Damp morning no deterrent to pandemic-era Wiky Road Race

The first heat sets out from the 10 km start line at the corner of Kaboni and Webkamigad roads. photos by Warren Schlote

WIIKWEMKOONG – This past weekend’s Wiky Road Race drew 69 runners and a handful of walkers for the re-imagined physically distanced version of the 48th edition of the annual event.

“It’s been good considering everything,” said organizer Dakota Recollet, who is the physical health activity promoter at Naandwechige-Gamig Wikwemikong Health Centre. This is the first year that she has organized the event.

The structure of the race changed given COVID-19 protocols. Rather than a large group of all 36 runners in the 10K race, they split the runners into three heats of 12.

There was also a new five-kilometre race length this year which drew 23 runners. Last year’s event saw 63 runners in the 10K-only competition.

“I know a lot of people really wanted to come to this because there were so many runs that got cancelled this year,” said Ms. Recollet.

She added that the organizers did not allow competitors from COVID-19 hotspots and did not get anyone from outside Northeastern Ontario.

In the 10K race, Michelle Kennedy took first in the adult female (18-50) age division and earned the Wiikwemkoong Board of Education trophy. Aurel Fox notched top spot in the male counterpart to that age division, earning his name etched on The Manitoulin Expositor trophy..

Aurel Fox runs into Thunderbird Park for a final lap.

Sierra Pangowish was top of the ranks in the high school female division and the  The highest-placed 50+ female runner was Tricia Goeldher and Edmo Toulouse and Jeffrey Eshkawkogan tied for the first spot in the 50+ male category.

Peyton Ominika ranked first in the child aged 10-13 category; Brayden Wabano ranked first in the child under 10 division and Lily Beaudry placed second in the under-10 bracket.

In the 5K race, Lindsay Dantouze ranked first in the 18-50 adult female category, while Clifton Wassengeso took the top place in the adult male category. Maren Kasunich took home the high school female title.

Lorrilee McGregor won the 50-plus female category and Greg Bond took the honours in the 50-plus male division.

For the child aged 10-13 division of the 5K, Mya Balfe took top spot followed by Ava Corbiere.

In the child under 10 category, Logan Peltier placed first and Joseph Jacko placed second.

There were 10 walkers on the 10K route and five walkers on the five-kilometre route.