Vermilion, home to all sorts of competitive, yet fun events
By JOANNE ELVES
Vermilion, AB – March 16 is a big day in this northern Alberta city, with two major events taking place – the Race of Vermilion and the Becky Scott Loppet. Both events are competitive and both are fun for both participants and spectators.
The Beckie Scott Loppet kicks off with a mass start at 11am at the Vermilion Provincial Park. The event is classic technique and there are categories for everyone – from 11 and under to Masters (31 and older). Distances range form 2 kilometres to 30km. Registration is open until 11:59pm MT on March 14, and it must be done online. For more information and to register, visit the Vermilion Nordic Club website.
The loppet is named after hometown girl and two-time Winter Olympian, Becky Scott. The Vermilion park is where she first learned to ski and where she started developing both her winning technique and competitive skills. With participants from all over, the loppet makes a great spectator event and everyone is invited to come out and cheer the skiers on.
The Beckie Scott Loppet is open to everyone, from 11 and under to Masters - make sure to register today.
The Race of Vermilion
Just like the teams on TV who race around the world, 40 teams will be dashing through Vermilion to be crowned the winner of a crazy, amazing race. But just how crazy is it?
“It is so much fun. Sometimes I wish I was not volunteering so I could join in on the fun,” says Candice to Josh Anderson, who is usually the coordinator, but is taking the season off to tend to her new baby. Even though she is regulated to the sidelines as a spectator and cheer leader, her enthusiasm for the race is evident in how she to the describes the event.
“The entire community gets behind the one-day event, creating challenging tests of endurance, skill, talent or just dumb luck. No training is required and no skillset will make your team win. Yes, having someone on the team that can run, ski, jump or throw an axe is an asset, but team work is the most important aspect of the entire race.”
The event is hosted by The Good Life Institute of Vermilion, but businesses, organizations and clubs throughout town volunteer time and facilities for the teams to test their skills. Clues are left for the teams to find the next challenge. Last year, stations varied from axe throwing, pottery creations, yoga, dance routines, wiring a house and even dragging a dummy, while competitors are dressed as a fireman.
Let's back up. When I say dance routines…please, watch the video from 2018 to the very end to see just what I mean. That guy in a kilt, dancing like no one is watching, is the epitome of a winner. He put it all on the line for the team.
“I always like to see what the firefighter school at Lakeland College throws at the teams. Sometimes it’s dragging a fake body through a smoke-filled building, other times you are prying your way through a door,” says Josh.
There is no shortage of businesses offering challenges, so two circuits take the teams through town. While some challenges may stay somewhat the same, Candice and her team of volunteers keep it all under wraps, so there is no home-team advantage. Nobody knows which route they are assigned until the gun goes off and the Race of Vermilion starts.
Forty teams of four, 40 sites, 20 detours, two routes and a wrap-up party to announce the winning teams follows the race at the Vermilion Regional Centre. What an event.
“The community loves this race,” says Josh. “Gosh, we have fun in Vermilion!” And it has.
Both the Race of Vermilion and the Becky Scott Loppet make great spectator events, so plan on attending and cheering on the teams and skiers.
Learn more about what Northern Alberta has in store for you this winter visiting our #SkiNorthAB page, where more stories and videos will be coming out all season long.