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2021/2022 Racing Program Update


By Don Mueggenborg, IPC Board Member

During 2021, the racing program suffered as it tried to return from the effects of the virus and shutdowns.  The Current Buster on the Fox in the Spring, the Pontiac Race on the Vermillion surpassed 50 years, the Joe Kowsky Race was switched to the Vermillion, the Vic Hopp race was held starting in Wisconsin and traveling to Illinois – and back to the start on the Fox, and finally the Fall Classic on the Fox.  Race attendance was low but the racers enjoyed being back on the water.  Pat Faul and Steve Conlon raced in all the races and won their class so they are the 2021 Champions.

A beginner’s race was held on Whelan Lake and well attended with many people racing for the first time.  Thanks to Joe for his efforts.

On a more positive note, plans are underway for the Des Plaines River Canoe, Kayak, Paddleboard Marathon, currently set for May 22, 2022. The marathon is the longest running canoe race in the US and the 2nd longest in North America.  It is also the largest single day race in North America – with over 600 entries. Like many events, the marathon was not held in 2021 due to the virus, but the plan is to be back in full force for 2022.

The Marathon event includes a long course (the original course started 65 years ago) of 18.5 miles and a shorter 5.25 mile course that ends at the same place as the longer course. There are classes for competitive paddlers in both canoes and kayaks, but there will also be classes for recreational paddlers in both divisions.  For many people, this will be their first canoe race ever.

Registration opens March 1, 2022.  People who have entered in the last five years will receive an email notification.  Registration is available online, or download the registration form from the web site at www.canoemarathon.com


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