| Feb 05, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - February 5, 2009 Skiing for Rural VisionsBy Julie Druker

Photo: Dave Linton skis for CFCSC's Rural Visions

Local cross country skiing enthusiast, Dave Linton will be strapping on his skis on Valentine’s Day, and in doing so will be pursing two of his ongoing loves; cross country skiing and donating to a worthy cause.

Linton will be competing on February 14th in “Keskinada”, the 31st edition of the International World Class Loppet taking place at Gatineau Park in Quebec, as part of Ottawa’s Winterlude Festival.

Linton has been canvassing door to door in and around the Sydenham community to raise awareness and funding for the Rural Visions Centre of the Central Frontenac Community Services Corporation (CFCSC).

Now in his tenth year as a volunteer driver for Rural Visions, Dave joined the CFCSC when he retired. He has come to cherish the time he has spent volunteering as well as the people he has met while serving the community.

“I got a lot of pleasure bringing one gentleman to job training in Kingston. He’d had an industrial accident and was retraining as a heavy equipment operator. That was a really happy story.” He added, “You get to know people very well. You get to hear some of their life stories.”

This will be Dave’s ninth year skiing the 53km International loppet, and he’s decided this year to use it as an opportunity to raise money for the CFCSC. In his words, “It’s a matter of fundraising, but also making people aware of CFCSC because people often don’t know about them and the services they offer.”

He stressed the fact that though the government funds a portion of the costs of CFCSC’s services, the community is relied upon to raise funds for the remainder.

Giving back to the community has always been important to both Dave and his wife Jennifer, who met in the Kingston area in 1968 during the “Miles for Millions”, a 36 mile charity walk.

At 68 years old and in fine physical shape due to his avid love of skiing and physical fitness in general, Dave does not take his health for granted. He states in the CFCSC current February newsletter. “In less than a heartbeat I might never be able to participate in another marathon….I, or friends, or neighbours might need a service offered by CFCSC…”

With that in mind, Dave will once again be off to ski the hilly slopes of Gatineau Park, to raise funds and awareness and to seek the thrill that skiing and physical exercise in general always bring him. “It’s uplifting. You see the world differently. It’s an elevated sense of awareness. There’s a certain spot in the race, at the Champlain lookout, when you get that far…it’s euphoric.”

In preparation for the marathon Dave started skiing two months ago every other day, progressively lengthening his runs. He trains around his home and on trails at the Little Cataraqui Conservation Area.

When I spoke to him he was up to 39 kms. “I like to prepare so that I know I can do it when I get into the race.” While he is always hoping to improve his performance at the annual race, he is also aware of his personal limitations and admits, “I definitely have to pace myself.”

Watching the long-range weather forecast, Dave is hoping for a nice mild day. His wife will be accompanying him to Quebec and will be waiting for him at the finish line.

Dave looks forward to crossing that line on Valentine's Day, and in doing so will have served both himself and his community very well indeed.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Dave Linton can call Rural Visions Centre in Sydenham at 613-376-6883.

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