In this Issue:
- NEW Firecracker 5k
on July 1
- North Bay Triathlon Weekend
- June 24 Canoe Marathon Results
- Upcoming Events
- July 11, 20 Minute Challenge, July 15, Island Swim
and Massey events, July 22, Mountain Bike Tour
- Running Room Run Club Update:
- Track North News
Turning up the
heat at the Canada Day Firecracker
by Randy Pascal
Personal best times were not the topic
of conversation, pre-race, at the 2018 Firecracker Run
Sunday morning. Not in the least.
The combination of a new
course design, trekking through the quite appropriately
monikered “HILL”crest sub-division in Lively,
and temperatures that had soared above the thirty degree
mark by race start time of 10:30 a.m., made this year's
Canada Day tradition more of a mere survival event.
Yet despite the “smack
dab in the middle of a long weekend” timing of the
race, more than fifty intrepid souls did just that, surviving
the challenge with smiles and a joyful willingness to
share their tales of the pleasures of running.
When it comes to sharing
tales, no one on hand could match the chronological depth
that local race icon Tay Wilson brings to the table. The
77 year-old long-time academic boasts a fascinating life
resume that included a decade spent in England, many moons
ago, for the native of Medicine Hat, Alberta.
“I had ten years of
just wonderful road running and cross country running
(in England),” noted Wilson, a provincial champ
in the 800m distance as a teenager in Western Canada.
“We would race almost once a week.” It was
in this setting, in his late thirties, that the specialist
of Applied Psychology would also celebrate one of his
favourite athletic memories.
Just prior to the 1976 Olympics,
Great Britain opted to run a “first three past the
pole” qualifying race for the marathon berths in
Montreal, allowing about 300 people into contention. “I
had run a 27-mile cross country race, in Cambridge, and
I broke three hours, so they let me in,” recounted
Wilson. “I knew it was my only chance, so I wasn't
going to quit.”
And though he acknowledged
that he was truthfully not particularly close to the lead
pack, Wilson did manage to crack the top half of the field,
overtaking some very impressive competition. “At
the 19-mile hill, I will always remember, I picked up
the Scottish champion, “ he said. “And at
the time, our Cambridge cross-country team was third best
in Britain, our best runner a county champion.”
“I took him, and then
his brother, just because I was so stubborn,” he
stated with a laugh. The very definition of a life-long
runner, Wilson would go on to claim double gold at the
Canadian Masters Track and Field Championships at the
age of 46, finishing first in both the 200m and 400m events.
Shanel Belanger, by comparison,
has no illusions of grandeur when it comes to her running
accomplishments. She does, however, have an interesting
story to tell, one that would spread right through the
family tree when it came to race day on Sunday.
Now 25 years of age and set
to be married to Pat Gascon come December 31st, Belanger
admitted to a lack of general interest, in any way, shape
or form, in exercise for the better part of her first
quarter century on this earth. But a pending trip to Peru,
last year, and the accompanying physical requirements
of their planned agenda, prompted what has become a very
healthy lifestyle change.
“I started in November
of 2016 and my goal was to be able to do five kilometers
by the time we did the Inca Trail in Peru,” said
Belanger. “I started doing the “Couch to 5
km” app on my phone, and I couldn't even run a minute
at a time. I completed my 5 kms, for the first time, two
days before the trip, and then we hiked for four days
on the Trail.”
This, alone, would make for
a compelling story. However, Belanger's new found passion
was also, seemingly, quite contagious. “I did a
5 kms with my co-workers at Kivi Park and my family all
joked with me that they could do that to,” she said.
“So I told them there was a 5 km, on Canada Day,
that we should all do it together, as a family affair.”
“I was surprised that
they all said yes. I thought that it was just going to
be me and Pat, but even my gramma is here. My dad said
he's going to get in the best shape of his life for my
wedding, so now, apparently, we're all runners.”
A runner for the past decade
or so, 48 year old banker Kevin Despot can so relate to
that lure of running, no matter how absurd that might
seem to those who have never availed themselves to the
temptation. “I did my first race in 2009 or 2010,
I think it was a charity run/walk,” he said. “I
kind of got the bug and started doing it more consistently.”
“Now, I do it for a
couple of reasons – physical health and mental health.
I find it a huge stress reliever. It's a great way to
clear your mind, and I love it. People talk about a running
high, and it's true.” And though few in the race
were keeping a close eye at all on their personal stopwatches,
Despot also touched on an additional motivator that most
who enter the sport will recognize.
“I'm not out there
to necessarily be faster than everybody else,” said
the man who posted a highly respectable time of 23:16,
given the ridiculous running conditions. “I'm out
there to be faster than my last time. My bench mark is
my own results.” And then there is the young man
who made it all happen.
The beneficiary of a government
funded summer internship/work program with the Sudbury
Fitness Challenge, Lo-Ellen Park graduate and second year
Laurentian University student Casey Crowe was serving
as race director for the very first time. “I'm looking
forward to doing it for years to come,” said the
19 year old Business/Finance major.
He explained the rationale
behind the shift of race venues from the former course,
on the opposite side of the highway, that would run through
“downtown” Lively. “We were looking
at different race site opportunities,” he said.
“Of course, on Canada Day, anything near Bell Park
isn't much of an option. We were still looking to keep
it as a road race.”
“It's always been a
road race and we're kind of running out of those in the
community.” And on behalf of all runners/walkers
who took part, I will suggest that the course, itself,
is fine. Just turn down the thermostat ten degrees or
so when we reconvene in July of 2019.
For more information please contact Casey Crowe
Sunday, July 1, 2018
30th Annual North Bay Triathlon weekend ended the way
it started, under extremely hot and humid conditions.
Race director for the adult triathlon, Nancy Birtch said
the weather was a big factor this year.
“Saturday at the Kids Triathlon
event, we were down to the wire. With all the thunderstorm
and tornado warnings, at 10 o’clock we talked about
having to cancel the event, but we decided to postpone
the decision for about an hour. Shortly before 11 o’clock
the thunderstorms stopped, the rain stopped, and we decided
it was good to go. We were all set up ready to go, so
having to cancel it would have been very disappointing.
Someone was looking after us and made sure the weather
held out for us,” laughed Birtch.
Roughly 128 children took part in Saturday’s
event, which was down slightly due to the weather, but
Sunday’s competition saw over 160 adults take part,
an increase over last year.
“We’ve got families that come
back for the long weekend every summer and participate
in this event. We had a family in the Try-a-Tri that included
father, son, and daughter-in-law. “
Four events were scheduled for yesterday
morning, including the Duathlon which is new this year.
“The Duathlon is for those people
who are not necessarily swimmers. They run four kilometres,
then they join up with the rest of the adult athletes
and they do the 32 kilometre bike, and then they finish
with the 8.4 kilometre run.” Dwight Williams is
one of the original participants. This year at the age
of 63 he did the first leg of the triathlon relay, a one
kilometre swim. Rounding off his team was a 65-year old
cyclist and a 70-year-old runner who had hip replacement
surgery a few years ago.
“The very first triathlon was in
1987 and I was in it. In fact, today I’m wearing
my 1988 t-shirt which was the race I was in 30 years ago.
It’s just a great family event. Time doesn’t
matter for me anymore. It’s all about coming out,
participating and meeting members of your community,”
Jordan Mino also participated in a team
relay this year, doing the run portion using his racing
wheelchair. “It’s built for road use, or track
and field. It’s very light and basically, I’ve
used it my whole life. I’m doing 8.4 kilometres.
There’s quite a few inclines. I trained doing the
Kate Pace Way distance wise, and then I went on Anita
Avenue and did the whole route the other day getting ready
for it,” said Mino. “I’m
pretty pumped. Nervous, but pumped. I actually was in
this a couple years ago. This is probably my third or
fourth time doing it. I took a couple of years off because
of other events and injuries. I’m looking forward
to the finish,” he laughed.
Sara Mcilraith drove
over from Lively, just west of Sudbury to participate
in her first North Bay Triathlon. “I’m
training for another Half Ironman, so this is going
to be a really good training day for me. Any opportunity
to be able to do all three together (swim, bike,
run) in a setting like this is really good. You
can practice your transitions, and practice how
your legs feel after a hard bike. This is a really
hilly course on the bike so you have to be really
careful,” explained Mcilraith. “I’m
a runner primarily. The humidity is really tough
on the run. You have to really be careful of your
pace and really hydrate.”
Another first-time participant, Danielle
Foisy, drove two and half hours from Haliburton.
“We heard it was a great race, and
there’s actually some other Haliburtonian’s
here,” laughed Foisy.
“I’ve already got a bunch
of friends that I know like these types of races, that
I’m going to wrangle to come up next year.”
Results are expected to be a little slower
because of the heat. Organizers doubled the water supply
for the weekend to make sure everyone stayed hydrated.
Residents on Anita Avenue were out with their hoses, to
help cool down the runners.
The race director says the Kiwanis Club
of Nipissing has been running the event for roughly 18
Funds raised go toward Kiwanis programs,
serving the children of the community.
tops at Kiwanis Triathlon
Dale / The Nugget
Piper continued her domination of the North Bay Kiwanis
Triathlon, finishing first among women and sixth overall
after a hot and humid race on Canada Day. Carley Kenwell
placed 2nd and Sudbury's Sara McIlraith took the 3rd spot.
It was Piper’s fourth
straight gold at the annual event posting a time of 1:56.09.
There were 20 women competing.
Sudbury’s Kelly Thompson
took the men’s division with a time of 1:48.25,
less than a minute ahead of North Bay’s Nathan Sagle,
who endured a flat tire during the cycling portion. Kevin
Denston, also of North Bay, finished third, with both
local triathletes making it to the podium for the first
time. There were 46 men competing.
The team relay had 19 entrants,
including Hansen’s Heroes, which has taken part
for more than a decade.
a tradition for the past 12 years or so,” said Brian
Hansen, whose wife, Pam, 74, runs while their son Carl,
56, bikes and granddaughter Brianna Strickland, 24, swims.
Brian said Pam celebrated
her 70th birthday with her first full triathlon and recently
finished second for her age group in the Toronto Island
half-marathon. He said she had “a great big grin
on her face” seeing that she beat more than 130
“I think it’s
fantastic,” he said while serving as team photographer
from a shady spot on the grass.
In the new duathlon division,
with 17 individuals doing a run, bike and run event, Ian
Sagle was first in the men’s category, followed
by Kenn Schmitz. Brandi Venne won the women’s crown
with Kristin Franks coming second.
All Results below
Scott Hopkins, Sara McILraith
and overall winner Kelly Thompson were Sudbury entrants
Upcoming Local Events
What is the 20 minute challenge?
The 20 minute challenge
started in July 2004, which was the 20th anniversary of
the Running Room. John Stanton invited the country to
visit a Running Room and get active by walking or running
for 20 minutes. This has become an annual event across
the country. We encourage everyone to come out and bring
friends and family to walk or run for 20 minutes, receive
a FREE hat, and have fun.
Family, Fun & Fitness Too!
Sudbury Fitness Challenge Mountain
Save Sunday July 22, 2018 on your calendar.
Good afternoon Sudbury Runner's and Walker's,
See you all at Run Club tonight 6pm
your Sudbury Staff,
Eric, Caleb, Brendan, Ania, Sam
We have FREE run club
Wednesday nights at 6pm and Sunday mornings at 8:30am.
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