BPMR Recap – Mom & Pop Shop

Multisport Race Succeeds with Family Members Complimenting the Community Volunteer Base.

Three of the 140 volunteers at the Bruce Peninsula Multisport Race on Saturday were named Grigg, Day & Van Dorp and they shared a common thread: their children had planned the biggest logistical endeavor of the year.  Sally Grigg, Joan Day and Gena Van Dorp were three volunteers who balanced their volunteer role at the BPMR with being a mother.

Saturday August 9th came quickly this time around for Hopeness Transition Area chief Gena Van Dorp because she had not been coerced into joining the pre-planning this time around.

“I arrived at the transition area Saturday morning and found a few volunteers already there, so it only took 20 minutes for us to have it set up,” claims Van Dorp.  She is Long Course race director & event founder Jack Van Dorp’s mother and knows a thing or two about being prepared.  “As a mom, my other duties are making sure the beds are ready at the house for all the visitors and making sure the fridge is stocked with food… food that doesn’t require a lot of explanation.  I can then tell everyone to just take what they want from the fridge.”

“When it comes to balancing being a mom and filling a volunteer spot at the BPMR I know there are habits that I carry over. Double-checking that the job I’ve just asked someone to do is actually being done is a good example.  Also, I can usually find gear from somewhere that will contribute at that particular moment.”

The BPMR attracted 174 racers this year and again raised money for outdoor sport on the Bruce.

The redesigned 100km Long Course took racers through some very scenic parts of Neyaashiinigmiing and Northern Bruce Peninsula before joining the original route south from Hope Bay to the finish in Wiarton’s Bluewater Park.  The Short Course began at Bluewater Park beach with a gorgeous paddle on calm water, through the village of Colpoy’s Bay out onto some gnarly trails on the bike and back to Wiarton with a 5 kilometer run.  Both courses mix paddling with mountain biking and running, and racers compete for medals & prizes.  The short course accepts canoe teams and the long course has a relay option.

Winning the Long Course male and female solo categories were Peter Beisel & Debbie Val.  David Bondy won the masters male event, while Storm Racing/Canadian Outback won the Relay, MacGregor/Thompson won the tandem team and Team Schwass won the coed tandem team.  These same Schwass’ are the parents of adventure racers Nick & Jake Schwass, who themselves competed in the Long Course right beside them.  There were a grand total of five Schwass’ family members on the podium this year.

On the 25km Short Course, Mark Shouldice got through the course quickest and Claudette McKnight won the female race.  The masters male winner was Paul St. Pierre, the masters female winner was Katherine James, and in the team canoes EAG Crossfit won the men’s division, Nechala/Lang won women’s division and Team Oranges & Apples won the coed race.

Aaron Cryderman from Waterloo, Ontario took home the Devinci Jack XP mountain bike donated as a random prize by Bikeface Cycling in Owen Sound.  Deanna Young took home the basket of fudge from Northern Confections, a candy store in downtown Wiarton run by Todd & Heather Gibbons.  The Gibbons’ exemplify what it means to be a “mom & pop shop” as they aren’t shy to support the race.  In fact they give generously to the cause and see the “big picture” of what an event like the BPMR means to the area.

“Whatever you need,” says Todd Gibbons when asked for another task as part of his sponsorship. (Note: this particular task was to wake up at 6am and deliver a canteen of his legendary coffee to the volunteers.)

The community spirit for this event is growing each year and there were a whopping 140 volunteers at the 2014 race.  There were also more than 60 different landowners on the 2 courses who deserve recognition and thanks from the race committee.  The race gets support from a lot of areas, not the least of which is sponsorship.  There was incredible sponsor support this year and a full range of exhibitors in the park.  The Source in downtown Wiarton is extending their offer of “$60 off a GoPro” for the next week in celebration of the event.

Team “Sibling Rivalry” was comprised of Holly & Lukas Linde from Hepworth, and took their competitive nature to a whole new level to complete the 100km relay.  Mother Judy Linde found herself volunteering at Colpoy’s Bay village for most of the day and, when dismissed, made her way into Wiarton to see them finish.  In a way, the Summer House Park Kids Race was ahead of the curve this year and offered a “Sibling Rivalry” discount on registration.

The Multisport Race is fueled by sponsors, supported by landowners, shaped by the race committee, however it’s no secret that it’s driven by volunteers.

Sally Grigg is the mother of Short Course race director Leigh Grigg and volunteered again this year at Colpoy’s Bay.  “We had lots of fun watching the boats follow the shore and approach the beach” said Grigg. “The bands were great too.  There were lots of people throughout the park who were enjoying the music.”

But perhaps it was Joan Day, mother of Kids Race organizer Tobin Day, who put her finger exactly on what it meant to juggle the two roles of volunteer and mother.  She noted in particular the interesting reversal of who was in charge.

“It was a lot of ‘go and fetch’ for me,” said Day, “and it made me happy.  I was proud of her leadership, and how she made all the kids feel rewarded.  I was proud of her stage presence during the awards as well.  I enjoyed my marshal role so much and especially when some of the little kids thanked me on their way by!  I also really wanted to make sure everything was tidied up so I stayed late.”

Gena Van Dorp calls that “a mom thing.”


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