Douglas, Wiltberger Win Frigid Lake Placid Loppet

Winter came back with a vengeance for the 2013 Lake Placid Loppet.  After a snow drought and warm temperatures canceled last year’s race, Saturday saw frigid temperatures and slow snow for the the hardest race in the  northeast.

Two-time Olympic biathlete Robert Duncan Douglas and Peggy Wiltberger won the Lake Placid Loppet 50 km distance in freestyle technique.  Douglas won against Jason Hettenbaugh – both are from Honeoye Falls, NY.  Heading from the stadium into the biathlon side of Mount van Hoevenberg on the last lap, the two were close together, but Douglas pulled away to take the win by 16 seconds.  Jake Hollenbach was third.  Peggy Wiltberger, 61! – of Saranac Lake NY beat Karen Febey by five minutes to take the women’s win.

Bruce MacNeil of Rosemere, Quebec won the 50 km classic race in 2:58:55, the only classic marathoner to break three hours.  Erik Sirnes and George Briggs were second and third.  No women entered the 50 km classic race.

James Coulton won the 25 km classic technique race and Matthew Piper won the 25 km freestyle race.  Complete results are available on ORDA’s web site.

The north country was locked in a deep freeze for five days leading up to the race.  A dusting of new snow and below-zero overnight temperatures made for slow skating conditions.  The classic tracks were fast by comparison.  At the start of the classic race, the temperature was zero Fahrenheit, and never rose above 9 Fahrenheit.