Take on the friendly troll

Next Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of the Castlegar Nordic Club’s annual troll loppet.

Participants in 2006’s troll loppet get ready to go.

Participants in 2006’s troll loppet get ready to go.

Next Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of the Castlegar Nordic Club’s annual troll loppet.

Although each participant’s personal time is kept, this fun event isn’t considered a race and you don’t compete against others, said club member Conrad Brattebo.

“That’s what troll loppet is all about,” he said.

There are a variety of classes for different ages and abilities: super tiny trolls is a 2 km loop, tiny trolls is an 8 km loop, super trolls is a 16 km loop, and bronze, silver and gold are 20, 30 and 40 km courses, respectively.

The event, originally named troll “løpped” originated in Norway, where Brattebo is from.

“Everyone wants to know where the name ‘loppet’ came from, and no one really knows,” Brattebo said. “It’s a friendly race so it’s a friendly troll.”

About 40 people participated in the event last year.

The trails are classic technique; the lower loops are often double set while the upper loops are usually a single track, according to the club. Maps will be provided for the longer distances at the start, as the courses will be determined by snow conditions.

All participants will receive an award for participation, and juice and snacks will be available after.

Spectators are welcome to watch outside or from inside the Viking Centre, where hot chocolate will be available. From inside, the start and finish lines are visible.

Entrants can register at Mallard’s by Feb. 17, at Mud Lake to the attendant by Feb. 13, online at zone4.ca and on the day of the event.

Preregistration is $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 18, and the day of is $12 for adults and $7 for kids. Race time is 9 a.m.

The Feb. 19 event takes place at the club’s ski trails, located 40 kilometres west of Castlegar.

For more information, visit castlegarnordic.ca.