TERRA NOVA PARK, NL— Seventeen teams representing nine schools across the province competed in the 10th annual Trek Terra Nova yesterday, March 14, at Terra Nova National Park.
“We’ve enjoyed doing this race every year,” Janet Feltham, spokesperson for the park, told the Packet.
“It takes a bit of effort, but it’s well worth it when you see the kids smiling and see their faces, and see how much fun they’re having.”
Each team consisted of four students and a coach, with a total of 85 participants.
Teams snowshoed the eight-kilometre loop, stopping along the way at various stations to complete tasks such as fire-starting and paintball target practice.
Feltham noted a different route was used this year to prevent participants from crossing frozen ponds— a grave safety concern due to this year’s mild winter conditions.
This route change meant a skiing aspect was not included in this year’s race.
Feltham noted the eight-kilometre trek is no small feat for the average individual and can prove quite challenging, especially for many students participating for the very first time.
Nicholas Burt, a Grade 9 student from Lakewood Academy, said it was his first time on snowshoes.
“I was expecting it to be a bit harder… it was good, but tiring. We stuck together.”
“It was pretty physically demanding, but all in all it was a good experience,” added his teammate Greg Crant, who said this was his first time on snowshoes as well.
“I thought the hills were going to be a lot harder, and I thought downhill would be easier, but you can slip downhill, so it’s more demanding there,” Crant explained.
Jayden Walters, a Grade 7 student from Clarenville Middle School, said he had some experience with snowshoeing, but this was his first trek.
“It was a bit challenging but we got through it,” he told the Packet.
“We did pretty good… the most challenging part was definitely the uphill stuff,” added his teammate, Riley Rowe.
One of two groups representing Riverwood Academy in Wings Point placed first, completing the run in 90 minutes and 47 seconds.
The group was awarded new snowshoes to bring back to their school.
“It felt good because this brings more opportunity to bring more snowshoes to our school,” Sarina Squires of Riverwood Academy told the Packet. “It felt really good. It opens opportunities for our school.”
Hot soup and hot chocolate was served to participants after the competition— a lunch very well deserved after completing this year’s trek.