Netherlands Ambassador to Canada Henk van der Zwan, at centre and wearing an orange scarf, is joined on Big Rideau Lake by, from left, Dutch Embassy communications advisor Anna Rijk, Dutch skate tour organizer Toine Doreleijers, Skate the Lake President John Bongers, Brian Preston of the Royal Canadian Legion, Rideau Lakes Town Crier G. David Boyd, Rideau Lakes Mayor Ron Holman and local historian Blake Seward. – Photo by Garth Gullekson.
PORTLAND – For the first time in Skate the Lake history, 60 competitive skaters from the Netherlands joined in the event’s main 100-kilometre race. Helping cheer them on was Netherlands Ambassador to Canada Henk van der Zwan.
More than 200 competitive and recreational skaters flocked to Portland in Rideau Lakes Township February 17-18 to partake in races on the Big Rideau Lake oval. There were 5K, 10K, 25K and 50-kilometre events with shorter races for kids. It was a top attendance year with skaters from overseas, Ontario, Quebec and the United States.
The winner of the Masters 100K event was Sergio Almeralla of Ottawa. He also finished first in the 25K event. The top female racer was Guylaine Larouche, of Orford, Quebec. In third place was Gert Beenes of Bedum, Netherlands.
Skate the Lake is organized by Portland Outdoors and is an event bringing new people to the region and supporting local businesses.
Learn more about Portland Outdoors on their website: http://www.skatethelakeportland.com/