Bruce Peninsula Multisport Race participants Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. (Photo by Derek Carpenter)
When considering entering the Subaru Bruce Peninsula Multisport Race, first you better ask yourself “Am I a wimp?”The race which was run Saturday started at Neyaashiinigmiing with a 16-kilometre kayak in Georgian Bay, then a 32-km bike, then an 8-km run, then a 24-km bike along back lanes and forest trails, and finally, a 16-km run.The nine-year-old event’s signature race, the Subaru Long Course, is 96-km long. So even if you’re demonstrably not a wimp, you’d better be fit.“It’s super fun,” race founder and long course race director Jack Van Dorp said Sunday morning, after all the competitors had gone home and trail markers were being collected.“People call it Type 2 fun; it’s the kind of fun you realize was fun after you’re done.”And what’s it like while you’re doing it?“Oh, you’re suffering. Yeah, especially we’ve got a huge climb about a third of the way into the race that’s like a total gut-buster on their mountain bikes. And it just seems like it never stops.”Racers are advised to watch for bears and rattlesnakes, poison ivy, crevasses and lots of hills. “They’re basically running and riding along the edges of the cliffs,” Van Dorp said. There are “very technical” mountain bike sections too.The trails were marked but racers were given no maps. The route is a secret and racers with Fitbits or other GPS toys are instructed not to share it with anyone nor to return to it because lots of it is on private land.Scott Ford, 43, of Toronto, placed first in the long course with a time of 6:32:11.9, besting the three-member Team Bruce Ski Club by about eight seconds. Van Dorp performed the kayak leg of that race on that team, while someone temporarily assumed his race director duties. Dave White and Brian Dubeau were his teammates.They were competing in the same five-stage race but in different categories and still Ford came out on top.There were 78 registered, 54 finished, 11 didn’t start, two didn’t finish and 11 were technically listed as disqualified. That last number covers competitors who skip part of the race but complete the rest – something the course design anticipates and accommodates.Other notable local achievements:– Shannon Miller, of Thornbury, was the top solo female runner in the Subaru Long Course. She finished 7th overall and was the fourth fastest individual with a time of 8:05:03.3.– Local competitor Wesley Schlenker finished 11th overall with a time of 8:17:10.6. That made him the sixth best solo male finisher in what was his first long-course race.– Mark Shouldice, of Park Head, a perennial winner of the Subaru Duathlon, a 24-km paddle-bike-paddle, finished first with a time of 1:44:06.0– Chris Hodgkinson, of Wiarton, finished first in the Suntrail Triathlon, a 27-km paddle-bike-run, with a time of 1:49:00.5.– Catherine Manwell, of Owen Sound, was the top female finisher in the Suntrail Duathlon, a 29-km run-bike-run, with a time of 2:23:34.6.For more details, see http://www.brucepeninsulamultisportrace.ca/the-race.html.