C-1 race features record number of paddlers
Sixty-eight competitors race from Grayling to Burton’s Landing during Saturday’s Spike’s Challenge event
Sixty-eight paddlers – a new record for the event – raced from Grayling to Burton’s Landing in one-person canoes during the 2018 Spike’s Challenge C-1 race on Saturday night.
Last year’s C-1 race featured 55 competitors. In 2016, the event had 45 paddlers. In 2015, the C-1 race had 63 competitors. Before this year, the record for most competitors in the Spike’s Challenge C-1 race was 64 (2014 and 2012).
The C-1 race begins in Grayling at Joe Wakeley’s house (near Borchers AuSable Canoeing) and ends at Burton’s Landing. For the start, paddlers line up on both sides of the river in groups and leave in different heats. Starting positions are determined by random draw. It can be a challenging start with paddlers converging in the middle of the river during the start of each heat.
Finish times this year ranged from 41 minutes to 78 minutes, approximately.
Guillaume Blais finished first in the Expert Division with a time of 0:41:24.
Steve Lajoie took second place at 0:41:44. Mike Davis was third at 0:41:56. Weston Willoughby finished fourth with a time of 0:43:01. John Kasik was fifth at 0:43:38.
Thirteen paddlers competed in the Women’s Division of the Spike’s Challenge C-1 race on Saturday.
Rebecca Davis won the Women’s Division with a time of 0:46:32, the 14th best time overall. Mary Schlimmer, with a time of 0:47:10, was second in the Women’s Division and 15th overall.