Ice Chips and Canoe Quips

Firefighters’ Around the Bay Race

In the first annual five and eight km run and walk to raise money for local firefighter organizations, in total, 35 raced with the following top three finishers in every division.

In the men’s 5K, Greg Bond was first overall in a time of 22:39, second was Ory Menzies, while Jim Stewart took bronze. Also of note was 12-year-old Trent Bell who finished in under 27 minutes!

In the women’s 5K category, Elizabeth Van Every zipped through the course in just 25:51. Cindy Beaulieu was second and Marla Haring was third.

The women’s 8K boasted the fastest eight kilometer time with Lindsay Moreau-Verla posting an outstanding 34:54 clocking. In second and third respectively were: Lily Gambin and Terri Lynn Leighton.

Brad Wright (41:18) was first for the men leading John Gordon and Scott Kirkness in second and third.

In the 8K walk Rae and Steve Mason tied for first as did the women’s winners: Barb Rayner and Colleen Smith. Tying for second were Chantel Watts, Sydney Pfeifer, Stacy Pfeifer and Karol Pickard. Congratulations to all participants and volunteers on a great event.

Haw Run, ran

Haweater Weekend’s annual Haw runs attracted 92 runners with James Scott coming 1st with a time of 40:23 in a field of 35, 10K runners. In second was Rom Severino with a time of 42:31 and taking third was Lindsay Moreau-Verlaan with a time of 43:25!

Rom Severino decided to run again and this time broke the tape first in 20:19 in the 5K race. In the silver medal position Mike Banks needed just 20:58 while Greg Bond was close behind in only 21:35. 

Thanks to Nelson Wood as the main organizer the runs raised $1,000 dollars for the Sea Cadets and the NEMI Public Library.

Big Joe Mufferaws, not!

Team Manitoulin was not quite up to the reputation of the famous Stompin Tom Connors’ character but they did paddle all the way from Kingston to Ottawa in just one day (plus four hours)! The K2O race was a non-stop 200 km race from the edge of Lake Ontario in Kingston to downtown Ottawa. The crew of eight paddled their handmade canoe in the official time of 27 hours and 50 minutes to finish in third overall! They were also just one of three teams to break the 28 hour prize-money cut-off.

Twenty teams were on the start line but due to some harrowing conditions only 13 made the full distance. The first real hazard other then cramping muscles and chafed delicates was a powerful 40-plus km wind and three-foot rollers up the series of three Rideau Lakes. Although the wind was at their tail it set up for some harrowing surfing situations where speeds reached 12.8 km/h. The speed was nice but coming down that fast off a big wave the 28 foot boat would bury its bow into the wave in front and take on water. There were several times coming up over the back of the massive waves that the bow paddle’s portion of the canoe was totally out of the water, with nothing to paddle but air! Adding the already precarious situation were huge power boats making for a very confused wave pattern.

Having started at 6 am and the team made it through the open lakes they reached the half-way point of Smith’s Falls in only 12 hours. Encouraged with their project they started into increasingly smaller channels and were looking forward to their evening paddle and holding onto their 2nd place position. That was when a huge lightning storm rolled in and the team decided to take refuge under the eaves of one of the 22 lock station buildings but this one was not open. Thinking this was still the smartest move they shivered and had to watch the third place paddler pass by while being guided by the frequent forks of lightning, lighting his way up the channel. After an hour and 20 minutes the eight voted that the danger was over and they took off into the twilight.

When the rain stopped, fog became an issue trying to stay in the middle of the channel. If they strayed too far out they would run into massive rafts of thick weeds. The weeds would drop the canoe’s speed by two km/h. It also must have created interesting sounds to the fish and added to the effect of the lights on the front of the canoe, fish were jumping all around. One large bass actually launched himself out of the water and smacked into the bow, scaring or waking everyone on board.

Late into the night the speed dropped as the paddlers needed to traverse a 40km portion with no blessed breaks of a portage. However, just before daylight, the team realized they still had a chance to break the 28 hour barrier. From that point sleepiness was abandoned as the new focus drove them to paddle like mad for the next three hours. In the end they were ecstatic as they crossed the line with 10 minutes to spare.

Congratulations to paddlers Mark Gibeault, Heather Pennie, Cory Mceachern, Garret Mellan, Scott Mellan, Rob Mellan, Joanne Mellan and myself. The 400 in prize money was donated to the other voyageur team that although they didn’t finish they raised $2,500 on their attempt for the Make a Wish Foundation. The biggest thanks has to go out to the Mellan brother’s Aunt Gretchen and Uncle Terry Pritchard who were also up through the night bringing all of the vast amounts of fluids and food that were consumed over the exhausting day.

A good sport is good for sports.