Spikes Challenge C-2 race features record field for second straight year
Tue, 07/25/2023 - 1:39pm caleb
Christophe Proulx, Ryan Halstead win race from Grayling to McMasters Bridge on Sunday, July 23
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Canoe #2 was number one on Sunday as Christophe Proulx and Ryan Halstead took first place during the annual Spike’s Challenge C-2 event, a race from the Old AuSable Fly Shop in Grayling to McMasters Bridge that featured a record field this year with almost 100 teams.
The 2023 Spike’s Challenge C-2 race featured 99 duos (84 Expert I, 15 Expert II), 13 more than the previous record of 86 (established last year).
Proulx and Halstead finished first with a time of 2:40:11.
In a close battle for second place, Wes Dean and Steve Lajoie edged Matt Gabriel and Ryan Zaveral by one second, 2:40:47 to 2:40:48.
Mike Davis and Guillaume Blais took fourth place with a time of 2:43:10. Chris Issendorf and Pete Mead finished fifth with a time of 2:43:17.
Kyle Stonehouse and Kyle Mynar took sixth (2:44:04), Clay Wyatt and Logan Mynar placed seventh (2:44:29), Danny Medina and Carson Burmeister were eighth (2:45:04), Weston Willoughby and Matt Meersman finished ninth (2:45:30), and Rich Lauth and Colin Hunter took 10th (2:46:08).
Rodney Halstead and Spencer Derenzy finished 11th (2:48:50), Louis-Simon Pruneau and Christian Charette placed 12th (2:50:10), Travis Mecklenburg and Austin Weiler were 13th (2:50:17), Josh Sheldon and Derek Ferry took 14th (2:51:18), Doug Dalman and Brad Wilson finished 15th (2:54:51), and Shane MacDowell and Jake Crotser were 16th (2:58:59).
The first place mixed team – Eve Chamberland and Michael Schlimmer – finished 17th overall with a time of 2:59:06.
Flash Marsh and Dave Hawkins took 18th (3:00:01), Dan Mecklenburg and Jon Webb finished 19th (3:00:45), Sean Brabant and Caleb Watson placed 20th (3:01:06), Ben Tarbutton and Dave Smith were 21st (3:01:22), and Jason Hatfield and Guy Rousseau finished 22nd (3:01:51).
The second mixed team to finish – Gaston Jones and Mary Schlimmer-Willoughby – placed 23rd overall with a time of 3:03:35. Dodd Yeager and Shannon Issendorf, the third place mixed team, finished 29th overall (3:07:18). Cecili Bugge and Wade Binion finished fourth in the mixed division (32nd overall) with a time of 3:10:05. Sean Casey and Katie Peck were the fifth mixed team to finish (3:10:56, 34th overall).
The top women’s division team this year – Lydia Huelskamp and Kaitlin Mynar – finished 40th overall with a time of 3:13:37. The second place mixed team, Maria Schilling and Melissa Swislosky, placed 49th overall with a time of 3:17:34.
Tim McClure and Liam Mahaffy won the Expert II division with a time of 3:17:53. Anthony Fisher and Jayden Russell took second place in the Expert II race with a time of 3:22:48. Jerry Lambert and Johnathan George were third in the Expert II division at 3:27:11.
Spike’s Keg ‘O’ Nails, a local restaurant and tavern, started the Spike’s Challenge C-2 race in 1991 as a shorter daytime version of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon (a 120-mile non-stop race from Grayling to Oscoda).
Going into 2023, only 15 different paddlers had ever finished in first place during the Spike’s Challenge C-2 race. Proulx and Halstead – both of whom are former AuSable Marathon champions – extended that number to 17 with their first victories during the event.
Complete results of the 2023 Spike’s Challenge C-2 race are available online at https://www.ausablecanoemarathon.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Spikes_2...