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Carleton Cup


Saturday January 27, 2007
Ottawa, Ontario,




If you don’t like skating on a moonlit canal, running through city streets, then drinking yourself

warm at a crowed bar with Amazonian chicks in fur coats and bikinis, the Carleton Cup might not be for you.

Now in its eighteenth year, the Carleton Cup, dubbed “The Ultimate Canadian Triathlon,” consists of an eight-kilometre skate on the Rideau Canal, a short sprint through the open-air ByWard Market, and drinks of your choice at a designated bar. Organized by Carleton University students in 1989 as a distraction from a tedious national unity debate, the Cup has since evolved into a bona fide event, with up to 200 skaters, runners and drinkers raising thousands of dollars for Cystic Fibrosis research.

Participants dress for comfort (parkas), speed (microfibre leggings), or effect (try a white union suit emblazoned with a red maple leaf, accented by a red toque and skates).

The winner usually clocks in under the half-hour mark – eighteen minutes, fifty-six seconds is the record. Even in 2006, when unusually warm weather left the canal a slushy, rutted minefield, the winner still finished in twenty-five minutes.

Breaking the tape is an accomplishment, but it’s still not the end. The rules require participants to purchase a beverage for the winner – no exceptions. “Should the winner die before the end of the evening,” they read, “the outstanding debt will still stand. The remaining beverages must be placed on the grave of the deceased within thirty days. If the winner is cremated, then a compromise must be reached.” They take their sport seriously, these triathletes.

from Toro Magazine, December 2006.

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