For the very few residents who live on Cabot Head Road, the 3rd Annual Bruce Peninsula Multisport Race (BPMR) was over very quickly! As dawn broke on Saturday morning, the peace on Cabot Head Road was interrupted by a peleton of mountain bikes whizzing past the rocky beach. All racers were by and serenity was restored by 6:45am as Darci Lombard and Naomi Liverance went by. The owner of Summer House Park and the Tobermory paramedic were at the tail end of the pack of 46 cyclists, volunteering as “sweepers” to make sure no racer was left behind. For 40km, the two of them sweated it out on the gravel roads and single-track trails that make up the BPMR long course. The long course racers, and the team of sweepers, then continued to make their way down the peninsula by alternating foot, bike and kayak to the finish line at Wiarton’s Bluewater Park.
Meanwhile, wonderful sunshine greeted a pack of 101 short course racers as they set off from Bluewater Park’s Short Course Start Line at 10am. The good weather was a particularly welcome treat for the many racers whose race had to be abandoned the year previous due to thunderstorms. As long and short course racers continued crossing the finish line all afternoon, a team of volunteers and spectators were there to cheer them on.
As long course winner Kyle Peter, from California, approached the finish after completing 100km of racing in just over 6 hours, the MC called out his name from the stage, and he was welcomed across the line with a giant cheer from the crowd. Peter won the Men’s category this year by 24min over 2011 returning champ Jason Urkfitz from Menden, NY. Una Hall from Bonfield, ON was the fastest female, Team Linde from Shallow Lake was the fastest relay team and Team Raymond/Schwass from Barrie was the fastest tandem team. The short course was bested by Peter Beisel from Ottawa winning the fastest male paddle-bike-run, Greg Nichol from Owen Sound winning the new duathlon, and 17-year-old Logan Hong, also from Owen Sound winning the fastest female on the short course.
The exciting atmosphere in the park continued with the start of the Kids Race. Darci Lombard, having completed her long course sweeping role, followed by a short shift as “park scout” relaying by radio to the on-stage MC about the arriving Peter form the north side of the park, transitioned to Kids Race volunteer and spent the few hours running alongside the racing kids yelling out encouragements. Summer House Park had a big presence at the Kids Race this year, as title sponsor. It was obvious to anyone that popped by the park in the afternoon that the Kids Race truly was a mini-BPMR, being raced by little athletes running, biking and tackling the fun obstacle courses.
The festivities in Wiarton on Saturday crescendoed all day to the awards ceremony and the much-anticipated $700 Devinci mountain bike giveaway, courtesy of Bikeface Cycling, won by UK racer Paul Barton.
We all appreciate that the race can be organized locally and we all appreciate that the race proceeds go to supporting outdoor sport on the Bruce. The BPMR has a long list of sponsors (found at http://www.brucepeninsulamultisportrace.ca under “support”) who are integral to making this possible. It’s support such as that demonstrated by Darci from Summer House Park that exemplifies race weekend, as it shows that helpful volunteers and supportive companies are far from mutually exclusive. This is true for Allisa at Suntrail, Paul at Bayshore Physical Therapy, Shane from Alternative Wheels, Jaime from With Love and Koona from Wiarton Home Building Centre, Peter from Veba Canada, and so many others. The organizers would like to thank all the race partners, volunteers, landowners, participants, their friends and family for putting on this one-day spectacle that showcases the Bruce Peninsula to the world.