Report - Martine Charbonneau



Yeah, I took the start with everybody else, determined to beat the weather. Right from the beginning I decided to set the pace for the lead pack. I emphasize lead pack, because it wasn't a pace for everyone, and a few skaters pointed that out...

My hands were cold, but obviously that wouldn't have been enough to stop me. I didn't fall, either. Instead it was my sly old tendinitis that decided to come back again. I put up with it for over an hour and a half, thinking the pain might go away. On the contrary, it became unbearable whenever I had to apply a little more power through my knee. I could just see myself crying and complaining along famous Notre-Dame. I thought about all the reasons I had for doing the Défi, but also about the big fencing competition I was going to a week later, and that helped me take the tough decision. So, halfway around, after 2h32 of skating, I signaled Youri in his van that I was stopping there! Riding with him I followed the lead pack for the rest of the race and was impressed by their strength of character. Whenever we passed I urged them on.

After the finish, I felt as though I hadn't given the Défi everything I should have, so I was happy to lend a hand to those had given body and soul to achieving their personal goal.

Martine Charbonneau