Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Next Three Weeks in Skiing (15 December 2014 – 4 January 2015)

Hello Jackrabbit Managers,

Short version:  Not much is scheduled.  And even if it was it would likely be cancelled!

Long version:  According to the official club schedule ( our last whole-club session was Sunday, 14 December 2014 (“Sunday Session (6)”).  And we will not meet again — as an entire club of Bunnyrabbits, Jack Rabbits, and Track Attack skiers — until three weeks has passed, on Sunday, 4 January 2015 (“Sunday Session (7)”).

Now, for those interested Track Attack skiers looking for formal racing experiences (yes, please self identify), the proposed schedule is a wee bit different:

  • Wednesday, 17 December 2014:  “Wednesday Night Race #4” at Windsor Park Nordic Centre was originally to be coached by Coach Ihor (just like Wednesday Night Race #1, 2, and 3), but due to the continued lack of snow at Windsor Park Nordic Centre these races have been mostly, or will likely be, cancelled.  See for details.
  • Saturday, 3 January 2014:  “Provincial Sprint Championships (Manitoba Cup)” at the Minnewasta Golf and Country Club (in Morden).  Again, scheduled to be coached by Coach Ihor.  If the snow conditions greatly improve and it looks like this race will be run, we will post an update to see which Track Attack skiers would like to race for Manitoba Cup points.  Perhaps a practice session or two for those kids prior to the race?

“Sunday Session (6)” Sunday, 14 December 2014 Is On!

Hello Jackrabbit Managers,

Today’s session, “Sunday Session (6)”, Sunday, 14 December 2014, is indeed running as scheduled.

But there is a (slight) venue change:  We are meeting and skiing on The Hummocks in the Nature Playground.  We are not meeting at the Duck Pond Shelter nor skiing the Lyric Loop .

So, don’t park your car on Assiniboine Park Drive.  Instead park your car in the Nature Playground parking lot just north of Pavilion Crescent (west of the Pavilion).  The rectangular patch in the satellite imagery southwest of the “Nature Playground” icon is where you want to go (,-97.232062,713m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x52ea74a63956c015:0xc311873f39af8afb).

Sorry for the late post.  We were concerned we wouldn’t have skiable snow, but we found some!

Mother Nature will apparently be nice to us during our session.  Air temperature is expected to be 0 degrees Celsius (yes, that is warm), with winds north at 20 kmh, and 100 percent overcast, with 80 percent chance of drizzle and/or freezing drizzle (

Today’s session will be a free technique (skate) session for Bunnyrabbits, Jackrabbits, and Track Attack skiers.  Otherwise, Coach Ihor indicates that we would have to use not-fun klister as a grip wax.  Or, if you have them, bring waxless skis.  This is temperature range in which they work best.

Perhaps most importantly, bring a reusable mug for hot chocolate and an appetite for Wagon Wheels.   Coach Ihor promises that there will be plenty for everyone today!

“Fast Rabbits Thursday 2″, 11 December 2014 [Cancelled!]

Tomorrow (Thursday, 11 December 2014) night’s scheduled session, known as “Fast Rabbits Thursday 2″, has now been cancelled due to a lack of snow.

Yep, the air temperature will be a delightful +1 degrees Celsius with a -5 windchill on Thursday night.  We sure like that.

Unfortunately, as of 20:00 tonight, Windsor Park Nordic Centre (WPNC) staff are reporting that “The Grid” is the only place that is suitable for skiing for people who have new skis and want to keep them from instantly becoming “rock skis”.  Furthermore, skiers would have to carry their skis from the clubhouse to The Grid to avoid the new gravel laid down on paths.

Even tonight’s race at WPNC had been cancelled due to lack of snow (

The Assiniboine Park Jackrabbits ski at WPNC on Fast Rabbit Thursdays so as to ski “far” and get more vertical relief (both relatively speaking).  Tomorrow’s session would not provide either.  The Grid will likely be congested with dozens of other skiers and there is little vertical on The Grid.

APJ Track Attack Strength (more, I know!)

Hi APJ Track Attackers, and any one else who wants to do this program.

Why more strength: strong arms will make for happier skiing!  Here’s a bit of history: my old coach Jack Sasseville (the Olympic TV guy) used to hand out an award at the end of the season called the Chicken Wings Award, to the skier that double poled the least. It was a joke award but no one wanted to win it.  Following these exercises will keep you from being a candidate for Chicken Wings 2015!

Here are 8 exercises to do 3 times a week if there is poor skiing and 2 times if there is skiing.  You will need:

  • a wobble board (check a previous post)
  • a swiss ball (good for everyone at home)
  • and a figure 8 descender, inexpensive quick draw and 3 m of 1/4” rope (not yellow nylon but a woven rope).

figure 8 descenderquick drawIMGP2022

The arm pulley set up should cost about $30-35. This will be the arm exerciser as used in our dryland sessions from the tree. The figure 8 and quickdraw can be found at MEC or Wilderness Supply. Congratulations: you now have some climbing gear! you will need the quick draw because the “8” will twist & move as you pull and get very hot from the rope friction.

What to do with it:
Thread the rope through the 8 as in the photo and tie loops into the ends to mimic pole straps. Pull on it just as you would ski poles. Your triceps (back of the arms) should get tired. Added bonus points if you pull with your ab muscles on the down stroke.

Typically 45 seconds on 15 off per exercise, start at 2 times the circuit and you should be able to 3 x in 2 weeks. You will make the pushing and pulling as hard as you can for the 45 seconds.

You can print off the 2 pages APJ strength 8 exercises pdf  pin it to the wall where you’re working out, or I can send you the powerpoint slide show to play on your computer or iPad, as it is set up to change slides very 45 seconds with 15 seconds in between to get to the next exercise (c’est trez cool, non?)

“Sunday Session (5)” Sunday, 7 December 2014 Is On!

Hello Jackrabbit Managers,

Tomorrow’s session, “Sunday Session (5)”, for Sunday, 7 December 2014, is indeed running as scheduled.

What a difference a week makes!

Mother Nature will apparently be nice to us during our session.  Air temperature is expected to be -1 to 0 degrees Celsius (yes, that is warm), with winds south at 20 kmh, and 100 percent overcast, with a light snow fall near the end of the session (

Sunday’s session will be for sure a classic technique session for Coach Ihor’s and Coach Rob’s Track Attack groups (because of the existence of days-old skier-made classic tracks in the hilly area).

Plan for classic also for Coach Katherine’s and Coach Jeff’s Bunnyrabbits and Jackrabbits.

No mechanical grooming has been done as yet so free technique (skate skiing) will likely not be as fun as it normally would in these air temperatures, hence the classic skiing planned for tomorrow.

Coach Ihor will supply the classic grip wax-of-the-day-er-hour for those of us who may not know which wax may best work at this tough-to-wax temperature.  Find a coach at the start of the session and let us know that your skier will need grip wax of the day.

If you have them, bring waxless skis.  This is temperature range in which they work best.

Perhaps most importantly, bring a reusable mug for hot chocolate and an appetite for Wagon Wheels.   Coach Ihor promises that there will be plenty for everyone tomorrow!

“Fast Rabbits Thursday 1”, 4 December 2014 [Cancelled!]

Sorry for the short notice, but tonight’s scheduled session ( for Track Attack skiers (Coach Ihor’s older kids group and Coach Rob’s not quite as old kids group), known as  “Fast Rabbits Thursday 1”, with a start time of 18:30 at Windsor Park Nordic Centre, has been cancelled due to lack of snow (see

Your (Skiing Family’s) 15 Minutes of Fame!

Karin McSherry, Executive Director, Cross Country Ski Association of Manitoba (CCSAM), of which you belong to through your membership in the Assiniboine Park Jackrabbits, is looking for two or three cross-country skiing families to be featured in an upcoming issue of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) Wave magazine (

The content of Karin’s email is:

“I’m looking for 2 – 3 skiing families to do a telephone interview with Holli Moncrieff of WAVE magazine (a Free Press product, I believe).”

“Holli would like to have a 20 min interview with families (adult & kids too) to discuss the emotional, mental & physical benefits of cross country skiing – for an upcoming edition of the WAVE.”

“If this is something you would be interested in doing please reply to me with a phone number for Holli to contact you – in the very near future….”

Karin McSherry is best reached at  Please contact Karin directly.  Let us know if you get interviewed.

Coach Rob’s family already had its 15 minutes of fame last winter (  Its someone else’s turn.  Enjoy!

Wanted: (More) Officials!

Hello Jackrabbit Managers,

Yep.  I bet I know what you have been saying to yourselves for the last month.  Really.  I think it goes like this:

  • Gee, I was really keen on becoming a Jackrabbit Coach, but gosh darn, I missed out even after Coach Rob exhorted me to go for it (
  • But, shucks, more than anything; even more fun than being a Jackrabbit Coach, is that I have always wanted to become an Official, specifically a Cross Country Canada Level 1 Official.  Kind of like being a hockey referee (but with polite parents), a concert promoter (without bumping into celebrity), and an accountant (minutes and seconds way more often than dollars and cents), all rolled into one.  Oh yeah, and Michelin Man.  You get to dress like Michelin Man.  Often.

So, if you would like to make your dream come true to help run cross country skiing events then sign up for the free “Level 1 Officials Certification Course” being held this upcoming Saturday, 6 December 2014, from 09:00 to 17:00, at the Sport For Life Centre (across from the Manitoba Museum) at 145 Pacific Avenue.

To learn all about it, and even to sign up (its free this week only!) go to our provincial sporting organisation’s webpage of