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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – After the Fall Classic speed skating competition in Calgary on the weekend, Elks speed skater Hannah North was just happy to be back on the ice competing after nearly two years.

North even says she missed the nervous energy she feels before a competition.

“It felt good to get back to racing, and of course, there was some pre-competition anxiety,” said North. “At that point, you just have to trust in your training and your ability.”

The last time she competed was December of 2019, so it’s understandable to feel a little bit nervous. But North says her main focus was on finding out where she was at in terms of times.

“Without competition in almost two years, we were able to focus on our training without having to worry about peaking for an important race. The Fall Classic was all about setting a benchmark for the season and seeing where we are at compared to two years ago.”

The 2004-born skater set three personal bests — at the 500m, 1000m and 1500m distances — while skating on her home ice at the Pomeroy Sport Centre back in 2019.

At the Fall Classic, she was only two tenths off her personal best 500-metre time of 46.05, and just four tenths off her personal best time in the 1000-metre distance of 1.32.71, which is impressive after such a long layoff.

North says some of her fellow Elks skaters managed to set some personal bests at the Fall Classic.

“Apparently, we have improved even without the races because many of us were setting personal bests, which is really exciting.”

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