Canadian duo wins 2017 Spike’s Challenge

Lajoie and Blais, both former winners of the event, finish in 1st place as a team
The winners of Sunday’s 2017 Spike’s Challenge C-2 canoe race – Steve Lajoie and Guillaume Blais, both of Quebec – were both former first place finishers for the event, but this year was their first time winning the race together as a duo.
Lajoie won the Spike’s Challenge in 2003, 2004, and 2008 through 2015 with Andrew Triebold of Grayling. Now, including this year’s victory, Lajoie has won the race 11 times. Blais won in 2016 with Mathieu Pellerin, so the 2017 Spike’s Challenge victory gives him two consecutive first place finishes in the C-2 race.
The Spike’s Challenge starts in Grayling at the Old AuSable Fly Shop and ends at McMasters Bridge.
Lajoie and Blais reached the finish line this year in 2:38:44.
The battle for second place and third place came down to a sprint to the finish line, with Mike Davis and Weston Willoughby edging Nick Walton and Pete Mead by one second. Davis and Willoughby posted a final time of 2:41:46.
Triebold and Mary Schlimmer finished fourth overall and were the first place mixed division team. They posted a time of 2:42:58. 
Wes Dean and Jason Hatfield finished fifth with a time of 2:45:16. Ted Smutek and Matt Gabriel finished sixth (2:48:41) and Rich Lauth and Kyle Mynar took seventh (2:48:48). Christophe Proulx and Russ Reker placed eighth with a time of 2:49:32.
The final two top-10 teams were Patrick Madden and Phil Millspaugh (2:50:59) and Trevor Robinson and Bill Torongo (2:52:42).
Danny Medina and Austin Weiler took 11th (2:53:56). Wade Binion and Henner Cruz finished 12th (2:56:07). Kyle Stonehouse and Sean Brabant were 13th (2:57:58).
The 14th place canoe featured the first place women’s division team of Rebecca Davis and Mandy Trudgeon; they posted a final time of 2:58:27.
Overall numbers were down a little bit this year following a record number of teams for the 25th Spike’s Challenge in 2016. Last year’s C-2 race had 84 teams. This year’s race had 66 (61 Expert, 5 Expert II).
The Spike’s Challenge C-2 event started in 1991 as a shorter, daytime version of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon, a 120-mile race from Grayling to Oscoda. Many AuSable Marathon paddlers compete in the Spike’s Challenge, using it as a warm-up race. The Spike’s Challenge also offers local paddlers and others an opportunity to compete in a canoe race that takes only 2.5 to four hours in order to complete compared to 14 to 19 hours for the AuSable Marathon.
The Spike’s Challenge also gives spectators, feeder teams, and paddlers a daytime look at the Marathon’s first four timing locations (Burton’s Landing, Stephan Bridge, Wakeley Bridge, and McMasters Bridge) and other areas of the river.
The Spike’s Challenge and the AuSable Marathon have a similar starting method with competitors from both events running to the water with their canoes. The Spike’s Challenge run is shorter.
Going into Sunday’s Spike’s Challenge C-2 race, only 13 different paddlers had ever finished in first place during the event. The number will stay at 13 for another year, since both paddlers on this year’s winning team were former champions.
 
2017 Spike’s Challenge C-2 Race Results
C-2 Expert Class 
Place Canoe # Name Name Time
01 4 Steve Lajoie Guillaume Blais 2:38:44
02 55 Mike Davis Weston Willoughby 2:41:46
03 8 Pete Mead Nick Walton 2:41:47
04 1 Andy Triebold Mary Schlimmer 2:42:58
05 68 Wes Dean Jason Hatfield 2:45:17
06 94 Ted Smutek Matt Gabriel 2:48:41
07 P16 Kyle Mynar Rich Lauth 2:48:48
08 147 Christophe Proulx Russ Reker 2:49:32
09 113 Patrick Madden Phil Millspaugh 2:50:59
10 59 Trevor Robinson Bill Torongo 2:52:42 
11 P20 Danny Medina Austin Weiler 2:53:56
12 43 Wade Binion Henner Cruz 2:56:07
13 2 Kyle Stonehouse Sean Brabant 2:57:58
14 37 Rebecca Davis Mandy Trudgeon 2:58:27
15 41 Jeremie Forten Anthony Massicotte 2:59:08
16 P4 Sarah Lessard Simon Dessureault 2:59:14
17 71 Joe Manns Devin Arenz 3:00:29
18 44 Flash Marsh Carson Burmeister 3:02:08
19 57 Jon Webb Gwen Hills 3:02:29
20 62 Tom Trudgeon Phil Trudgeon 3:03:21
21 25 Mike Elenbaas Mike Hale 3:03:40
22 24 Katie Treston Kristi Treston 3:06:25
23 29 Nate Winkler Rod Matthews 3:07:51
24 X Paul Olney JoAnn Olney 3:08:15
25 40 Roger Moak Fred Mills 3:08:28
26 18 Dylan Kirk Tom Cramer 3:09:02
27 39 Sean Casey Bill Mahaffy 3:09:23
28 137 Bruce Barton Amy Solak 3:09:25
29 Z Doug Moggo Bruce Damen 3:10:19
30 250 Joel Mack Mike Garon 3:10:57
31 # Shawn Spallinger Chase Spallenger 3:11:40
32 10 Lynne Witte Tom Cannon 3:11:44
33 84 Karen Febey David Armstrong 3:12:44
34 XX Stan Anusiewicz Dean Coulson 3:14:48
35 96 Nate Tate Adam Fujita 3:15:51
36 21 Brandon Gerardy Stephen Leppard 3:17:00
37 23 Kevin Murphy Darin Nicholas 3:17:20
38 108 Fritz Hansen Jaya Elleson 3:19:46
39 196 Orville Short, Jr. Brian Barkholz 3:20:42
40 229 Rodney Elliot Nicki Owens 3:20:43
41 119 Tim Feldkamp Doug Heady 3:21:22
42 42 Jon Thompson Bryan Rearss 3:21:35
43 60 Rebecca Sutter Roger Henry 3:21:47
44 56 James Braig Kevin Stalheim 3:22:03
45 61 Chuck Hewitt Erin Thompson 3:22:27
46 120 Mike Kellogg Josh Kellogg 3:22:59
47 263 Ed Lipinski Scott Doederlein 3:23:20
48 70 Chris Gallagher Chris Ecker 3:23:51
49 243 Keith Wojan Jerry Killingbeck 3:25:32
50 193 Peggy English Ellen Thompson 3:25:58
51 28 David Sennett Ashley Cary 3:26:20
52 47 Jeff DeFeo Katy Schaaf 3:27:15
53 VV Derrak Ferry Dan Prause 3:27:26
54 206 Levi Korneli Evan Korneli 3:29:19
55 111 Jim Humes Ty Jensen 3:30:00
56 169 Andy Weeks Paddi Thornburg 3:30:08
57 89 Kaitlin Jiral Zach Peltier 3:30:47
58 32 Judi Clark Rod Clark 3:31:29
59 67 Mike Taylor Todd Bennett 3:31:39
60 232 David Hallison Jason Holton 3:39:15
61 0 Bob Bradford Janet Bradford 3:43:06
C-2 Expert II Class 
Place Canoe # Name Name Time
01 1196 Jeff Matthews Jordan Jamison 3:28:41
02 35 Ryan Childs Zachary Childs 3:30:23
03 171 Mark Rowe Lauren Fry 3:32:06
04 69 Chris Scully Ed Butler 3:35:07
05 45 Marcia Rimer August Triebold 3:40:42
 
Results courtesy of www.ausablecanoemarathon.org

 

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