Cross-country trek concludes in Hall of Fame
In 1991, Bill Narasnek cycled across Canada in 13 days, six hours and nine minutes.
It stood as the Trans-Canada record for the next two decades.
It was one of a number of accomplishments that earned the former Sudbury Cycling Club president entry into the House of Kin’s Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 2013 class.
“It was an opportunity that fulfilled a passion I had for that type of long-distance cycling,” Narasnek said recently.
“It was very rewarding to succeed and it was much more difficult than I could have imagined,” he continued. “I was road racing at the time but those are races that are 70 or 80 kilometres. This was 450 kilometres a day for two weeks. It was actually pretty gruesome.”
After completing the journey, Narasnek wrote “Cycle for Life – The Story of the 1991 Trans-Canada Record Attempt.”
Prior to becoming involved in cycling, Narasnek spent five or six years as an avid runner. He competed in a variety of distances, including marathons, marking his best time — 2:42 — in the early 1980s. A few running injuries, as well as his eldest son’s growing interest in the sport, prompted Narasnek’s transition into cycling.
In both 1983 and 1984, he captured the title of Mr. Fit Sudbury, collecting the most overall points in the year-long Sudbury Fitness Challenge.
In 1985, Narasnek applied for his first amateur bicycle racing license in the Veterans (35+) category, and four years later, took top spot in the division at the Ontario Road Race Championships.
When Narasnek, who now lives in Gore Bay, found out we was being inducted into the Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame, he said he “had a hard time believing it.”
“There’s no question what an honour it is, especially when you look at the names that are in the hall,” he said. “My coach from the cycling club has been in there for a while. When you see people you know and understand the impact they’ve had, it makes my own induction even more poignant.”
Narasnek, along with the rest of the 2013 class, will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame during the 45th annual House of Kin Sports Celebrity Dinner and Awards, being held June 12 at the Caruso Club.
Tickets for the sports celebrity dinner, awards and induction ceremony are now on sale at the House of Kin or by phoning Chris Sheridan or Karly Fletcher at 705-522-3600. Tickets are $45 for adults and $20 for children 10 years of age and under.
The 2013 class of hall of famers
The House of Kin’s 2013 class of hall of fame inductees includes curling player, instructor and coach Jan Pula, longtime hockey coach and general manager Ken MacKenzie and former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager and scout Gerry McNamara in the Administration Category; former junior hockey owner and manager Leo Gasparini (who passed away in 1995 at the age of 73) and basketball official Charlie Ketter in the Builders’ Category; former fastball and hockey coach Mickey McKinney, cyclist and runner Bill Narasnek and golfer Vince Palladino in the Players’ Category; Joe Spence in the Media Category; the Joe MacDonald Youth Football League in the Volunteer Non-Corporate Category; the Canadian champion 1996-97 Cambrian College Golden Shield men’s hockey team, coached by Doug Bonhomme and Peter Michelutti Sr., in the Team Category; and the Royal Bank in the Corporate Category.