By Chris Clark
Athletes braved the elements, and the limits of athletic endurance, on Saturday morning in Mount Forest, as organizers proudly presented their final annual Wellington North Fun Challenge.
A mini-triathlon that puts the emphasis on good times rather than great results, the event comprises a 1km lap swim in Lion Roy Grant Community Pool, a 20km bike ride to Holstein and back, and a 5km run around Mount Forest’s mill pond. Skies remained clear for the swim portion early in the day, but opened up in the late morning as entrants closed out their cycling and running events.
The top team of the day saw John Elvidge place third in the swim, Dylan Pust scamper to second in the run, and 75-year-old Jurgen von Boetticher dominate all riders in the bike portion of the race. Team Cork was the runner-up trio, as Kevin MacLean was fourth out of the pool, Campbell Cork tackled the bike ride, and Aurora Cork ran the 5km.
The day’s overall winner was Bryan Moran who, together with his brothers, originally created the precursor to the Fun Challenge; the infamous Quadboy. Moran was fourth overall in the run, and came in at 1:19.12 for the top prize.
Andy Aitken was second for the men, followed by Tobin Reimer in third, Mike Burke in fourth, and Gary Ghent in fifth. Rounding out the men’s ranks, from 6th through 10th, were Stephen Barry, Dave Moran, Marc Vacheresse, Rhodri Goodall and Simon Goodall.
Not far off the overall lead was women’s champion Heather Seigfried, who crossed the finish line in 1:22.58. Debbie Aitken used an excellent swim to hold second place, Andrea Croft was third, Mary-Lynne Zeinstra was fourth, and Valerie Droog closed out the top five for the ladies.
Rounding out the women’s division, from 6th through 14th, were Teresa Ghent, Paula Rogers, Rhian Goodall, Nicole Paddon, Erin Vacheresse, Katherine Dippel, Cerys Goodall, Andrea Gladwin and Laurie Lindenschmidt.
The annual Spirit Award, for the athlete best exemplifying what the Fun Challenge is all about, went to Andrea Gladwin; who missed a crucial turn on the race course and ended up running her way to Conn.
For all the athletes, volunteers and community members who have enjoyed the Wellington North Fun Challenge over the years, a debt of thanks is owed to the organizers for their hard work in maintaining such an excellent event.