Home » Illinois Paddling Council Blog » MAY 19 – 62nd Annual Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon and Minithon (and SUP)

MAY 19 – 62nd Annual Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon and Minithon (and SUP)

Make it your tradition like Donald Browning and his Son Steve, Grandson Michael and Great-grand- daughter Layla


Registration opens March 1



By Don Mueggenborg

How would you like to paddle with over 700 other paddlers in canoes, kayaks, and stand-up’s? How would you like to be part of a tradition that has gone on 62 years? How would you like to be the one to break 2 hours for the long race?

The Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak (and SUP) Marathon has something for everyone.  It is a race with the neatest 1st place trophy in each of the 20+ classes.  Some of the best paddlers in the country have raced this race over the years.

But the Marathon is more than a race for the best paddlers. It can be a cruise with company for some paddlers.  It can be a test to see if you can paddle 20 miles (that was how I viewed my first Marathon.)

It can be a place to trade “war” stories at the finish line.  And you get a good looking patch when you finish.  And Ralph?  Who is Ralph and is he lost?

Ralph is what we call the little voyageur that appears on the patch and t-shirt every year.  But sometimes he hides and you have to look to find him.  (A couple years ago, he hid out with 60 canoes and kayaks)

This is to honor Ralph Frese who took a bunch of boy scouts on a race on this course 62 years ago.  (He has been watching the race from heaven the last couple years, I am sure cheering for all of us to finish.)

Try it – you’ll like it and tell me about your adventure at the finish line on race day.

Each participant will receive the coveted embroidered patch, t-shirts are available at optional cost, this year’s great design thanks to the donated skill by Lynda Wallis – lyndadraws@gmail.com

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