May 22, 2016
More picnics are spoiled by weather reports than by the weather, wrote Don Mueggenborg (who has paddled every event but one since its starting) after last year’s event. Forecasts had everyone concerned – rain, high winds, lightning. Instead we had a great day. Overcast early with a slight mist and headwinds to cool the paddlers down.
More than seven hundred paddlers participated in 2015, including 37 in the shorter Minithon, with several SUPs finishing the whole course. Most paddlers came from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, but also from as far as Arizona, Florida, Nebraska and Texas. Everyone who finished the course received the coveted embroidered patch. New in 2015 was also the inclusion of the Des Plaines River map on the back of the t- shirts that brought many congratulatory comments, and will be on this year’s t-shirts as well.
The Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon, founded in 1958 by Ralph Frese, is the second oldest continually held paddling competition in the United States. The course is 18½ miles on the beautiful and historic Des Plaines River in Northern Illinois. Numerous classes accommodate people of all ages, crafts, and skill levels, and a 5.25 mile, non-competitive Minithon offers a shorter option. First time participants, repeat paddlers, and serious competitors can all enjoy the excitement, challenge, and wonderful scenery that this historic event provides. Great music, good food, and camaraderie await everyone at the finish line.
Registration opens March 1 – early bird discount until April 15
For more details check out www.canoemarathon.com