History made: Cape Breton West wins Telus Cup championship
SYDNEY, N.S. — The little team that could from Cape Breton has done it.
Keith Barrington has skied over 2,000 kilometres this past winter.
©Jonathan Parsons photo
Thanks to a great winter with lots of snow, Keith Barrington of Clarenville has set a personal record for the amount of kilometres he has skied in one season.
Since December, Barrington has skied an incredible 2,000-plus kilometres.
“The most I have skied in good seasons before was 1,250 km,” he said during a phone interview on April 26.
Barrington is president of the Clarenville Nordic Ski Club.
In previous years, he said, the ski season didn’t normally start until mid-January. However, this season, he said, skiers took to the trails in early December, with the season stretching to the end of April – and then some.
“Our trails still have adequate snow coverage but as the days get warmer the snow gets softer so the skiing is a little slower,” Barrington said.
A veteran long distance runner, Barrington has participated in numerous races including the Boston Marathon. He finished the infamous race, in 2013, about 15 minutes before the bombings took place. The attack killed several people and injured hundreds of others.
Barrington grew up in Swift Current. He took up running and skiing at age 30 while working in Fort McMurray.
“I haven’t stopped since,” the 60-year-old said lightheartedly.
While he worked in Alberta for many years, Barrington’s goal was always to come back to his home province. And now that he’s retired, he can devote as much time as he wants to physical activities.
His wife Lyn Gorman also enjoys skiing and other sports, he said.
Exercise has been an important part of Barrington’s life over the last three decades.
Once the ski season ends, he stays active cycling and running.
Barrington talks passionately about the ski club. It’s one of the best clubs in the province, he said, and has several kilometres lit for night skiing.
The club has many volunteers who offer instruction on learning and improving ski skills as well as introducing new skiers to the trail system.
“We have about 400 regular members. About 100 of those members are snowshoe members. Our club is a great place for people on the Avalon to come and ski. And people who work during the day can take advantage of the trails at night.”
People ski for different reasons, he said. The club is a welcoming environment for all skiers who range in age from preschoolers to seniors in their 80s.
“Some people train for racing but 90 per cent of the skiers ski for fitness and fun.”
Barrington encourages both novice and veteran skiers to visit the trails for either skiing or snowshoeing.
“I think if they tried it, they’d come back more and more,” he said.
Whether running, cycling or skiing, staying active is important to Barrington – both for his physical health and mental wellness.
These sports aren’t just an opportunity to stay physically fit and control his weight, he said, but a chance to enjoy nature and everything else the outdoors has to offer.
“I don’t feel good if I don’t exercise. When you are out running, biking or skiing, you don’t think about anything stressful. You are just out enjoying the outdoor. And that’s what I enjoy the most.”