PORTLAND, ONTARIO - JAN 27, 2008 -The fifth anniversary of the International Big Rideau Lake Speed Skating Marathon was held in Portland, Ontario on Saturday January 26, 2008. Under perfect conditions, on perfect lake ice, record crowds came out to see Youri Juteau of Normanville,Quebec and Katie Kathie Zapotocki of Zionsville, Pennsylvaniav skate to victory in the 50 kilometer race.
"After having to battle the elements for two years in 2006 and 2007, it was amazing to have a year where we could put the experience of the last four editions of Skate the Lake into one,” said Marco Smits, President of Portland Outdoors.
“The volunteers did an outstanding job, and that showed in every detail during the day. From the quality of the ice to the lay out of the site, the concession stands and the decorations in town, it could not have been better and the enthusiasm of our committees seemed to rub off on the skaters that made the trip from near and far away,” Smits said.
The unique speed skating event on the largest lake in Eastern Ontario saw several new features, including a spectacular curling rink and a beautiful start/finish line structure designed by a local log home builder.
A fireworks display lit up the night sky over the lake before the Spencer Evans Trio completed the festivities with a rocking concert in the Portland Community Centre.
About Portland Outdoors Portland Outdoors is a non-profit organization formed in 2003 by local residents who are dedicated to offering the best in outdoors activities in Portland, Ontario during all four seasons of the year. Since the first event in 2004, the International Big Rideau Lake Speed Skating Marathon, also known as Skate the Lake, has been attracting thousands of skaters and spectators to enjoy a unique skating opportunity on the largest lake in Eastern Ontario.