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  Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                                                                    August 18, 2022        

     In this Issue:


  1. Beaton Classic 2022
  2. Susan Nordman was a Beaton beast back when the race was still crazy
  3. Photos This Week
  4. Upcoming Events: Sep. 11 Ramsey Tour
  5. Running Room Run Club Update: 
  6. Track North and Laurentian XC News





  August 14, 2022

Beaton Classic 2022


All Photos Here

All Results Here


The Beaton Classic attracts a highly diverse crowd
Randy Pascal


In 2018, Dan Whalen entered the solo division of the Beaton Classic cold turkey – his words, not mine – with the end goal of simply completing the combo swim-bike-canoe-run multi-hour physical test.

Making his third appearance in that same category on Sunday (he also raced in 2019), the 35 year-old lifelong local resident had a very different vision in mind.

“The notion of actually trying to win it this year was kind of a cool goal for me,” said Whalen, following the race and having done exactly that, crossing the finish line in a time of 2:08.39. That was enough to edge out a pair of close competitors in what turned out to be a pretty tight battle, with Jeff Paul (2:11.18) and Clinton Lahnalampi (2:12.37) not all that far off the pace.

It’s been quite an ascension for the man who has always remained active, coaching cross-country and such, but diving into the deep end quickly in the general realm of triathlons as a means of offsetting the inevitable challenges of keeping just as fit as we age.

“When I signed up four years ago, it was kind of like to get in shape,” Whalen said with a smile, reminded that there are 5km race options out there that can also fill that void. “If I sign up, then I figured I had to get in shape.”

Where many cursed Covid-19, he would benefit.

“Through the pandemic, there was nothing else to do so I started biking more, I started mountain biking more – and I got better.” Knowing that he could likely make up ground on both the bike and the run, the key for the first-time champion would be the first leg of the Beaton.

“It’s hard when you see the other swimmers and they’re so far ahead and you need to stay with it. It’s hard not to hang your head when you’re still swimming and so many people are getting out of the water.”

Although he had little awareness of the threat that Jeff Paul would pose, long-time Beaton fixture Clinton Lahnalampi was another story entirely. “I knew he (Lahnalampi – two-time defending champion) would be ahead of me out of the water and I knew that he was fast on the bike, so my goal was to be within a couple of minutes on the run.”

“I figured I could make some hay on the run and that’s basically what happened.”


Wyler Whitmore did not have to worry about the run – well, at least not beyond running the distance that would follow his exit from the swim to the exchange area, tagging with cyclist Caden Sutton as the Team Nickel Rock finished second only to the powerhouse foursome of Tamara Flannigan, Frank Battaion, John Larmer and James Larmer in the four men’s bracket that accounted for the fastest time of the day (2:04.44).

“I knew that I didn’t have any other legs to do, other than the swim, so I went as hard as I could,” noted Whitmore, whose second place team (2:13.17) also featured Kirk and Jonas Petroski. Where the Larmers and company are always among the first to complete the annual early August challenge, the young man who turns 16 later this week has only recently discovered this world.

“I did the Conquer the Crater (in July) and loved it; it was so much fun,” said Whitmore, who been a lifeguard for quite some time but never felt compelled to race in the pool setting. “I’ve always loved the water but have never been a competitive swimmer.”

“I love hockey and in the summer, I’m always on my bike. I get out for a run in the morning before work and we’ve got a camp (on Big Caribou Lake near Port Loring), so I try and swim as much as possible at camp.”

Still, after tackling the Crater as a solo effort but with pretty much no background in canoeing, Whitmore would need a little bit of luck in putting together this team. “I had a couple of buddies who were talking about the Beaton Classic and I had never heard of it,” said the grade 11 student at St Benedict Catholic Secondary School.

“I texted Caden because he did the X-Terra (Conquer the Crater) with me – and then I was out for a bike ride towards Kivi Park and my buddy Jonas lives out there. He was outside so I asked if he wanted to be our runner and his dad was there and tells us that he used to teach canoe lessons.”

And so became their team.

On a whole different level, the Sage against the Machine four women’s team was also meant to be.

The connections that link Randi Ray, Renée Vaillancourt, Helen Bobiwash and Ghislaine Goudreau together are many – though the primary friendship is drawn from the fact that the quartet are all Anishinaabe kweok (women), compelled to compete in part as a tribute to the rich tradition of their common ancestry.

“We’re doing it for Mother Earth and the water; we’re not doing this for competing,” offered Vaillancourt, the cyclist of the group. “We’ve all been involved in the Anishinaabe water journey in the past.” Such are their teachings that the women are the caretakers of the water.

But they are also bonded by their involvement as indigenous drummers, with all also donning apparel of social conscience. Theirs is a journey of friendship that speaks to a far more spiritual priority, though the reminders of the athletic demands of this undertaking are ever-present.

“I trained a few times,” said Vaillancourt, just starting the get herself back into the groove following the most recent family addition a little over a year ago. “I did a 24 hour mountain bike race earlier this summer and didn’t train – and I regretted it big time,” she said with a smile.

“I do some mountain biking, but with this type of biking, there were pros passing me out there. I couldn’t always get my speed up, but I tried to stay strong and remember why we are doing this. We are so grateful to be able to do this as a team.”

Following is a breakdown of top finishers in some of the other categories:

Solo Female – 1st – Sara McIlraith – 2:18:15

Two-Women Team – 1st – Keegan Anderson / Donna Smrek – 2:59:45

Two-Man Team – 1st – Kaeden Ward / Colin Ward – 2:10:53

Two-Person Mixed – 1st – Laura Young / David Crockett – 2:33:10

Four-Person Mixed – 1st – Jennifer Abols / Kerry Abols / Bridget King – 2:17:37


Pursuit: Beaton paddler John Larmer still formidable in his 70s
His niche in the four-discipline Sudbury Beaton Classic race is the canoe
Randy Pascal

There are some – solo champions Sara McIlraith and Dan Whalen, for example – who prefer to tackle the diversity of the Beaton Classic, launching themselves into all four disciplines of the demanding summer test.

Those four disciplines are swimming, biking, canoeing and running.

Most, however, who gathered at the shores of Moonlight Beach this past Sunday, find their way to their own personal athletic niche. Sure, they are capable of likely tackling pretty much any leg of the local quadrathlon, but there is generally an area of greater comfort.

If you’re looking to track down 30-plus year Beaton Classic veteran John Larmer, best not to stray too far from the beach area. Out on the water is his happy place.

And if you are looking to seriously track him down, best to be ready as the first of the canoeists exit the water. Larmer has been part and parcel of the very fastest teams to conquer the early

August challenge for as long as I have made my way out to the event – which is to say the better part of two decades now.

Did we mention yet that the local paddling legend is well into his 73rd year, set to celebrate his next birthday in December?

Born in Peterborough, raised in Millbrook, but spending his formative/high school years in New Liskeard, Larmer has never been one to enjoy being cooped up inside.

“I like to spend my time outside; anything to do with the outdoors,” said the man whose only son (James) was also part of their winning team last weekend.

The fact that he could venture to the trails and lakes and vistas that abound across the province is a testament to the athletic base that developed early.

“I was in every team, just to get out of school – especially in high-school,” he said with a laugh. “Growing up in New Liskeard, if you got on the varsity team, you got Fridays off because we always travelled.”

“It’s not that I hated school. I just loved playing sports – football, basketball, whatever was seasonal.”

That would serve him well as he settled from his life as a travelling professional musician – he spent basically the entire 1970s on the road – making the move to Sudbury when he hit his thirties.

The timing was ideal. On a local level, the Sudbury Fitness Challenge was going strong, giving Larmer easy access to an outlet for his love of running and cycling and skiing – pretty much anything but swimming.

In the meantime, his outdoor adventures had rendered him more than a little proficient with a paddle in hand, his understanding and knowledge of the skill-set meandering along in much the same way that the northern rivers carve their path through the bush and rock.

“I was a tripper first, camping overnight and going off on lakes and things,” he stated. “Then I got in with a bunch of river runners, which I had not experienced before, guys who like to go downstream and challenge rapids. I do that a lot.

“I taught them flatwater aspects, point to point and stuff and they taught me river running techniques.”

It was with this resume in hand that Larmer first entered local competitions, a very naturally competitive athlete at his soul.

“I would show up with my river running canoe, and while it’s fast for that kind of thing, when you put it next to the racing canoe that’s on the back of my truck, well, you’re not going to beat those guys.

“If you don’t have the right tools, it doesn’t matter how good of shape you’re in.”

Spoken like a man whose standing within the current local paddling community is arguably rivaled only by long-time friend, fellow competitor and sometimes teammate Rob Gregoris.

“It’s taken years to learn all the stuff,” he said.

Yet for as much as the automatic association ties Larmer to a canoe, that kind of narrow thinking does a disservice to just how vast the athletic spectrum runs for a man who suggests that he views sport in much the same way as his other primary passion.

“I never wanted to be a one trick pony, and it was the same thing with music,” he said. “Some people just play country, or just play blues, or just play jazz or classical – but I like it all. When the summer paddling is over, I switch to cycling and then ski all winter.”

This fall will, once again, welcome him to a September journey to the far northwestern shorelines of Lake Superior, paddling his way from Sleeping Giant to Batchawana Bay. Still,

Larmer is not oblivious to the passing of time – though he somehow defies aging in a manner seen in only a very small minority of the population.

“I used to like to do two events (at the Beaton), but at this age, if I train hard for one, I can still be competitive,” he admitted. He takes a similar approach to the two-man 64 kilometre canoe race that highlights his annual schedule, making his way to the Mattawa River showdown now a dozen times or so.

“I’m a little old to be a motor,” said Larmer, referencing the paddler who typically sits at the front of the canoe. “I don’t have the power I had 15 years ago. But I have a skill-set and I’m light.”

Not to mention the fact that years of experience pay dividends.

“The trick is to cover the shortest amount of distance,” he said. “If you can’t keep the canoe straight, you’re adding a lot of kilometres that are unnecessary and that burns energy and amounts to a lot of time.”

Spoken like a man who in many ways sets the standard for fellow canoeists in Sudbury.

Randy Pascal is a sportswriter in Greater Sudbury. Pursuit is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.




Susan Nordman was a Beaton beast back when the race was still crazy
Randy Pascal


A week from now, I will have meandered my way out to the Beaton Classic, catching up with many of the usual suspects who have become staples of the Sudbury summer quadrathlon, folks who are more likely than not to be on hand at Moonlight Beach this coming Sunday morning despite the fact that the event had to be shelved the past two years running.

The names of those who will excel at this ultimate fitness challenge are familiar to all those who follow my written accounts of all things local sports with any kind of regularity.

Throughout the decade that was the eighties, Susan Nordman (now Hay) would have been one of those names.

The Sudbury native and now long-time resident of Thunder Bay could recall consistent top three finishes pretty much every single time she tackled the beast that was the original Beaton course, a gruelling athletic endeavour that often took twice as long to complete as would the current more athlete-friendly version that will take place in less than 48 hours.

“The Beaton was such an enigma, run out in the back forty at Laurentian (University),” said Hay this week, having successfully competed in a 55km cycling event last weekend as she nears her 60th birthday. “I was having to grab the rock faces with my hands, having to balance to get across the beaver dam.”

“A 10 mile bush run was crazy,” added the mother of two equally fit young adults (daughter – Sarah; son – Nathan; not to mention husband Darrell, well known for his running exploits in these parts over the years). “The wind was so bad one year and the waves (on Lake Ramsey) were so high that I stopped at an island and grabbed extra rocks to put into the bow of my canoe to help keep it down.”

“At one point, I was contemplating jumping out of the canoe and swimming with it.”

Still she returned, year after year.

“There’s so many great memories of the Beaton. You just had to be hardy with it; it was quite a challenge.”

Truth be told, Hay was among a group of mainstays racing on the provincial triathlon circuit at the time.


And while many will veer off to this tangent following years of youthful devotion to competitive swimming or running programs, the middle of three girls in the Nordman clan – and easily the most sports-minded – represented the true embodiment of the “Miss Fit – Sudbury” title that she had won three years running heading into the summer of 1989.

Hockey, basketball, nordic ski, softball, track & field were all part of the mix at various points in time for the young woman who would grow up on St Clair Street, just off Lorne and a hop, skip and jump from St Francis Catholic Elementary School.

“I would play softball in Copper Cliff in the summertime,” Hay recalled. “I think that’s how I got started with triathlons. I had to run or bike out to Copper Cliff if I wanted to play. I was doing cross-training before it had really been heard of.”

By the time the snow would start falling, the highly regimented young athlete would be ready to navigate a whole different series of trails. “I would go ski along a rough skidoo trail along Junction Creek,” she reminisced. “I would ski along that as far as I could go.”

“The odd time, I would get a ride to the university or the Voima Trails.”

Though her post-secondary studies would be split between Laurentian (one year) and the University of Toronto (three more years, completing her degree in physiotherapy), varsity athletic involvement was a given. It’s small wonder that the off-season would give way to a never ending variety of mileage-munching training sessions.

Having any kind of proficiency in the particular “sport du jour” was hardly a pre-requisite.

“I had no background in swimming,” Hay laughed. “When I started doing triathlons, I swam with my head above the water.” She and fellow Sudbury Star sports columnist Laura Young and a handful of others would initiate the process that would ultimately launch Laurentian Masters Swimming, a program still going strong to this day.

Cycling was only slightly less of an adventure for the determined multi-sport star.

“I wasn’t a very good pack rider,” said Hay. “I remember doing a crit (criterium) in Espanola and going off on a corner, through somebody’s driveway, across their lawn and back on to the course. I think I could hear Battista (Murreda – Sudbury Cycling Club coach) swearing in the background.”

“He was such a great mentor for me, very accepting of females in sport.”

All of the above should not diminish just how competitive Susan Nordman was – and arguably still is. While on her honeymoon in Acapulco, she competed in the pro category of a triathlon, placing high enough to earn some prize money (even if the cheque would subsequently bounce).

She would venture off to the World Triathlon Championships on two occasions, once in Vancouver and once when it was hosted in New Zealand in 1993. Much of that success she attributes to a growing group of locals who were hitting the tri scene all at roughly the same time.

“I had a really great group of friends that travelled around doing triathlons while we still lived in Sudbury: Brenda Taylor, André Fortin and others,” said Hay. “We trained together and did a lot of racing together.”

And it is exactly this same kind of camaraderie that is sure to be present, in spades, when the current group of Sudburians who share this same love of multi-sport competition will assemble for what remains one of the most unique events in the province, if not the country.

Long live the Beaton Classic.







Photos This Week

August 10 Rocks!! Wednesday pm run

August 10 Rocks!!

August 11 Bioski swamp

August 12 Moonlight side trail

August 12 Moonlight side trail

August 12 Laurentian Lake

August 12 Laurentian Lake

August 12 Nature Chalet trail

August 12 Beaver Pond

August 12 Moonlight bridge

August 13 Nature Chalet

August 13 Rocks!! Saturday am run at Bell Park

August 15 Nature Chalet

August 15 Nature Chalet

August 16 Moonlight Poleline

August 16 Moonlight Poleline

August 16 Moonlight Poleline














Upcoming Local Events


   Sunday September 11, 2022

The Ramsey Tour is Back

Sunday September 11, 2022 at the Laurentian Track and Stadium

Online Registration  https://www.events.runningroom.com/site/17647/sudbury-masters-continental-insulation-ramsey-tour/

Manual Registration Form Here (Word doc)







Run Club Update




Store News


Good afternoon Sudbury Runners and Walkers,


We have FREE run club Wednesday nights at 6pm and Sunday mornings at 8:30am.

Cancelled until Further Notice

NOTE: There is a Wednesday pm group leaving the Cedar Pointe parking lot at 6pm







Track North and Laurentian XC News










For information call me.
Vincent Perdue

Proud sponsor of the Sudbury Rocks!!! Race-Run-Walk for the Health of it




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