WIKWEMIKONG— It was a bone-chilling day for the 43rd annual Wikwemikong Road Race, but despite the drop in temperatures, close to 100 participants came to Manitoulin’s largest community on Sunday to take part in Northern Ontario’s longest continually running 10K race.
As runners and walkers filed into the Wasse Abin Pontiac School following their 10K race they warmed up with steaming bowls of soup, sandwiches and vegetables before the awards presentations got underway.
Head organizer, Henry Hoy, thanked the participants for once again taking part in the Road Race and the Wikwemikong Board of Education (WBE) for providing the space at Pontiac School and helping with the awards ceremony.
The WBE provides a special trophy for the fastest female runner while The Manitoulin Expositor provides a trophy for the top male finisher—a trophy as old as the race itself.
Bernadette Pangowish was awarded with a set of Nordic walking poles as the first to finish the walking/slow runners segment of the Road Race. Mr. Hoy paid special acknowledgement to Greg ‘the Goose’ Sutherland who participated in the day’s event and who also has his name on The Expositor trophy circa 1989.
Winners in the 12 and under category were: Kenneth Kagige, male, and Sierra Pangowish, female; 13-15, Keisai Beaudry, male, Jasmine Manitowabi, female; 16-18, Frederic Diebel, male; 19-25, Simon Diebel, male, Marika Wright, female; 26-30, Tavs Joergensen, male, Kristy Keller, female; 31-35, Dave Hawkins, male, Casey Odjig, female; 36-40, Kristin Farquhar, female; 41-45, Ronald Aibens, male, Sara McIlraith, female; 46-50, Neil Phipps, male, Lorilee McGregor, female; 51-55, Jeff Eshkawkogan, male, Julie Curneen, female; 56-60, Greg Bond, male, Lisa Perdue, female; 61-65, Vince Perdue; and 66+, Art Petahtegoose.
Neil Phipps claimed The Manitoulin Expositor trophy, awarded by Expositor editor, Alicia McCutcheon, for his time of 38:16, while Sara McIlraith took the Wikwemikong Board of Education trophy with her 41:15 finish, presented by WBE Director of Education, Dominic Beaudry, who also participated in the event.
Congratulations to the 42 runners and over 50 walkers who took part in this Manitoulin fall tradition.