No one heads to the wilds of Northern Michigan for the annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run hoping for blue-jeans, hoodie and windbreaker weather. Then again, no one controls the weather. So despite drizzle, gray skies and air temperatures in the mid-to-high 50s, some 25- to 30-powerboat owners and their guests were still game to tackle today’s Bay Harbor Lunch Run in advance of Saturday’s main event.
A couple of longtime Boyne Thunder Poker Run fans, Michigan’s Burton and Yvette Kirsten ran Jetster, their new MTI 390X catamaran, in today’s Bay Harbor Fun Run. Photos by Pete Boden of Shoot 2 Thrill Pix and Ryan Wenk of Scrapyard Media.
The run from Boyne City to Bay Harbor takes participants through Lake Charlevoix and Round Lake before they head up Lake Michigan to their lunch destination. On a picture-perfect day, the 20-plus-mile, round-trip trek is too short. But when the weather is damp and gloomy as it was today—or Lake Michigan gets foul as it often does without notice—the brief journey is ideal.
The run began several years ago as an informal happening for early Boyne Thunder arrivals. For the past three years, it has been sponsored by Michigan-based UnRiehl Performance, which represents the Blackwater, Deep Impact and Pantera powerboat lines. The event includes lunch (of course), music and a small automobile show.
Enjoy the boats and faces from today’s Bay Harbor Fun Run sponsored by UnRiehl Performance.
“Boyne Thunder is our longest running sponsorship—always our favorite poker run of the year—and we love the local charities it supports in Camp Quality and Challenge Mountain, which provide outdoor recreational experiences for children with cancer and children with disabilities,” said Jeff Riehl, general manager of UnRiehl Performance. “We love that people travel from all over the country with the baddest boats on the planet to play with them in a place we’d call ‘up north’ growing up.
“We’re proud to host the Bay Harbor Fun Run,” he continued. “Bay Harbor is one of Northern Michigan’s real gems, and I think the run is a treat for all the early birds want to enjoy their boats in the beautiful waters of Little Traverse Bay.”
Ken and Renee Lalonde came all the way from Upstate New York to run their new DCB M37R today, tomorrow and Saturday.
Said Michigan’s Burton Kirsten, a longtime Boyne Thunder participant who joined the lunch-run group in his new MTI 390X catamaran with his wife, Yvette, “The Riehls put on a great lunch every year. They’re awesome people.”