Sleeping Giant Loppet Event Day Instructions  

These instructions  will not  be included in your kit.

Please read all the details on line.


Please note that all times are Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Communicating at the Race Site

Cell phone service is unreliable at the race site. Best possibilities are close to the food vendor, around the start line or close to the beach. It is wise to choose a meeting place to gather family members following the race. The podium backdrop is a good location. As you leave the park cell phone service resumes close to the village of Pass Lake.

Getting to the Race Site

The Sleeping Giant Loppet is held in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park with the start and finish at the Marie Louise Lake campground. Skiers will be able to drive to the race site, but car pooling is encouraged. Shuttle bus service from Thunder Bay to and from the race site is also available. Give it a try. You'll love it. Participants in the 35 km event should  park in the first available lot. More information specific to the 35km is noted below.

(adjust for adverse weather conditions)

Travel east from Thunder Bay on Highway 11/17 to the Pass Lake turn off at Highway 587. From there, it is approximately 35 km to the Marie Louise Lake campground. Total distance from Thunder Bay is appoximately 80km.

Allow 10 minutes to walk to the start area after parking. Click map or here for an enlarged site map.

Park N' Ride Service - $10 for adults age 17 and over - Free for children under age 17 

First come, first served basis!

Leave the car at home, ride in style and help the environment. In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, the Loppet is pleased to offer park n' ride service (highway coach, not school bus) from Thunder Bay to Sleeping Giant Park.  All buses will leave Confederation College (parking lot D, close to Thunder Bay Art Gallery) at 7:30am with an intended arrival time of 8:45am. Parking at the College is free.  After the Loppet, buses will leave at 1:00pm, 2:30pm, and 4:00pm.  All buses will return to Confederation College.

Parking and Road Closures

Individuals in the 35 km event should arrive by 8:30am, identify themselves to parking volunteers and park in area 3 (see site map). Your bus to the 35km start will leave from the park office at 9:00am. All other participants should arrive and park their vehicles prior to 9:15am EST. Late arrivals must park at the park office and walk to the start.

The event course crosses the road in the park campground. No vehicles will be able to leave the park until approxomately 12 noon.

Changing your event

Skiers may change their event distance up to 30 minutes before the start of the event using a written request form available at kit pick-up or at the timing trailer close to the start line. Skiers who change their distance during the race will be disqualified and not listed in the results.

Change Facilities

Heated facilities are available inside the Visitors' Centre for changing.  Clothing bags may be left in the designated start area or in the Visitors' Centre theatre only. Organizers are not responsible for lost or stolen items.  Label all of your equipment with name and phone number. A lost and found for items around the start area will be located close to the awards podium. Items left at checkpoints will be available at the Kamview Nordic Centre after 10:00am on Sunday.

Chip Timing

Every participant must wear the timing chip ( velcro strap ) contained in the kit package around their ankle.  All skiers must pass over the start line to be eligible for an official time. Timing systems will be set up along the course to ensure that every participant completes the course. Skiers are responsible for returning the timing chip at the finish line. Volunteers will be there to help you. A $80.00 fee will be charged to your credit card for timing chips not returned. Any chips not returned at the race site must be returned to the Kamview Nordic Centre on Sunday March 5th.

Order of finish is determined by chip time except in the 8km (13 & under), 50km skate, 50km classic, 50km skiathlon, 20km skate and 20km classic events where gun time to first across the finish line will determine the top three male and female finishers.

Start Instructions

Chip timing allows for wave starts which will begin with the 50 km classic technique and skiathlon events at 9:45am EST. The next wave will start approximately 15 minutes later, with subsequent waves following every five minutes (see chart.)  

Skiers are asked to seed themselves appropriately depending on their skiing ability and distance entered, with the competitive 50km free technique and 20km skiers in the front of Wave 2. Participants are not allowed in the start area until marshalled in by officials. A warm up/wax testing area will be provided.

It is recommended that participants double-pole the first 100 metres of the event and use caution when rounding the first corner. 35km skiers will be starting from Checkpoint 2 and will be bussed from the Park Office. The bus will leave at approximately 9:00am EST. For more information on the 35km start, see below.

Start times listed are approximate and are subject to change.

2023 Approx. start time [EST] Est. time to complete 50km Est. time to complete 20km

Wave 1

50km Classic and Skiathlon


All 50km classic skiers

All 50km skiathlon skiers

Wave 2 10:00am

Expert 50km skiers

Less than 3.25 hours

Expert 20km skiers

Less than 1.25 hours

Wave 3 10:05am

All other 50km skiers

Intermediate 20km skiers

Less than 1.75 hours

Wave 4 10:10am   All other 20km skiers
Wave 5 10:15am All 8km Mini-Loppet skiers
Wave 6 10:20am All skiers pulling chariots

35 km Event Start Instructions 

Participants in the 35km distance will be starting from Checkpoint #2. There is NO parking at the 35km start area for participants or spectators and busing from the Park Office in Marie Louise Lake Campground is mandatory. The buses will leave the park office at 9:00am and travel to checkpoint #2. Please note that your start time will be determined by the volunteers starting the event with your finish time being recorded by your chip. Although the event is timed, it is not a race and no awards will be presented. It is possible that some 35km skiers may be overtaken by the elite 50km skiers. Please be sure to give way to allow smooth passing.

The bus ride to the 35km start is less than 10 minutes. Your warm up clothing will be returned to the finish area by the 35km start volunteers.  Please do not leave any items on the bus.

There will not be a porta-pottie at the 35km start. Use the portas and outhouse in the park office parking lot before boarding the bus or use the washroom on the bus on route to the start.

The 35km event ends at the regular finish area where you can change and enjoy some post race food and catch up with friends.

Skiathlon Event

The skiathlon event is timed and listed seperately in the results with awards to the first three male and female skiers. Start is at 9:45am along with the 50k classic. Classic technique is used for the first 22km and free technique for the final 28km. The change over takes place after crossing the road at checkpoint #3. Stop at the park office parking lot on arrival. Arriving around 8:30am would be best. Leave your free technique equipment with the volunteer at the marked truck. Having equipment in a clearly marked bag(s) would help. The volunteer will transport your equipment to checkpoint #3. Proceed to park and walk to the start area. Your classic equipment will be returned to the finish area. Retrieve it from the truck close to the podium.

On the Course

Course: All courses will be set with a skate lane and classic tracks for the entire length. Please honour the tracks. Only the 50km classic event will have classic results tabulated separately from the free technique participants. All distances, including the recreational 8km Mini Loppet and 20km events, finish along the same corridor. Skiers should anticipate a variety of skier ability along this final stretch and respond accordingly.

Resolute Forest Products 8km Mini-Loppet: After crossing the road skiers should keep left and ski no more than 2 abreast.

50km Classic Technique: Classic technique must be used on the entire course including the start/finish area where no track may be available. Double pole where necessary.

Checkpoints: Check the course map for the location and number of checkpoints for each distance. Participants will find Gatorade, water, chocolates and cookies at the checkpoints and there will be access to first aid. All checkpoints and road crossings have spare poles and wax. Checkpoint volunteers have scissors to assist with gel packs. A limited number of gels will be available at checkpoint #4. Please do not discard gel packs along the trail other than at checkpoints. Checkpoints 1, 3, 5  also have portable toilets. In case of emergency, all checkpoints are in communication via radio.

Cut-off times: The Loppet must be completed by 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time. Skiers entered in the 50 km categories (both Free Technique and Classic) who have not passed the 12km mark by 11:30 will not be allowed on the Pickerel Lake Trail to complete the 50 km event and will be directed to complete their ski on the 20 km route. Skiers expecting to complete 50 km should position themselves in the first, second or third wave to ensure they get to the cut off in time. Skiers must reach checkpoints according to the schedule below to be permitted to continue in the Loppet.

50km Cut-off Times:

Time Location  Distance
11:30am 20/50km Split 12km
12 noon Checkpoint #2 15km
1:00pm Checkpoint #3 22km
2:00pm Checkpoint#4 32km
3:00pm Checkpoint #1 39km
3:45pm Checkpoint #5 45km

Drop-Outs: Individuals who are not able to complete their course for whatever reason, or decide to drop down to a shorter distance, must inform the volunteers at the finish line and provide them with their bib number. Chips must be returned to finish line volunteers.

Food Vendor

Skiers and spectators can enjoy hot food and beverages from on-site local vendor  Pinetree Catering. After the Loppet you can enjoy items from the menu below. Remember to put a few dollars in your pocket.

If anyone can handle a crowd, it's the proprietors of Thunder Bay's Local Motion food truck! Remember to tuck a few dollars into your ski tights!


Winning the One-Year Nissan Rogue Lease

We will draw for a participant prize of a One-Year Nissan Rogue Lease.  The winner must be a resident of NWO, have a valid driver's license and be over 21 years of age.  This prize is non-transferable and subject to a driver's abstract review. 

Winning the 50km Free Technique, 50km Classic, 50km Skiathlon, and 20km Events

The competition will begin with the sounding of the start horn and the winner will be determined as the first individual to cross the finish line having completed the full distance. Chip time is not used to determine these winners. The jury's decision is final on determining the winner. Information on other awards and prizes is available here.

Unsuitable Weather Conditions

In the event of very heavy snowfalls or extremely cold temperatures, check the Sleeping Giant Loppet website or listen for updates on local radio stations. Loppet policy states that snowstorms, high winds and temperatures below -22°C may force a delay or cancellation of the event. The decision of the Race Jury will be final and no refund of entry fees will be given.  For up to date information on snow conditions, call the CRC Communications Thunder Bay Nordic Trails snow phone at 807-285-0801.


 Awards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd female and male in the 8km (13 and under) 20km, 50km Free, 50km Classic and 50km Skiathlon will be presented at the podium in the park shortly after the conclusion of those events. Awards not collected on Saturday can be picked up starting at 10:00am on Sunday, March 5th at the Kamview Nordic Centre. Age group awards for 1st place female and male in 5 year categories can be picked up starting at 10:00am on Sunday, March 5th at Fresh Air (Balmoral St.) Check the results list on this website to see if you are an age group winner.

No dogs are allowed at the race site. Chariots (pulks) will be permitted in the 8km event only.