Mindemoya classic Celebrates 18th year ‘running’ during Homecoming Weekend

LAKE MINDEMOYA – Conditions were perfect for the run, canoe and bike triathlon on Sunday, June 30 as the 18th edition of the Mindemoya Classic was well underway.

The race began at 9:30 am sharp with runners taking off on a five kiloemtre run through Mindemoya. Teams then carried canoes to Lake Mindemoya for a four kiloemtre paddle following Hwy 551, then tackled a cycle ride that led racers on a 10 kiloemtre path towards Providence Bay, through bush, and back to the finish line.

With the help of their invaluable team of volunteers, Constable Allen Hanes and André Lebanc of Mindemoya organized this year’s race. They have been organizing the event since its very conception.

The Mindemoya Classic started back in 2002, where it was mostly a canoe race amongst friends. It has grown considerably in size since then, and is open for everyone of every skill level to participate.

“The canoe aspect make it more family oriented,” said Constable Hanes.

Homecoming Weekend celebrates the community of Central Manitoulin, as the beginning of the Canada Day long weekend and the end of the school year both coincide with families returning to their summer campgrounds.

“It’s great this is during summertime and during homecoming weekend, because everyone can come see each other,” said Pina Hare of M’Chigeeng.

Ms. Hare and her daughters were cheering for her friend Brian Murphy who ran for team ‘Giving it a Try.’

“I feel surprisingly better than I thought I’d feel,” he remarked while laughing. Mr. Murphy explained that he did not prepare prior to joining the race, last having ran two years prior. Though he later admitted that he did attend some training of some kind: “I did a barre class the week before.”

“I train by making more maple syrup,” laughed Dr. Marianne Maxwell. She joined the race with her husband Craig Maxwell, who both began participating in the Classic 10 years ago.

Kristin Bickell of Sheguiandah was part of team ‘Blue Beaver,’ amicably named by her daughter, and was happy to participate in an event with her family and friends. “It’s just so fun to participate on the long weekend,” remarked Ms. Bickell.

Skies were clear, beautiful and sunny, though three boats capsized during the canoeing portion of the race, all teams finished the race is under three hours.

A total of 73 people were registered for a total of 30 mixed teams. The youngest triathlete attending was eight years old, and at 62, the eldest are both David and Suzan Johnson of Rockville.

There overall winners of each of the second divisions, and runners up, were given pure maple syrup as prizes. The overall winners with the fastest time was team ‘Chuddies,’ finishing the race in one hour and 21 minutes. Their team members are all colleagues from Ontario Chutes Provincial Park, near Massey.

As for their names: “When the Provincial Parks call they sometimes as for ‘Chuddies,’ rather than ‘Chutes’,” explained Tamara Flannigan. “So we just stuck with that.”

Canoes were brought to the race By Path or Paddle of Manitowaning Bay. The Mindemoya Classic is supported by the Central Manitoulin Lions Club and is part of their Homecoming Weekend activities.

To register for next year’s Mindemoya Classic or to see division results, visit mindemoyaclassic.com.