September 26, 2018
Updated July 29 at 4:31 p.m.

Triebold and Lajoie win 2018 AuSable River Canoe Marathon

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GRAYLING — After nearly 14 and a half hours, Andrew Triebold of Grayling and Steve Lajoie of Mirabel, Quebec took the win in the 71st annual AuSable River Canoe Marathon as they crossed the finish line in Oscoda Sunday morning.

The two finished with a time of 14 hours, 17 minutes and 36 seconds. They were about 13 minutes ahead of second-place finishers, Christophe Proulx and Samuel Frigon, who finished with a time of 14 hours, 30 minutes and 18 seconds.

Nearly 90 teams gathered for the start of the roughly 18-hour canoe race that begins Saturday evening in Grayling and ends Sunday morning in Oscoda, traversing the AuSable River. Christophe Proulx and Samuel Frigon led the competitors to the water after the Le Mans-style start in Grayling, but by the time the paddlers reached Stephan Bridge, Andrew Triebold and Steve Lajoie had taken the lead, holding about a two-and-a-half-minute lead. By the time they arrived at the Mio Dam during the early hours of Sunday morning, that lead had increased to around eight minutes.

As for local competitors, Mio’s Flash Marsh paddling with Grayling’s Matt Gabriel Jr., finished in 24th place overall with a time of 15 hours, 58 minutes and 58 seconds. Mio’s Kris Kalbfleisch paddling with Cass City’s Rob Shadley finished 58th overall (17:43:14). Lewiston’s Jon Thompson paddling with Roy Sowersby of Dearborn Heights fell out of the race before the 4001 bridge crossing for unknown reasons, placing them in 73rd place overall. Prescott’s Rick Gillings and Sebashton Carpenter also fell out of the race prior to the Parmalee Bridge due to damage, relegating them to 83rd place.

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