Summers in Sudbury can be pretty darn special.
No need to convince those who gathered on the shores of Lake Nepahwin for the 36th edition of the Sudbury Fitness Challenge Island Swim, the 17th time the event has been staged in memory of Ian McCloy.
The water temperature, Sunday morning, could not have been more perfect, with nary the tiniest wave in sight, and a gentle breeze blowing that provided just the right amount of refreshment to cool off all those exiting the water, their race distance completed.
“When I first left for university, I thought that I would never be coming back here,” suggested 23 year-old former Lockerby Composite and Sudbury Laurentian Swim Club swimmer Kelly Hotta. “But having been in London and Toronto now, I would definitely come back. Until you leave it and experience life in a bigger city, only then do you miss it.”
“You miss having a lake two minutes from wherever you are in the city. It makes you want to be more active,” added the Western University graduate, who has just completed her first year of four at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto.
Despite being extremely limited in terms of her pre-race training, Hotta placed second only to older brother Jordan in the two mile event, with Aislinn Munro and Kelly Thompson a little further back in third and fourth respectively. “I took a pretty big hiatus when I finished at Western two years ago,” said Hotta. “I needed a break.”
“I swam a few times over the course of the past few weeks, since I've been home, six times maybe.” Still, it's difficult for athletes who have raced in an ultra competitive setting for many, many years, to suddenly relinquish that side of their personality completely.
“I was supposed to swim with Jordan the whole way, but he left me behind after 200 metres,” Hotta suggested with a laugh. “I just knew that as soon as I got here, I was going to be competitive with it. It was annoying to watch Jordan pulling away from me, but I'm not really in the shape to be super competitive at this point.”
“I've lost a lot of my shoulder strength, so that was my downfall, but for not really swimming, I'm pretty happy with it.”
With expectations that were substantially more tempered, Sudbury Fitness Challenge mainstay Karen Broughton could relate to the dichotomy that Hotta was feeling. “I like participating and my athletic background is low key,” suggested the 56 year old native of Ottawa, who has enthusiastically called Sudbury home for the past 15 years or so, as both she and her husband moved to the area for work.
“My swim today was better than I expected. I had a very busy spring and I really missed a lot of swimming, so I was pretty happy with you it went. I guess that I am just competitive enough that I pay attention to whether I'm improving or not, is this year better than last year. That's part of this for me, but I'm definitely not competing against others, really.”
A basketball and volleyball player through high-school, Broughton would play one year of varsity hoops while attending Guelph University, working her way through to more individualized athletic pursuits later in life, including the two elements that converged on this day.
“I joined masters swimming about five years ago,” said Broughton, alluding to the Laurentian Masters Swim Club that organizes the Ian McCloy Island Swim each and every year, under the stewardship of Laura Young. “I don't compete in other masters swim events, other than the Fitness Challenge. I just made a New Year's resolution one year to try and do all of the Fitness Challenge events.”
And through it all, she noted a very common bond, year round, whether she is heading to the pool at Laurentian University, or out on the cross-country ski trails at Walden Nordic in Naughton. “A lot of what I do, I do because there's a big group of us that really enjoy doing it together,” said Broughton.
“It's way more motivating to get out and enjoy yourself with friends than to try and self-motivate.”
Self-motivation, however, was not an issue at all when it came to distance runner Paul McCloy, one of several family members who made the trip to Sudbury this year. Representing Canada in the 10,000 metre race at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, the now 55 year old Calgary resident still holds the national 10 km road race record, posting a time of 28:17 in Florida back in 1987.
One of seven siblings in the family, and four years younger than his older brother Ian, Paul McCloy noted that things kind of aligned themselves nicely for something of a family reunion in Sudbury this year. “Usually someone from the family is here every year,” he said.
“My two sisters in Toronto have been up a number of times, my brother in the New York area has been here a couple of times.” This year, however, was special, with May McCloy on hand for the festivities, taking it all on while relaxing on a chair on the beach, the family matriarch just a smidge shy of her 90th birthday. “I don't know if mom had actually been up since Ian was working here,” said Paul.
“But it kind of worked out this year. She lives at home, out east (in Newfoundland, where the family is from), with my sister, and they are actually having the house done, so they had to clear out for a couple of weeks this summer.”
With a handful of the McCloy clan having pursued a variety of athletic goals at a national level and beyond, it was no surprise that Ian would have become so involved in the Sudbury sports community, shortly after moving to the area and accepting a job with the City as an engineer back in the mid 1990's.
“He was always active, busy looking after things, and very competitive,” recalled Paul. “And he was always into life-long swimming.”
Truth be told, on a glorious summer day, on the shores of one of the hundreds of lakes in this area, there really isn't anything better.
Following are results for the various distances from the 2019 Ian McCloy Island Swim:Two Mile Swim
1st - Jordan Hotta - 43:12 (M - 20-29)
2nd - Kelly Hotta - 44:32 (F - 20-29)
3rd - Aislinn Munro - 47:04 (F - 13-16)
4th - Kelly Thompson - 48:13 (M - 17-19)
5th - Tony Staalstra - 49:36 (M - 50-59)
6th - Sara McIlraith - 52:04 (F - 40-49)
7th - Paul Duhamel - 52:14 (M - 50-59)
8th - Noah Rioux - 53:27 (M - 13-16)
9th - Ginny Denomme - 53:39 (F - 40-49)
10th - Neel Mathur - 55:12 (M - 40-49)
11th - Monika Haring - 55:16 (F - 30-39)
12th - Clinton Lahnalampi - 55:22 (M - 40-49)
13th - Julie Falvo - 55:48 (F - 30-39)
14th - Laura Young - 56:06 (F - 50-59)
15th - Ursula McCloy - 56:32 (F - 50-59)
16th - Ray Wiss - 1:01:55 (M - 60-69)
17th - Griffin Whorley - 1:04:53 (M - 13-16)
18th - Tony Sundholm* - 1:28:49 (M - 60-69)
* this year's race marked the 26th time Sundholm has competed in the race, 22 times completing the 2-mile distance
One Mile Swim
1st - Tamara Flannigan - 24:06 (F - 40-49)
2nd - Genna Howard - 26:44 (F - 30-39)
3rd - Laihna Munro - 28:38 (F - 12 & under)
4th - Richard Coté - 29:26 (M - 60-69)
5th - Lucia Salmaso - 30:36 (F - 12 & under)
6th - Jess Lonsdale - 30:51 (F - 30-39)
7th - Abbey Krawczuk - 31:00 (F - 13-16)
8th - Scott Hopkins - 31:05 (M - 40-49)
9th - Joshua Reid - 31:39 (M - 40-49)
10th - Neil Phipps - 31:43 (M - 40-49)
11th - Colin Ward - 32:03 (M - 40-49)
12th - Stacey Trottier - 32:08 (F - 40-49)
13th - Cora McCloy - 32:10 (F - 50-59)
14th - Todd Withers - 32:16 (M - 50-59)
15th - Karen Broughton - 32:28 (F - 50-59)
16th - Joe Lonsdale - 33:09 (M - 30-39)
17th - Carol Mourre - 33:33 (F - 40-49)
18th - Suzanne Halet - 34:18 (F - 30-39)
19th - Mitch Trottier - 34:26 (M - 40-49)
20th - Paul Guerin - 35:26 (M - 40-49)
21st - Linda Tenhunen - 37:52 (F - 60-69)
22nd - Darren Kleven - 38:06 (M - 50-59)
23rd - Jason Chenard - 38:11 (M - 30-39)
24th - Robert Marcolini - 38:55 (M - 50-59)
25th - Jill Twora - 38:59 (F - 30-39)
26th - Bruce Holson - 40:43 (M - 60-69)
27th - Jeffrey Cayen - 45:15 (M - 40-49)
28th - Susan Dittus - 58:05 (F - 40-49)
29th - Janet Kay - 58:07 (F - 50-59)
1st - Norah Morrissey - 10:13 (F - 12 & under)
2nd - Dorothy Dong - 10:49 (F - 12 & under)
3rd - Jayda Hartley - 11:04 (F - 12 & under)
4th - Kaeden Ward - 11:47 (M - 13-16)
5th - Donna Smrek - 14:08 (F - 50-59)
6th - Mariane Larose - 14:35 (F - 50-59)
7th - Helen Bobiwash - 15:12 (F - 50-59)
8th - Mike Banks - 15:39 (M - 40-49)
9th - Paul McCloy - 16:23 (M - 50-59)
10th - Karen Renout - 16:58 (F - 60-69)
11th - Maureen Moustgaard - 32:45 (F - 70-79)
Kids 100m Swim
1st - Sophia Salmaso - 3:01 (F)
2nd - Julian Luoma - 3:42 (M)
3rd - Joe Zito - 3:35 (M)