Lake Placid activities to get physical over the next few weeks
Rugby and lacrosse, two sports whose traditions in the Lake Placid area have grown over the years, make their yearly return in August.
The 40th renewal of the CanAm Rugby Tournament, based in nearby Saranac Lake but holding many games in Lake Placid, is set for Aug. 2-4. This will be followed closely by the 24th Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic Aug. 5-11 in the two-time Olympic village.
Similar to the recently completed Ironman Triathlon, the number of visitors swells at this time. The rugby competition has become Saranac Lake’s top weekend of the year, as 9,500 players, families, officials and other visitors swarm the area.
The rugby event started in 1974 with four teams in Saranac Lake, and has mushroomed over the years to over 100 sides in all age groups – old boys and women included. At times, the USA and Canadian national squads have taken to the local pitch in displays of skill and sportsmanship.
Teams come from North America and Europe to play in these Northern Adirondack resort communities. Quad rugby will be a new addition to the menu as contests will be played among wheelchair athletes.
In Lake Placid the action can be found at the North Elba Show Grounds on Route 73. The township has spent substantial money in recent years, together with the local school district, to provide a large complex for these sporting needs and more.
The weather at this time of year is perfect for the rugby and lacrosse marathon tournaments. You’ll find teams setting up beneath pop-up tents with food and drink to replenish them between games. As always spectators are encouraged to attend with no admission fee.
As rugby concludes on Aug. 4, lacrosse action takes center stage the following day. Monday through Wednesday (Aug. 5-7) is devoted to the scholastic divisions. Adult teams face off beginning Wednesday afternoon. Seventeen alumni lacrosse teams representing some of the top collegiate programs in the game’s history are included in tournament play. Syracuse, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, UMass, Ohio Wesleyan and Denison are just a few of the teams who will bring stand-out players and All Americans from eras of the past.
As is the case with rugby, lacrosse features youth, along with men and women in all age brackets.
Finally, tickets are currently on sale for the 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp that will take place Aug. 3-10 in Lake Placid. Team USA will face Canada, Finland and Sweden throughout the week.
U.S. coaches will eye-ball talent as they create a team for the World Junior Championships later this year. The Americans are the defending gold medalists.
Rugby image courtesy CanAm Rugby/Lake Placid CVB
Lacrosse image courtesy Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse/Keith Maynard