From XC Ottawa...
What do 50 people on rollerskis look like? How about 200…or more? That’s the question that Fresh Air Experience in Ottawa is trying to answer. On October 2nd, at 8am sharp the store will set the world record for the most number of rollerskiers in one place, at one time, ever. The event will take place at P8 and P9 in Gatineau Park, just outside Ottawa, Ontario, and FAE’s Chris Bloch-Hansen is expecting a big turn out.
“Bragging rights, that’s where this started,” says Bloch-Hansen. Initially he and some of the crew at Fresh Air Experience’s Ottawa store were tossing around the simple idea of having a bunch of people gather for a neat group photo. With Ottawa being one of Canada’s largest cross-country skiing communities, guesses were soon flying as to just how many people the store could organize. It was a short leap to the idea of setting a world record.
Fresh Air's rollerski world record attempt is underway. Photo: XCZone.tv
According to Block-Hansen, “Dennis [Thomasson - the store owner] got in touch with the Guinness World Records folks, and they said that no such official record currently exists.” So they figured, why not set it them selves, and set the bar high?
How high? When asked which other communities he thinks might decide to challenge the Ottawa/Gatineau region, Block-Hansen said he doesn’t think anyone else has a chance. Gatineau Park has over 200km of recreation cross-country ski trails, and there are thousands of skiers who use them. That huge community feeds a very strong racing scene in the area with, Block-Hansen estimates, over 2,000 people who rollerski – which gives the organizers plenty to draw on.
“We’re expecting somewhere from 200-300 people, but it could easily be as high as 400 or more,” says Bloch-Hansen.
And there are incentives to get people out for the photo. FAE is giving away $1,000 in prizes, among the swag is a set of V2-98XL Carbon rollerskis, valued at $400. Participants will also have the chance to rub shoulders with three of Canada’s National Junior Team athletes. Bloch-Hansen said Nakkertok’s Patrick Stewart-Jones, his brother Andrew, and Steffan Lloyd will all be in attendance.