Sleeping Giant Loppet Event Day Instructions
Click here for a downloadable pdf version of Event Day Instructions. Available as of Monday, March 2nd
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. 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 identify themselves to parking volunteers and park in the first available lot. More information specific to the 35km is noted below.
TOTAL TRAVEL TIME: 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hrs
(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.
Distance from the Best Western Nor'Wester Resort Hotel to Pass Lake turn off is 55 km (approx. 45 minutes). Allow approximately 45 minutes to travel the 35 km from the Pass Lake turn off to the start area. With all driving times, allow for road and weather conditions. Allow 10 minutes to walk to the start area after parking. Click here for an enlarged site map.
Park N' Ride Service - $10 for adults - Free for children and youth
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. One bus will leave the Best Western Nor'Wester Hotel at 7:00am and a second bus will leave the Days Inn Hotel and Suites (Sibley Dr.) at 7:10am and meet at Confederation College (parking lot D, close to Thunder Bay Art Gallery). They will depart at 7:30am with an intended arrival time of 8:45am. Skiers can park and ride from either the Nor'Wester or College. After the Loppet, buses will leave at 1:00pm, 2:00pm and 3:30pm or after the last person riding the bus finishes their event. No one will be left behind. All buses will return to all departure points if required.
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 and on HWY 587 at two locatioins. Drive with care.
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.
Heated facilities are available inside the Visitors' Centre for changing. Kit bags will not be marked with your bib number. You are welcome to use a marker at kit pick up to write your name on your bag if you plan to use it for warm up clothing at the start. Place your clothes in the bag at the start line and reclaim it from the finish area after your ski. 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 photo podium. Items left at checkpoints will be available at the Kamview Nordic Centre after 10:00am on Sunday.
Every participant must wear the ChampionChip timing chip ( velcro strap ) contained in this kit package around their ankle. All skiers must pass under the start banner which initiates the chip and enters the participant's bib number in the system. 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 $25.00 fee will be charged for timing chips not returned.
Order of finish is determined by chip time except in the 50km free technique event where gun time to first across the finish line will determine the top three male and female finishers.
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 skiers in the front of wave one. 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 bused 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.
|2020||Approx. start time [EST]||Est. time to complete 50km||Est. time to complete 20km|
50km Classic and Skiathlon
All 50km classic skiers
All 50km skiathlon skiers
Expert 50km skiers
Less than 3.25 hours
Expert 20km skiers
Less than 1.25 hours
All other 50km skiers
Intermediate 20km skiers
Less than 1.75 hours
|Wave 3||10:10am||All other 20km skiers|
|Wave 4||10:15am||All 8km Mini-Loppet skiers|
|Wave 5||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 start area by the 35km start volunteers. Please do not leave any items on the bus.
There will not be a port-a-pottie at the 35km start. Use the portas and outhouse in the gatehouse 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.
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. A hotshot hand warmer in each boot may be helpful. 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 start area. Retrieve it from the truck close to the podium.
On the Course
Course: All courses will be set with 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. 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:
|12 noon||Checkpoint #2||15km|
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.
Skiers and spectators can enjoy hot food and beverages from on-site local vendor Pinetree Catering. After the Loppet you can chow down on:
- Grilled Italian Sausage: $7+HST
- Local Beef Chili and Cornbread: $10+HST
- Thai Style Coconut Curry $10+HST
- Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Dahl Soup: $6/8+HST
- House Made Granola Bar: $3+HST
- Home Brewed Spiced Apple Cider: $3+HST
- Rose n Crantz Coffee: $3+HST.
- Water and Soda $2.50+HST
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
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 50km distance. 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. Every effort will be made to hold the event at a later date. For up to date information on snow conditions, call the CRC Communications Thunder Bay Nordic Trails snow phone at 807-285-0801.
Prizes and awards will be presented at 7:30pm on Saturday evening March 7th at Sleeping Giant Brewery. Awards not collected on Saturday can be picked up starting at 9:00am on Sunday, March 8th at the Kamview Nordic Centre.
No dogs are allowed at the race site. Chariots (pulks) will be permitted in the 8km event only.