– Photo feature by Mark Holleron
Outdoor enthusiasts braved the cold on January 19 for the SJAM Festival 2020. This year, the festival set up at Remic Rapids along Sir John A. McDonald Parkway.
It was designed to promote cross-country skiing and fatbiking, while giving people a chance to enjoy the multi-use urban winter trail with fun races and activities.
The festival featured races for all ages: a 1 km Ski Scurry for those 10 years and under, a 5 km Ski Scoot for those 10 all the way up to grandparents, and a Fat Bike Blast Race (for the two-wheeler folks). For those not in a racing mood there was a ski obstacle course, snow hill and of course, the giant ski run.
The event was designed for all levels of participants whether seasoned vets or those wishing to try XC skiing or fatbiking with rentals available in the outdoor marketplace. There was no official timing of the races and everybody got a medal (one of those sugar cookies with a hole in the middle with a green ribbon through it and placed around skiers necks as they crossed the finish line).
The festival helps to support two important causes: the SJAM winter trail itself, which is open and groomed for all to use, as well as The Snowsuit Fund of Ottawa. Local supporters included Fresh Air Experience, Mill Street Brewery, the National Capital Commission, Norwegian Embassy, Gatineau Loppet, OMBA, Dovercourt Recreation Centre, Salomon, Madshus and Fischer.