Canadian Ski Marathon

In 1967 several hundred cross-country skiers led by former Canadian National Ski team member, Don MacLeod, celebrated the Centennial year by skiing 100 miles (160 km) from Montréal to Ottawa. Their 3-day expedition has since evolved into the Canadian Ski Marathon, the longest ski event in North America. The CSM has become a 2-day tour annually, attracting skiers from Canada, the US and as many as 10 foreign countries. The course runs from Lachute, Québec, through the forests and farms of the Outaouais region to finish in the National Capital Region at the climax of the "Winterlude" festival in mid-February. Its many categories cater to skiers of all ages and abilities, from 4-year-olds skiing 10 miles (16 km) a day to Gold Coureur de Bois carrying 10 kg packs over the entire distance and camping out overnight. The marathon is organized by a small office staff and approximately 600 volunteers. As it neared its 40th year in 2006, the CSM hosted 2250 skiers ranging in age from five to 85 years.