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We would like to thank our 2024 Sponsors

Countdown to Race Day!
MAY 19
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Any participant who violates the rules and regulations set forth on this website will be subject to disqualification at the discretion of a race official. A call for disqualification may also be made by safety spotters, including all R.A.C.E.S. volunteers.If you agree with a safety spotter's disqualification, or if you are disqualified by a race official, you should exit the river at the next takeout. Or, you may appeal within 20 minutes of your finishing time to the race officials, whose decision is final. A disqualification will remove a participant from the event and from insurance coverage effective from the time that the reason for the disqualification occurred.

Rules & Safety

Emergency Information

  • First aid supplies will be available at Start and Finish Line areas
  • Emergency communication is available at each bridge.
  • Participants in need of pick-up should call 303 Taxi at 847-303-0303. Pick-ups can be at each road bridge crossing.

Life Jackets (PFDs) and whistles
1. Each contestant is REQUIRED to have a United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved PFD in their possession and easily accessible while on the water during the entire event. Insurance requirements specify USCG approval of all PFDs: Non-USCG-approved PFDs, such as Mocke life jackets and most Canadian Coast Guard approved life jackets do not meet this event requirement and their use in place of USCG approved PFDs is grounds for disqualification.

  • SUP paddlers must attach their PFD to their board if they are not wearing them.
  • A PFD must be worn by all non-swimmers, and by all participants under the age of 14.
  • Race officials may require ALL participants to wear their life jackets if, in the race officials' opinion, water level, wind, temperature, or other conditions require it – regardless of class or skill.

2. All craft must carry a whistle or sounding device.
Behavior on the water
3. No alcohol or illegal drugs. The use of alcohol is prohibited on the water during the entire event and is of danger to the user and other participants. The use of illegal drugs is prohibited on or off the water.
4. No interference with other participants, no unsporting behavior. Any behavior that impedes the passage or safety of other boats on the river, such as forming rafts (boats linked together), or ramming, or otherwise deliberately interfering with another craft's progress, and any other unsporting behavior is prohibited.
5. No starting before the official starter starts your heat.
6. Following a race official's instructions. All instructions given by any race official must be followed.
7. Competing in a craft not appropriate to your registered class is prohibited. A change of boat class can be made at the registration tent.
8. Leaving the race course at one location and reentering at another is prohibited.
9. Pulling out of the race. If you have to abandon the race you must call the hot line (847-604-2445) within 20 minutes of pulling out, to give your boat number, names, and the location where you pulled out. (This is important to avoid diverting safety resources.) Failure to do so may result in our unwillingness to allow you to participate in next year's event.

Participants under age 16 and under the age of 10
10. Paddlers under the age of 16 must be monitored (shadowed) throughout the entire Marathon or Minithon by a competent paddler, 18 or older in the same boat or an in accompanying (partner) boat. The 18+ paddler must be able to provide needed assistance and be able to arrange for alternate transportation via the radio crew at any bridge crossing.
11. Any participant under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a competent paddler, 18 or older, in the same boat. Of course, Adult-Youth Class registrants will automatically fulfill this requirement.

Severe Weather, Flooding, Race Cancellation, Interruption
12. If severe weather, including high water, is forecast in the days leading to the race, check the website Home Page or the hotline (847-604-2445) for any cancellation notice. If the race is underway and a severe weather warning is issued, officials at the bridges will require participants to get off the river. If the weather allows safe return to the water, the race can be completed. The total elapsed time, including any delay, will be used for award purposes. In the event of cancellation, participants will receive a T-shirt (if pre-ordered,) a patch.

Deadline for the End of the Event
13. The event finishes at 5 p.m. All craft should be off the water by 5 p.m. If you are still on the water at 5 p.m. you must inform race officials no later than 5:30 p.m. by calling the race hotline (847-604-2445) with your boat number and names. Failure to do so may result in our unwillingness to allow you to participate in next year's event. Note: your participation – and your insurance coverage – in the Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon or Minithon – ends at 5 p.m.

14. All participants MUST sign a waiver of liability. Each contestant under the age of 18 is required to have a parent or guardian's signature on their waiver of liability. No entry will be accepted without a signed waiver form. Waivers may be signed electronically through the online registration procedure. A paddler registering a team will sign online on behalf of him/herself and any minor for which he/she is responsible. Other adult team members will receive an email prompting them to sign the waivers electronically. Waivers, whether electronic or printed, not received by Race Day must be completed at the Start Line registration tent of the Marathon or Minithon.


The team of dedicated folks at check points and bridges along the river providing this event with vital safety, monitoring and communication services. It takes an army of individuals involved in planning, preparation, start line and finish line logistics. Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service/Amateur Radio Emergency Service