Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

A Classic no more?

It is with heavy hearts that the organizers of the Mindemoya Classic have announced that they hope that someone can take over the reins of the popular event from here on in. The Run, Paddle Pedal Triathlon has been on the Central Manitoulin Lion’s Club Homecoming Weekend, starting 20 years ago! Of course ‘organizers’ were not able to host the annual Canada Day weekend race over the last two, Covid ‘infected’ years. “Organizers” is a loaded word because it does not acknowledge the friends families and strangers who helped out over its duration.

Allen Haner and myself were the original spit-ballers dreaming up the event. At the time several of our friends were participating in some multi-day adventure races. They were gigantic, exciting and so expensive to race in and prepare for. We had the idea that we could just invent a race that we could participate in, and provide a different type of activity for the venerable long weekend.

In the beginning, it was a harder sell than the elimination draw and the beer gardens at the fastball tournament and antique car show. I have to be honest, that here were a lot of pleading calls made to almost everyone that we and our extended connections had. There may have been many people put in a difficult spot to say no. Some said yes and could not make it after a late night of dancing and festivities. Famously, several early teams must have made some sort of powerful pact/threat because they made it to the start line despite what may have happened in the hours before the Sunday morning start!

From those first two tenuous years, we got the basics figured out and that with ‘word of mouth’, kept the ‘race’ going for these 18 years. ‘Race’ was not altogether what we envisioned. Our moniker was; “The Challenge for Everyone!” It really is/was as ‘everyone’ really did participate. There have been toddlers ripped through the trail in bike strollers. Pre-schoolers completing the ‘run’. There was a team captained by only grade-seven kids who were so keen they even took a lesson in paddling and canoe rescues in their preparation. I could go on and on with amazing accomplishments. There have been very few issues over the years. Many would be chalked up as ‘fun failures’ like backwards canoes/paddle/ directions, etc.

We have had a plethora of accolades over the years. It appears as though we hit the sweet spot for this type of activity in the summer holiday season. Kids are all riled up after a long school year, parent maybe want to burn up that energy? Families getting together for something fun and memorable for the photo books.

The leg-work has been done and it is essentially ready to take over. It honestly has been a wealth of valuable memories. Our families ‘grew up’ with the race. We got to came up with fun team names and even t-shirts. We would both love for this continue and are open to helping out prepare anyone to hit the ground running. Thanks for all of your support for the race in the past. What about the future?

A good sport is good for sports
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