Sheenboro hosts first ever Canadian amphibious challenge

0
56

Pam Midgley from Ottawa participated in Canada’s first Amphibious Challenge in Sheenboro, September 24.

Peter L. Smith



Pam Midgley from Ottawa participated in Canada’s first Amphibious Challenge in Sheenboro, September 24.

Peter L. Smith

SHEENBORO – Hotel Pontiac at Fort William hosted Canada’s first amphibious challenge/Otillo-style swim/run, September 24. Dr. Simon Donato, a Canadian geologist, founder of Stoked Oats cereal, host of the Boundless television program, a world explorer, and an ultra endurance athlete, organized the event. He also founded and ran the Canadian Adventure Racing Association from 2004 – 2008. Donato and his father own a 1,000 acre property in Sheenboro.
The event was a test of endurance for the 27 participants, 11 of whom were female. Prior to the start, all athletes loosened up with some yoga and Louis Schryer, Maggie McDonald and Cindy Wheeler performed ‘O Canada’ to kick off the event.
The course began with a 9 km run from the beach of Hotel Pontiac over some challenging terrain. The athletes then entered the Ottawa River for 8 swims to 7 islands in the vicinity before finishing the last 500 meter swim back to Hotel Pontiac. Most participants ran solo, while some ran as teams.
Emmanuel Tousignant was the first to exit the Ottawa River and claim the fastest time of 2:27:40. Michele Clarke was the first female to cross the
finish line, finishing third with a time of 2:31:40.
The fastest team was Francis Hardwick and David Nogas, with a time
of 2:59:28.
Prizes were given to the athletes from many companies including Donato’s Stoked Oats, and the Pontiac Ouest municipalities who purchased gift
certificates from their local businesses.
The event also brought in some newcomers to the area, such as Pam Midgley from Ottawa who commented: “My husband, who came as my support crew, and I have never been to Sheenboro or this part of the Ottawa River before. It’s so amazingly beautiful! The best part was the gracious, friendly, and wonderful people of this area who welcomed us and made this race possible. I’m coming back next year!” 
Many volunteers assisted with the event, acting as spotters on the River and various islands, as well as on the trail route and at Hotel Pontiac. They were recognized with tokens of appreciation.