AuSable River Canoe Marathon teams battle for starting positions during three-day time trials event

Triebold and Lajoie set a new course record for fastest sprint time
The run to the river. For many AuSable River Canoe Marathon fans, it’s the best part of the race. Hundreds of cheering spectators lining the streets of Grayling, more than 160 paddlers carrying their canoes downhill to the river, jumping in, paddles hitting the water for the first time. It’s a long line on race night, and the positions for the running start are not random; they are earned.
AuSable River Canoe Marathon teams – before they race 120 miles from Grayling to Oscoda on Saturday and Sunday – battle for starting positions during a three-day time trials event on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during the week leading up to the Marathon.
Before 2011, it was a two-day event. In 2011, after having three consecutive years of record breaking participation numbers – 76 teams in 2008, 90 teams in 2009, and 94 in 2010 – the AuSable Marathon Committee opted to add a third day in order to accommodate the event’s increasing number of teams.
The AuSable River Canoe Marathon Committee changed the course for time trials in 2016, creating a new loop for the event that made the turnaround buoy accessible to spectators. In previous years, the old course started at Penrod’s, featured a buoy turn at the halfway point downstream, and finished at the starting area at Penrod’s with teams paddling upstream. 
The new loop starts in the same place as before at Penrod’s, but it sends teams upstream first, has them turning around at a buoy at the Old AuSable Fly Shop, and the teams finish the loop going downstream. With the buoy turn at Old AuSable, spectators can now watch the turnaround – a part of the sprint that many teams say is one of the most challenging aspects of the event – from the I-75 Business Loop bridge and the hill by the State Police Crime Lab.
Day one of the 2016 time trials: Wednesday, July 25. The weather? Sunny. Hot.
Nick Walton and Guillaume Blais posted the best sprint time of the Wednesday session at 4:54.13.
Daniel Medina and Matt Meersman had the second best time of the day (5:16.21). Pierre-Olivier Quesnel and Normand Mainguy were third at the end of the day with a time of 5:27.07. Sean Casey and Mike Hale were fourth (5:41.12) and Seth Miller and Stephen Miller were fifth (5:53.49).
In all, 16 of the 84 teams signed up for the 2018 AuSable Marathon sprinted on Wednesday. The times ranged from 4:54.13 to 7:21.69.
Only five teams finished under the six-minute mark. Seven teams were between 6:00 and 6:59. Four were between 7:00 and 7:59.
Day two. Thursday. The longest session of the three. It started at 3 p.m. and the last canoe of the day finished at around 7 p.m. The Thursday sprint list featured 49 teams. 
Weather conditions for Thursday: partly cloudy, not as hot as Wednesday.
Andrew Triebold and Steve Lajoie had the best sprint of the Thursday session with a time of 4:47.15. It was the fastest time in the event’s history for the new course. Blais and Mathieu Pellerin established the previous record of 4:47.93 in 2016, the first year for the new course.
Mike Davis and Weston Willoughby had the second best time of the day at 5:00.76.
Wesley Dean and Pete Mead had the third fastest sprint of the day at 5:03.55.
Trevor Lefever and Shane MacDowell posted the fourth best time of the Thursday session (5:11.40) and Trevor Robinson and Keir Johnston had the fifth fastest time of the day (5:13.35).
Thursday’s sprint times ranged from 4:47.15 to 11:26.82.
After two days of sprints, the top five teams were: 1) Triebold and Lajoie; 2) Walton and Blais; 3) Davis and Willoughby; 4) Dean and Mead; 5) Lefever and MacDowell.
Day three. Friday, July 27. Cloudy, rain toward the end of the session. Friday’s sprints featured 19 canoes.
Christophe Proulx and Samuel Frigon had the top sprint time of Friday’s group at 4:53.20. It was the second best time of the event.
Logan Mynar and Kyle Mynar had the second fastest time on Friday at 5:01.99.
Jim Pellerin and Vincent Bellemare were the third best team on Friday with a sprint time of 5:14.41. Fourth best on Friday? Jason Hatfield and Serge Pagé (5:23.15). Fifth? Michael Schlimmer and Kaitlin Jiral, 5:36.13.
Friday’s sprint times ranged from 4:53.20 to 7:27.28.
In all, for the three-day event, 11 teams posted times better than the record on the old course. Before 2016, the sprint record was 5:22.17, a mark established by Triebold and Matt Rimer in 2006. 
With all of this year’s sprints completed, these were the teams that earned spots in the first three rows for the run to the river: (row one) Triebold and Lajoie; Proulx and Frigon; Walton and Blais; Davis and Willoughby; Mynar and Mynar; (row two) Dean and Mead; Lefever and MacDowell; Robinson and Johnston; Pellerin and Bellemare; Medina and Meersman; (row three) Patrick Madden and Steve Watson; Bill Torongo and Kyle Stonehouse; Hatfield and Pagé; Ryan Zaveral and Adam Gelinas; Rich Lauth and Colin Hunter.
In recent years, the time trials event has provided a strong forecast of which teams will finish at the top and which teams will finish at the bottom (or not at all) during the AuSable River Canoe Marathon.
This year, 18 of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon’s top 20 finishers at time trials also finished in the top 20 during the race.
AuSable Marathon teams with the slowest sprint times, in general, have a low finish rate. 
This year, the four slowest teams at time trials posted four DNFs. 
Overall, 67 of the 84 teams in the 2018 AuSable Marathon finished the race.
 
Time Trials Results
Place Canoe# Name Name Time
1 01 Andrew Triebold Steve Lajoie 00:04:47.15 (Record time for the new sprint course)
2 02 Christophe Proulx Samuel Frigon 04:53.20
3 13 Nick Walton Guillaume Blais 04:54.13
4 55 Mike Davis Weston Willoughby 05:00.76
5 97 Logan Mynar Kyle Mynar 05:01.99
6 08 Wesley Dean Pete Mead 05:03.55
7 91 Trevor Lefever Shane MacDowell 05:11.40
8 07 Trevor Robinson Keir Johnston 05:13.35
9 90 Jim Pellerin Vincent Bellemare 05:14.41
10 63 Daniel Medina Matt Meersman 05:16.21
11 66 Patrick Madden Steve Watson 05:17.83
12 14 Bill Torongo Kyle Stonehouse 05:22.21
13 68 Jason Hatfield Serge Pagé 05:23.15
14 62 Ryan Zaveral Adam Gelinas 05:23.39
15 22 Richard Lauth Colin Hunter 05:26.48
16 15 Pierre-Olivier Quesnel Normand Mainguy 05:27.07
17 87 Jorden Wakeley Hailey Halstead 05:28.71
18 44 Flash Marsh Matt Gabriel, Jr. 05:29.13
19 30 Eric Batway Carson Burmeister 05:32.56
20 98 Michael Schlimmer Kaitlin Jiral 05:36.13
21 82 Clark Kent Russ Reker 05:40.36
22 23 Joseph Schlimmer Sylvie Nadeau 05:40.82
23 83 Philip Millspaugh Holly Reynolds 05:41.09
24 25 Sean Casey Mike Hale 05:41.12
25 89 Tim McClure Ryan McClure 05:41.78
26 37 Rebecca Davis Edith MacHattie 05:43.11
27 93 Ryan Peterson Maria Schilling 05:44.81
28 99 Antoine Rouleau Rosalie Frigon 05:45.62
29 57 Jon Webb Anthony Massicotte 05:46.16
30 05 Chris Issendorf Ian Rolls 05:49.79
31 52 Paul Olney JoAnn Olney 05:52.40
32 53 Alex Brick Joe Manns 05:53.38
33 74 Seth Miller Stephen Miller 05:53.49
34 10 Joe Leusby Dylan Kirk 05:55.31
35 43 Mike Hartman Chris Hewitt 05:58.51
36 41 Jérémie Fortin René Joly 06:04.21
37 88 Brad Wilson Adam Fujita 06:07.25
38 72 Allen Limberg Barb Bradley 06:07.72
39 24 Kristi Treston Katie Treston 06:10.70
40 77 Tyler Sika Rick Sika 06:10.99
41 36 Joel Mack Michael Garon 06:11.60
42 50 Levi Korneli Bill Mahaffy, Jr. 06:11.68
43 19 Zachary Greffard Louis-Simon Pruneau 06:12.12
44 31 Chris Cupp Jessica Kozarek 06:12.61
45 29 Sean Brabant Rodney Matthews 06:13.04
46 00 Robert Bradford Mike Bradford 06:13.06
47 79 Doug Moggo Bruce Daman 06:14.14
48 70 Chris Gallagher Kevin Stalheim 06:17.96
49 58 Greg Zophy Io Harberts 06:21.83
50 54 Fred Mills Lynne Witte 06:22.06
51 73 Jon Vermilyea Ed Wagner 06:23.92
52 21 Brandon Gerardy Stephen Leppard 06:25.05
53 11 Brian Jones Nathan Tart 06:29.83
54 47 Jeff DeFeo Briana Fitzgerald 06:30.99
55 61 Chuck Hewitt Erin Thompson 06:32.69
56 60 Kevin Berl Roger Henry 06:34.05
57 84 Nate Winkler Rebecca Sutter 06:37.41
58 86 Chris Broderson Emily Broderson 06:38.27
59 94 Dominic Paquin Daniel St. Arnaud 06:40.38
60 32 James Miller Frank Kingma 06:41.04
61 12 Josh Kellogg Mike Kellogg 06:41.84
62 71 Mark Koenig Nick Lyesiuk 06:44.94
63 39 Kelly Truitt Teddy Gray 06:45.01
64 20 Kris Kalbfleisch Rob Shadley 06:47.15
65 48 Robby Kimsel Joey Kimsel 06:49.35
66 81 Sinthang Has Jeremiah Menk 06:53.52
67 80 Jeremy Kellogg Jerod Schell 06:55.96
68 95 Rick Gillings Sebashton Carpenter 06:56.02
69 17 Rodney Elliott Nicole Owens 07:00.31
70 42 Jon Thompson Roy Sowersby 07:01.22
71 56 Travis Heed Peter Heed 07:08.43
72 33 Ken Streb Debbie Brax 07:09.27
73 69 Chris Scully Dale Thompson 07:10.31
74 18 Steve Belknap Shawn Baynes 07:11.75
75 35 Zachary Childs Ryan Childs 07:15.64
76 26 Andrew Weeks Paddi Thornburg 07:20.49
77 28 Pam Fitzgerald Vicki Cummings 07:21.69
78 78 Benedict Schlimmer Mary Schlimmer 07:27.28
79 34 Ed Lipinski Scott Doederlein 07:33.31
80 96 Nathan Tate Eldon Barclay 07:40.32
81 49 Richard Neugebauer Lorraine Turturro 07:58.70
82 75 Jessie Hadley Jodi Kaiser 08:07.74
83 38 David Hallison Jason Holton 08:26.82
84 45 Daniel Sherman Bradley Thompson 11:26.82
 
More detailed sprint results as they come inre available at the AuSable Marathon's website: https://www.ausablecanoemarathon.org/rd-checkpoint-details/?CheckpointID...
 
Best Sprint Times, 2000-2018 – AuSable River Canoe Marathon
Year, Team, Time
2018 Andrew Triebold Steve Lajoie 4:47.15 ***
2017 Steve Lajoie Guillaume Blais 4:51.58
2016 Mathieu Pellerin Guillaume Blais 4:47.93 **
2015 Andrew Triebold Steve Lajoie 5:23.04
2014 Andrew Triebold Steve Lajoie 5:28.10
2013 Andrew Triebold Steve Lajoie 5:28.34
2012 Andrew Triebold Steve Lajoie 5:29.15
2011 Andrew Triebold Steve Lajoie 5:32.04
2010 Andrew Triebold Steve Lajoie 5:35.82
2009 Andrew Triebold Steve Lajoie 5:34.45
2008 Andrew Triebold Steve Lajoie 5:28.67
2007 Andrew Triebold Matthew Rimer 5:26.24
2006 Andrew Triebold Matthew Rimer 5:22.17  *
2005 Andrew Triebold Matthew Rimer 5:24.41
2004 Mo Harwood, Jr. Matthew Rimer 5:25.44
2003 Jeff Kolka Serge Corbin 5:34.04
2002 Mo Harwood, Jr. Matthew Rimer 5:39.74
2001 Jeff Kolka Serge Corbin 5:41.17 
2000 Tim Triebold Matthew Rimer 5:57.54 
 
* Record sprint time for the old course
** First year for the new sprint course
*** Record sprint time for the new course
 

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