The BC Long Track Speed Skating Championships are coming to the Fort this weekend, Jan 28- 29

This year the competition will be a tri-city event,

This year the competition will be a tri-city  event, with the Prince George Blizzard Speed Skating Club and the Nechako Lake Speed Skating Club helping to host the event.

With competitors from four years-old up to adults over 50, and coming from as far north as Fort St. John, all the way south to the Lower Mainland, competition promises to be fierce on the outdoor oval.

“It’s a real range, a sport for all ages,” said Sandra Sulyma, head of the Fort St. James Falcons skating club.

Due to that range there will be a mini-flood of people into the community.

“We’ll probably have about 100 skaters registering,” said Sulyma.  Sixteen of those skaters are from Fort St. James with the rest, around 80, plus their families, coming from all over the province, she added.

The racing will consist of two different styles according to Sulyma. The older participants will race Olympic style, while the younger will do a mass start.

The Olympic style is characterized by two skaters skating within their own lines, while the mass start is exactly how it sounds, a bunch of young kids barreling around the oval like a pint-sized army.

Racing will go all day, starting at nine in the morning and going through to 4 p.m., with a stop at noon for lunch. If things don’t go according to plan, and skating extends beyond the light hours, there are lights for the skaters by the oval.

Fort St. James has been building that oval for 20 years to allow skaters to enjoy their sport. If you haven’t been to the oval, situated behind the high school, it’s worth going to see the hours of work, and litres of water, that have been put into the 400-metre track.

Keith Gordon and Russ Macdonald have put 55,000 gallons of water into making the ring the perfect skating oval.