2022 Spikes Challenge C-2 event features record number of teams

Steve Lajoie and Guillaume Blais take first place during annual race from Grayling to McMasters Bridge
The Canadian team of Steve Lajoie and Guillaume Blais took first place in Sunday’s Spike’s Challenge C-2 canoe event – a race from Grayling to McMasters Bridge – on Sunday, edging last year’s AuSable River Canoe Marathon champions, Jorden Wakeley and Matt Meersman, by 50 seconds during a year that featured record participation.
“John was right. I was wrong,” said Cheryl Lucey, who – along with her husband, John Lucey – is one of the organizers for the Spike’s Challenge.
Prior to this year’s race, Cheryl thought the event might have fewer canoes because of the low water levels in the AuSable River.
“I was expecting like 75, maybe 77, and he said 85,” Cheryl said.
The 2022 Spike’s Challenge C-2 event featured 86 teams, a new record for the race. The previous mark for most Spike’s Challenge teams was 84, a record established in 2016.
Approximately the first 30 minutes of the race featured light rain. 
“(The rain) didn’t really affect anything. John was at the start and everybody got in, nobody fell, nobody was slipping on the road, so that was a good thing,” Cheryl said.
The top three teams during this year’s Spike’s Challenge C-2 race included four former AuSable River Canoe Marathon champion paddlers.
Lajoie and Blais reached the finish line in 2:40:12. Lajoie is an 11-time AuSable Marathon champion (11 wins with Andrew Triebold).
Wakeley and Meersman – who set the new all-time record for finish time during last year’s Marathon win – took second place on Sunday with a time of 2:41:02.
Wes Dean and Ryan Halstead finished third in the 2022 Spike’s Challenge C-2 race with a time of 2:41:55. Halstead won the AuSable Marathon in 2016 (with Christophe Proulx). 
Logan Mynar and Kyle Mynar took fourth (2:44:08) and Danny Medina and Colin G. Hunter placed fifth (2:45:42) during this year’s Spike’s Challenge.
Carson Burmeister and Pete Mead took sixth with a time of 2:46:55. Rich Lauth and Matt Gabriel finished seventh (2:47:15). Mike Davis and Ryan Zaveral took eighth (2:48:00). Patrick Madden and Adam Gelinas finished ninth (2:48:06). Travis Mecklenburg and Austin Weiler took 10th with a time of 2:54:08.
Weston Willoughby and Dane Trudgeon took 11th (2:55:12). Nick Walton and Clay Wyatt placed 12th (2:56:33). Jake Crotser and Al Shaver finished 13th (2:57:00).
Brad Wilson and Jason Hatfield took 14th place with a time of 2:58:01. Derek Ferry and Mo Harwood were 15th with a time of 2:58:52. Russ Reker and Zachary Childs were 16th (3:00:43), Jon Webb and Dan Mecklenburg were 17th (3:00:56), Bill Torongo and Doug Dalman were 18th (3:02:46), Ben Tarbutton and David Smith were 19th (3:03:26), and Phil Millspaugh and Joe Schlimmer were 20th (3:05:52).
Katie Treston and Kristi Treston – the top women’s division team – finished 27th overall with a time of 3:10:01.
The top mixed team in this year’s Spike’s Challenge – Dodd Yeager and Shannon Issendorf – finished 29th overall with a time of 3:12:32.
Spike’s Keg ‘O’ Nails started the Spike’s Challenge C-2 race 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 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 at the Old AuSable Fly Shop with their canoes. The Spike’s Challenge run is shorter. Both races determine starting positions for the running starts with a time trials event.
Going into Sunday’s Spike’s Challenge C-2 race, only 15 different paddlers had ever finished in first place during the event. Lajoie and Blais have both won the race in previous years, so the number will remain at 15. Lajoie has now won the Spike’s Challenge 14 times. It was the third first place finish for Blais in the Spike’s Challenge C-2 event.
Complete results of the 2022 Spike’s Challenge C-2 race are are available online at the AuSable River Canoe Marathon’s official website at www.ausablecanoemarathon.org. Use the “Events” option at the top to select “Spike’s Challenge” and then scroll down to “Past Spike’s Challenge Results” and select “2022.”
 
2022 Spike’s Challenge C-2 Race Results
C-2 Expert Class 
Place Canoe # Name Name Time
01 X Steve Lajoie Guillaume Blais 2:40:12
02 63 Matt Meersman Jorden Wakeley 2:41:02
03 2 Wes Dean Ryan Halstead 2:41:55
04 97 Logan Mynar Kyle Mynar 2:44:08
05 22 Danny Medina Colin G. Hunter 2:45:42
06 8 Carson Burmeister Pete Mead 2:46:55
07 52 Rich Lauth Matt Gabriel 2:47:15
08 55 Mike Davis Ryan Zaveral 2:48:00
09 Z Patrick Madden Adam Gelinas 2:48:06
10 90 Travis Mecklenburg Austin Weiler 2:54:08
11 72 Weston Willoughby Dane Trudgeon 2:55:12
12 13 Nick Walton Clay Wyatt 2:56:33
13 3 Jake Crotser Al Shaver 2:57:00
14 68 Brad Wilson Jason Hatfield 2:58:01
15 210 Derek Ferry Mo Harwood 2:58:52
16 147 Russ Reker Zachary Childs 3:00:43
17 57 Jon Webb Dan Mecklenburg 3:00:56
18 14 Bill Torongo Doug Dalman 3:02:46
19 174 Ben Tarbutton David Smith 3:03:26
20 96 Phil Millspaugh Joe Schlimmer 3:05:52
21 20 David Teddy Flash Marsh 3:06:00
22 98 Joe Leusby Rob Shadley 3:06:03
23 39 David Hawkins Sean Casey 3:08:25
24 53 Sean Brabant Jason Sharpe 3:09:23
25 94 Wade Binion Gaston Jones 3:09:47
26 129 Kyle Charters Caleb Watson 3:09:50
27 24 Katie Treston Kristi Treston 3:10:01
28 180 Doug Gillin Dale Gust 3:10:47
29 16 Dodd Yeager Shannon Issendorf 3:12:32
30 92 Lydia Huelskamp Kaitlin Mynar 3:13:01
31 111 Doug Heedy Sean Newmister 3:13:12
32 137 Roxanne Barton Rebecca Davis 3:14:55
33 79 Zach Cheney Mike Garon 3:15:30
34 311 Fred Kueffer Kira Stolen 3:15:33
35 131 Brian Borchers Josh Ball 3:17:05
36 28 Steve Landick Connor Landick 3:17:54
37 P2 Greg Zophy Maria Schilling 3:17:56
38 15 Joe Roman Allan Putnam 3:18:11
39 45 Kyle A. Issendorf Andrew Condie 3:18:25
40 175 Ryan Childs Chuck Hewitt 3:18:52
41 102 Robert Smith Will Fowler 3:19:09
42 25 Tom Cannon Chase Matthews 3:19:39
43 229 Rodney Elliott Fred Mills 3:19:57
44 196 Brian Barkholz Orville Short Jr. 3:20:10
45 5 Bruce Barton Cecili Bugge 3:21:29
46 200 Mickey Kimsel Joey Kimsel 3:21:47
47 186 Roy Sowersby Aaron Putnam 3:22:08
48 158 Garrett Ziegler John Wieringa 3:22:41
49 26 Matt McDonald Nick McDonald 3:23:06
50 31 Terry Curley Bruce Daman 3:23:36
51 201 Spencer Oppermann Brennan Berkshire 3:23:40
52 18 Chris Hewitt Ted Lind 3:24:36
53 239 Bill Mahaffy Diana Jurewicz 3:24:44
54 187 Scott Doederlein Chris Ecker 3:24:54
55 54 Lynne Witte Andy Weeks 3:26:25
56 248 Jacob Cramer Bernie Tuszynski 3:27:01
57 27 Ray Bauer Dwight Walker 3:27:30
58 21 Brandon Gerardy Stephen Leppard 3:27:33
59 58 Karen Pleasant Io Harberts 3:27:48
60 47 Jeff DeFeo Jo Hamlin 3:27:59
61 152 Jackson Tucker Dale Thompson 3:28:31
62 M Virginia Parker Samantha Binion 3:29:23
63 XL5 Dave Timmerman Jim Braig 3:29:54
64 60 Roger Henry Jim Amell 3:30:48
65 161 Nicole Rice-Owens Bryce Martin 3:31:07
66 33 Becky Sutter Holly Crouch 3:31:15
67 108 Fritz Hansen Jaya Elleson 3:31:27
68 51 Pam Fitzgerald Phil Armstrong 3:31:36
69 227 Caleb Kies David Kies 3:33:14
70 176 Evan Mahon Nate Greeley 3:33:41
71 224 Natalie Kellogg Mike Kellogg 3:33:56
72 243 Keith Wojahn Jerry Killingbeck 3:35:31
73 232 David Hallison Mandee Mlcek 3:35:52
74 119 Tim Feldkamp Mark Schmune 3:36:28
75 80 Bob Spain Peter Heed 3:36:40
76 118 William Dean Lewis Madill 3:41:08
77 41 Carlos Martinez Gabriel Savaro-Gaumond 3:41:51
78 V Chris Scully Kris Kablfleish 3:46:18
79 31X David Sennett Rich Neugebauer 3:56:16
 
C-2 Expert II Class 
Place Canoe # Name Name Time
01 29 Kelly Mammel Jay Mammel 3:37:25
02 100 Katelyn Moore Amy Solak 3:37:35
03 246 Ursula Latreille Richard Holsbeke 3:38:26
04 0 Janet Bradford David Phelps 3:52:38
05 151 Lindy Kellogg Josh Kellogg 3:53:46
06 126 Jerry Kellogg Jessica Pieri 4:00:52
07 124 Jenna Cooke Trevor Cooke DNF
 
Results courtesy of AuSable River Canoe Marathon/Spike’s Challenge

 

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