensee. Thank you all very much for your help!

After the Awards Ceremony, we all hunkered down and enjoyed some White Russians and had a pretty cosy good time. Or at least I did until I got kicked out of the bar. Ah, yeah!

So please send us any and all pictures you got, if you got ‘em. And be sure to keep your eyes peeled on the website, as the 2008 stats will be posted very soon [click here to view 2008 stats]. Finally, don’t forget the 20th Anniversary of the Carleton Cup is Saturday January 31st, 2009. On behalf of event organizers Karen & André Chartrand, Scott Rondeau and myself, thank you very much for your continued support of the Carleton Cup. It would be nothing without you.

Happy Groundhog Day,

Jonathan Knowles
The Ultimate Canadian Triathlon
http://www.carletoncup.com