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We would like to thank our 2024 Sponsors

Countdown to Race Day!
MAY 19
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Tips for a Good Race

Comfort and safety tips for paddlers planning to enter the Marathon or Minithon:
  • Arrive shortly before your start time, allowing just enough time to pick up your boat number, organize yourself and get your boat launched.  The start line is crowded! There will be between 700 and 1000 paddlers trying to find a parking space, unload their canoes, hit the port-a-potties, and launch their canoes.
  • Listen to ALL instructions at the Start.
  • Bring plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. The race course will take three or more hours to complete and the sun may be hot. Drink before you get thirsty. Even if you are not working hard, you will be losing fluids. Bring water or sports drinks. Alcohol depletes your body of fluids faster. This causes loss of good judgment which puts you and others in danger of injury or drowning. Drinking alcohol during the event is a violation of the event rules. If you wish to drink alcohol, please do so AFTER the race.
  • Sunscreen! A person can get a serious sunburn while on the water. Even on a cloudy day the sun's effects are magnified by the water. Excess sun causes sunburn and may lead to skin cancer.
  • Keep your shirt on. You are cooler with a cotton t-shirt on than with a shirt off. Sweating cools off your body. If your t-shirt is wet with sweat it will do a better job of cooling you. Show off your muscles after the race!
  • Your head is important! Wear something on your head, a bandana or a hat, to keep the sun off.
  • Blisters are probably the most frequent medical problem experienced by novice paddlers. Try not to grip the paddle too tightly. Change hand position periodically. Sometimes keeping your hands wet will help.
  • Hut! Veteran racers call "hut" every ten strokes or so. At the call, paddlers switch sides. This keeps the paddlers fresher and lessens fatigue, especially the bow paddler. Switching sides can also help control the direction of the canoe without having to rudder or do a "J stroke".
  • Travel light. It may seem like a good idea to bring a cooler full of pop and sandwiches. It can be challenging to collect it  if you have the very possible experience of capsizing. Don't overload the boat with gear.
  • Extra Paddle. Bring an extra paddle, you might lose one or break one.
  • Be alert to danger! Avoid strainers, i.e. trees and branches that hang over, lie in or under the water.
  • Water conditions on the river can change with wind and rain. Be sure that your paddling skills are up to the challenge of higher water, tricky currents, and wind.
  • PFDs: PFDs (or Life Vests) are mandatory for each occupant in all watercraft. In high water or dangerous conditions, you may be required to wear them.
    • Orange horse-collar style PFDs are legal but make it difficult to paddle while wearing them. A fisherman's style PFD vest can be purchased for a comparatively low cost and will be much more comfortable if you have to wear it: make sure the PFD you bring is a good fit for YOU!
    • It is always a good idea to wear a life vest while in any kind of water craft. Wearing a life vest is mandatory for all paddlers and passengers under 14 years old.
    • Non-swimmers - please ALWAYS wear a PFD. No one has drowned in our race. We want to extend that half-century-plus record this year and beyond.