Subaru BPMR Race Recap

Photo Credit: Gurudayal Kahlsa
Excerpt from a recent email exchange between Wiarton Echo intern Nathan Buckton and Subaru BPMR director Leigh Grigg about the 2016 event on August 13th, 2016.

NB: How many participants did the race have this year? If possible, I’d
love to know how many entrants were involved across the entire affair,
as well as the different events- including the kids’ race.

LG: In 2016, 203 adults and 42 (NOTE: 34) kids raced, with an additional 27 racers signed up but unable to start.  Incredibly, we also had 145 volunteers perform approximately 200 volunteer shifts. (NOTE: the official number of volunteers was 170)  We also had 10-12 committee members lead the way, 65 landowners allow us to come up with an incredible racecourse and 50 race partners (or sponsors) contribute to the event.

NB: The multisport race seems to usually have a mix of people from near
and far participating, was it the same this year?

LG: Close to half (42%) of this year’s racers drove 3 or more hours to race the Subaru BPMR.  72% of the racers were from outside of Grey Bruce. I believe the tourism impact of this event will be even greater in future years because there’s an episode of the TV series Boundless that will be showing on specialty channel RadX in mid-September that shows an entire 100km Buff Long Course raced, footage from the 2015 race.  The hour-long episode will also replayed on other channels for years to come, so we’re looking forward to the extensive promotion opportunity that will come from seeing our event highlighted in this way.

NB: How much money was raised this year? Do the raised funds support just
the PASA or does any other group receive proceeds from the event?

LG: This year was the first year the race designated a beneficiary in advance.  It was the Wiarton & District Optimist Club for the Wiarton Skateboard Park project.  We’re proud to announce we’ve raised over $5,000 this year for this great cause.

NB: How did the event compare to other years (considering both turnout and
how the event actually ran)? The results from the 2015 multisport race
seemed to indicate it was the biggest year yet, was 2016 able to match

 LG: We had our 2nd straight sellout in the 100km solo/tandem categories, and had 24 more actual racers than 2015.  The addition of Subaru at the finish line giving away freezies & cowbells definitely added some excitement.  This year’s race was my personal favourite of the 6 races because everyone involved seemed to be very happy.  The Home Hardware Building Centre volunteer army were incredible, the foul weather held off so that the racers enjoyed cool mist in their face, and everyone stayed safe despite the extremely slippery conditions that went along with the light precipitation.

In the 25k courses we all knew it would be a close finish between Shallow Lake’s Mark Shouldice in the Subaru duathlon and Owen Sound’s Peter Beisel who’s actually won the 100km in the past and we were right… the new paddle-bike-paddle Subaru Duathlon proved a great addition and Shouldice squeaked by Beisel by 1min and 45sec.  The same happened in the women’s division where Caroline Wolf (Georgetown, ON) paddled home 3m faster than Rebecca Schwass (Terra Cotta, ON).  The majority of the Suntrail Course & Subaru Duathlon racers are from either Bruce-Grey-Simcoe or from the 905 area code.

The Buff Long Course start was held for 15min to re-route to a course with more sheltered conditions, but otherwise was it’s usual epic trip across the Bruce.  Storm Racing’s Sean Roper and Mike Van Den Bosch (Burlington, ON) were the first relay team to finish at 7h 2min and for the 2nd year in a row, Toronto’s Bill Logie (Toronto, ON) was the first solo racer, this time with a 7h 43min time.  Black Swan Racing (Aurora, ON) won the team division and Joan Matthews followed 7 minutes later to win the women’s division Racers in this 100k come from across Canada and Northeastern US to compete.

The entertainment in the park featured up-and-coming singer Leah Matthies with Bill MacMillan, Bruce Worthington and Paul Williamson also performing.  A Devinci mountain bike donated by Bikeface Cycling and valued at $920 was won by Patrick Rose of Owen Sound.
Results can be found on our website under Race Results  (NOTE: Official results will be posted early next week.)

NB: For the sponsors of the race that were listed on your website, were
they supporting the race through primarily money and prizes, or did
they contribute something else?

LG: Most race partners answered the call with “Whatever you need” and that meant that locals Northern Confections, among other contributions, brought fresh coffee for volunteers and Suntrail Outfitters moved almost every Long Course kayak!  Some businesses (for the most part corporate sponsors but also a few key local stores like Suntrail, Summer House Park, Co-operators) provided cash to assist in covering some of the expenses that are continually on the organizer’s wish list.  When the race receives cash from sponsors, it certainly helps us shape the event in a way that will provide a great experience for all and ultimately help us attract more racers.

NB: Finally, is there going to be another race next year? If so, when can
fans of the event expect to be able to register?

LG: The 2017 Subaru BPMR is actually already on sale at . There are already several Buff Long Course racers confirmed, likely because of the 100 racer cap we have on the Long course.  There is also a 200 person cap on the Suntrail Course/Subaru duathlon disciplines.  The caps allow us to minimize the event’s environmental impact and focus on executing a great race experience.  Exciting to note, we’re looking at a new route for the racecourses next year.  Being Canada’s 150th, we’re considering racecourses that will highlight historical trade routes.  That being said, the August 12, 2017 event is again sure to finish in Wiarton’s Bluewater Park.

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