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Ontario lake venue of marathon skating tour

Portland on wintery Saturday

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

PORTLAND, Ontario - A 2.5-kilometres rink cleared on spectacular Big Rideau Lake will be the venue on January 31, 2004, for the first Big Rideau Lake Speed Skating Marathon. Organized by Port-land Outdoors, founded by Dutch Canadian Marco Smits, the event offers 5 and 10 K tours and a 50 kilometres race.

The lake (and Portland) is located 70 minutes from Ottawa and 45 minutes from Kingston. Toronto and Montreal as well as Vermont and New York State are within easy reach from Portland. This accessibility alone could make the January 31 Big Rideau Lake event very attractive for skating afficionados.

Because of the tour and recreational aspect of the event, organizers at Portland Outdoors have added a small Dutch ‘food fair’ to the rink. Honouring the Dutch tradition, riders, spectators and supporters could treat themselves to foods, snacks and beverages called ‘koek en zopie’ in the Netherlands. Main fare of course will be ‘snert,’ the sticking-to-your-ribs Dutch pea soup.

For more information on the event or to register, contact Portland Outdoors - - or phone 613-272-5260 or 613-284-0647.