Both Dolomitenlauf and Gatineau Loppet deserve recognition and praise for their efforts to improve their race courses.
Two events made significant changes to their race courses in 2013. In both cases the results were positive for participants.
Dolomitenlauf extended the uphill climb beyond the previous turning point above the finish area all the way to the top of the hill at Kartitsch. This made the course much more challenging and eliminated some of the long, tedious loops in the fields near Obertilliach. A significant improvement which should be retained for future years.
Gatineau Loppet altered the classic course. It is now a point to point event, slightly longer than before at 55k. Skiers were bused from Mont-BleuSchool to the starting point at Lac Philippe, about a 35 minute ride. The first half of the trail passed through rolling wooded countryside and in some areas along the shores of Lacs Philippe and Meech. Very scenic and somewhat more technical than the previous course. There was a challenging climb from MeechLake to the Keogan drink station from where the trail continued on the course of previous years to the finish at Mont-Bleu school. There was much conversation about this change, everyone seemed very pleased with the new course.
The 51k freestyle was held on the same course as previous years as the new portion of the classic course is a bit too narrow to allow sufficient passing opportunities for skaters.