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2008 Season Review

2008 was a PBP hangover year. It is normal for club total distance to dip dramatically for this year in the four year cycle, but it didn't happen this time around. Our club total of 213,874 is the third highest in our history after PBP years 2003 and 2007. No doubt the 26 club finishers of the Rocky Mountain 1200 played a part in this. Indeed Rocky 12 was centre stage for us this year so let's start there.

Rocky Mountain 1200
With Roger and Ali Holt as organizers and Bob and Patty Marsh as ride directors the event ran flawlessly. Visiting riders couldn't say enough about the event and especially the volunteers. The
event was greatly honoured to have Robert and Suzanne Lepertel on the course. Beginning in 1966 Bob Lepertel built Paris Brest Paris into the mega event it is today.

BC riders performed exceptionally well at Rocky - Ken Bonner, Nigel Press and Keith Fraser were the first three finishers. (Keith finished co 3rd alongside Bryan Johnson, USA). Ken did something few of us thought was ever going to be possible. He broke Othmar Altmann's untouchable 2002 course record, and did it convincingly. He slashed 90 minutes off the Austrian's time, lowering the new course record to 50:34. Ken has been first finisher in 3 of the last 4 Rockys. Nigel's time of 54:18 was impressive as well - it's the forth fastest RM1200 time ever. There was a woman's course record also this year with Sophie Matter from France finishing in 64:44, knocking over seven hours off Susan Barr's 2004 mark. Sophie was the 8th finisher overall. Congratulations also to Ron Himschoot and Manfred Kuchenmuller who each finished their 6th Rocky Mt 1200. There were 102 starters in the 2008 event, and 86 finishers.

From Rocky to Rookies... 2008 saw a bumper crop of first time super randonneurs. Congratulations to Dug Andrusiek, Ian Fillinger, Colin Fingler, Mark Ford, Doug Fox, Jeff Oh, Julie Scott-Ashe and Josh Young. ...And the rando rookie award, for most event distance by a first time super randonneur (there's actually no award) goes to Julie Scott-Ashe with 3269 km. Dug, Ian and Josh were next on the list with 2700 km each.

Iron Butt
It will be a surprise to no one that Ken Bonner has won the Iron Butt Award (John Hathaway Memorial Trophy) for the seventh straight year with an event distance total of 10,442 km. People have been whispering for years that as long as Ken is riding there should be some sort of award for having the second most distance in BC. I can't recall who it was now, but someone suggested that this "all but Ken Bonner" award could be called the "All Butt" award. And I think this is an excellent year to introduce this new no-trophy award because the 2008 All Butt winner is... me, Eric Fergusson (5910 km) (
photo). Ha! I've put together a list of the other past non-winners. (Linked below.) There was actually a bunch of riders clustered around my distance total including Jeff Mudrakoff (photo) who had only 31 km less, plus Nigel, Barry and Tracy just a little further back. So it's a shared dishonour this year.

Iron Buttress
And of course there's last year's new non award, to award - the"Kendra Award", for the most Ken-like distance by a woman. But as you can see there's now a more timeless name for this distinction. The
2008 "Iron Buttress" was Deirdre Arscott with 4671 km. This was a surprise to me - I thought the numbers were pointing elsewhere. In only her second randonneur year Devon Mihalyi had ridden Rocky, the Island 1000, and more than a full series - I thought that would have been easily enough. But I wasn't watching the buckets of 200 and 300s that Deirdre was filling. In the end Devon's impressive total was 4500, less than 200 short of Deirdre's figure.

Eau de Hell Week
Among the special events on the calendar for 2008 was Ken Bonner's second staging of the "Eau de Hell" week on Vancouver Island (a full 200-600 series in 7 days.) Five riders finished the
full series, including Ken himself, Eric Fergusson and Jeff Mudrakoff, all of whom finished in 2007, Scott Gater who boomeranged back to us from Australia (and California), and Dave Cambon who was close-but-no-cigar in 2007. Look for EdH-3 in 2009.

Also on the Island was Ken's Ultimate Island Explorer 2000km which was managed easily by Yutaka Moriwaki from Japan and local boy Keith Nichol. (

Rides Abroad
Jeff Mudrakoff did the most exotic ride in 2008 - the SVSS 1200 in Bulgaria in June.

BR-5000 Medal
There was one additional Brevet de Randonneur 5000 in BC this year. Congratulations to Keith Patterson. This brings our total number of BR 5000s, using PBP 2007, to 14.

40,000 Medal
Congratulations also to Michel Richard who became the 11th club member to earn the 40,000 medal for life-time event distance reaching 40,000 km - an award he himself dreamed up several years ago. At 42 Michel is easily the youngest club member to reach this watershed distance. (40,000 km is ~ the earth's circumference.)

It's always fun to throw the spotlight on our resident uber-cyclist Ken Bonner to make it clear how utterly insignificant our own distance cycling achievements are by comparison - so here we go. It
was a particularly speedy year for Ken. In addition to his record breaking RM12 time, Ken was first finisher at the Cascade 1200 in 64:41, and then he ripped through the Colorado Last Chance 1200 in 51:25. As mentioned above Ken coasted to his Iron Butt #7. It's too early to report on the C-KAP stats for 2008, but Ken topped the list in 2007 for the third consecutive year with his 30,677 km. His 17,079 miles in 2008 was easily enough to keep him at the top of the UMCA distance list for the 4th straight year - the next rider on the list was under 13,000 miles. In 2008 Ken rode his 28th 1000km and his 29th, 30th and 31st 1200. And then there was his 2000 km permanent in October. Well why not. In addition to all the riding, Ken somehow finds to time to administer the extreme end of the ultra cycling calendar on the Island.

Speaking of the C-KAP (Canadian Kilometre Achiever Program) awards, when the figures rolled in in early spring 2008 they revealed that BC Randonneurs earned the top team prize for the fourth consecutive year in 2007. 23 club members' combined distance total was 262,000 km. We seem to have a lock on this one - the second place club's total was at only 108,000 km. Our total is of course always pumped up by Ken's big numbers, but let's not forget Henry. Henry Birkenbos also rode over 30,000 km in 2007, just a few 100km less than Ken. The most pleasant surprise in the 2007 stats was that Karen Smith won the C-KAP award for greatest distance by a woman with 9276 km. I think Karen was as surprised as anyone to learn the news. Congratulations to all 23 participating club members.

Iron Volunteer
Another 2007 award delivered in the 2008 was the Roger Street Award for exceptional volunteer service to the club. The deserving winners were Bob and Patty Marsh who would continue their efforts into 2008 as Rocky 12 ride directors.

Executive Matters
Many thanks to out-going club President Ross Nichol. Most people won't know that it was Ross' determined behind-the-scenes pressure to explore the options and make a decision about the Rocky Mountain 1200 last fall, that probably saved the event. The discussions determined that we did have strong underlying volunteer and board support, and this paved the way for Roger and Ali to accept the big organizational role. Special thanks also to three exceptional out-going directors. Danelle Laidlaw, Michel Richard and Bob Marsh are off the exec, but remain very involved in various capacities. Ross shuffled himself off to treasurer, and Alex Pope moves over to VP, President in waiting.

I said above that the Rocky Mountain 1200 was centre stage this year. Well there was one other little thing that everyone is talking about. Our in-coming club President Tracy Barill had to endure a little push-back, but in the end convinced us all to give perms a chance. They began in October 2008 and instantly become very popular. There will be a 12 month award for anyone who rides a permanent in each of 12 consecutive months. The program will be administered by Tracy and Bob Koen. It's a fresh idea that's proving to have bounce. Something to watch in 2009.

Eric Fergusson
January, 2009

Ali after Rocky

Some quick links:

The 2008 "Iron Butt" list
Rando Rookie, Kendra, & All Butt pages
2008 super randonneur & BR 5000 page
Newsletter page about
BC Randonneurs' C-KAP performance

Summary page about 2008 "eau de hell" week
Rocky 1200:
Results - Summary - Volunteers
Summary page about
UIE 2000 km

The Roger Street award page
Stats Summary chart