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Skate the Lake in Portland, Ontario postponed until February 18 and 19, 2023

Traditional skating weekend returns for first time since the pandemic


Portland, Ontario - for immediate release – January 9, 2023


Skate the Lake is set to return to Portland, Ontario, just not exactly on the weekend that organizers planned.


“Traditionally we hold Skate the Lake on the last weekend of January,” said Skate the Lake co-founder and past president Marco Smits. “However, the current ice conditions and the long-term forecast aren’t favourable so we decided to call it early and postpone until the Family Day weekend on February 18 and 19,” Smits added.


It will be the 18th edition of the popular skating event held on a spectacular one-kilometer oval on Big Rideau Lake.


Skate the Lake is a weekend full of skating races for all kinds of skill levels and all types of skates. The 10K and 25K take place on Saturday morning, followed by the popular kids 5K (12 and under) and the 5x1K relay race where teams that enter are encouraged to dress up. On Sunday, the regular 5K and 50K races will take place. Skate the Lake also includes a kids skating rink, horse-drawn wagon rides, bonfires, concession stands and much more.


During the pandemic, there was no traditional Skate the Lake -normally held on the last weekend of January- but instead there was the birth of the Skate the Lake Challenge, which will also return in 2023. The challenge was introduced in 2021 as a safe way for people to get some exercise and fresh air. The concept of the challenge is that skaters log the laps they skate on the oval throughout the winter and keep a running total. Last year, 70 skaters recorded laps and collectively they skated all the way to Regina, Saskatchewan. The collective total was 2,703 kilometres.


Skate the Lake is organized by Portland Outdoors, a not-for-profit group that puts on the annual event which was previously known as the International Big Rideau Lake Speed Skating Marathon. The North American Marathon Speed Skating Championships were held in Portland in 2006 and 2014, and in 2009 an episode of the Rick Mercer Report was filmed. Portland is located 40 minutes north of Kingston and 100 kilometres south of Ottawa and the multi day skating festival has become a mainstay with locals as well as skaters across North America.


For registration and a full list of race events visit


Website -
Facebook -
Twitter -
Strava - log in and search for the Skate the Lake club


For more information contact Skate the Lake at or 613-207-1950.


Skate the Lake sponsors to date include: Andress’ Independent Grocers, C&M Superior Docks, Canadian Tire Smiths Falls, Herlehy Home Hardware, Hinton Auto Group, G. Tackaberry & Sons Construction, Hotel Kenney, IGNIS, Jamesview Builders & Electrical, Kudrinko’s, Leeds Transit, Len’s Cove Marina, Leisure Days RV Center, Levac Propane, McNichols Electrical and Plumbing Ltd, P3 Panel Company, Portland Royal Canadian Legion Branch 231, Portland Pharmasave, Raymond Marine, RCL Automotive and Tire Discounter, Recess Café, RE/MAX, RBC Royal Bank, Rideau Realty, Rideau Valley Landscaping and Supplies, Scotland Funeral Home,  SSP Cabinetry and Millwork, Stinson Propane, The Review Mirror, Tim Hortons Smiths Falls, Township of Rideau Lakes, Ultramar, United Edge Structural Components, Wild Wing Smiths Falls, Willards Bakery and WTC Communications.

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