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Not Too Late to Register for the Des Plaines Canoe and Kayak (and SUP) Marathon

By Don Mueggenborg

“Ralphs” waiting for their recipients

One of the oldest and longest-running “races” in North America, and one of the largest, the Des Plaines River Marathon will be starting for the 60th year on May 21, 2017.

The “original” race course runs from Oak Spring Road in Libertyville to Dam # 2 Woods in Mt Prospect – just short of 20 miles if you paddle a straight line. There is a short “Minithon” that runs for about 5 miles and ends at the same place as the long course.

Some of the fastest and best paddlers in the Midwest race the course in pursuit of “Ralph,” the trophy shaped like a voyageur and nicknamed Ralph for Ralph Frese, founder or the Race. Watch them as they flash past you, admire their technique and fitness.

HOWEVER, with 22 classes, there is something for everyone. Some of the “average” paddlers will also come home with “Ralph.”

Most of us paddle:

  • Because we like to paddle and share the camaraderie with 600 other paddlers on the river and at the start and finish line
  • Because we want to beat our friend, neighbor, brother, or just anybody else
  • Because we want to prove that we can do it
  • Because it is a beautiful river with its tree-lined banks, and it is a good way to enjoy nature
  • Because we want to show off our neat t-shirts and tell stories of our adventures

This year the course will be DAM FREE for the first time in over 100 years.

Go to the NEW WEBSITE – canoemarathon.com to learn more about the race and enter on-line (or copy a paper registration).   (You can register at the start line on race day – either at the start of the long race or the minithon – but it will cost you more and you probably will not be able to get a tee-shirt)

SEE YOU ON THE RIVER OR AT THE FINISH LINE (eating one of those great sandwiches that our venders serve)

Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum

Just in case some of our readers may not know – there is a great canoe museum in Spooner, Wisconsin. And, coming up on May 27, is the 2017 Canoe & Wooden Boat Show. Yes – we know – many of you paddle the rotomolded plastic kayaks, SUPs, or fiberglass canoes – but there is always room for some beauty. So check out the event and if you are the lucky owner of one of those beautiful boats – call the museum and see if you can display it. Have fun!

Get Ready For the 2017 Canoe & Wooden Boat Show Sat May 27

WCHM invites participants for its eighth annual Canoe & Wooden Boat Show, to be held in conjunction with Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Day on May 27, 2017. This one day free event will also include museum tours and open house, the unveiling of new displays, ongoing activities in the canoe workshop, and live music and food and beverage in the beer garden. Now is the time to make plans to be an exhibitor and display your canoe, wooden boat, or other canoe related items of interest.

Wooden boats of all shapes, sizes, and designs are welcome, both classic and modern, as well as all kinds of classic and vintage water and paddling related items. Whether you have items to sell, or you just have something to show off, there will be many interested folks attending this free event. Exhibitors can include individuals, commercial entities, non-profits, authors, government agencies, educators, crafters, and businesses whose products or services are relevant to boaters and wooden boats and canoes.

Booth space is free, and reserving a space is easy. You can download a booth reservation form from the WCHM website at www.WisconsinCanoeHeritageMuseum.org, or request one by emailing to info@wisconsincanoeheritagemuseum.org or calling 715-635-2479.

Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Day is produced by the WCHM each year on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

http://www.wisconsincanoeheritagemuseum.org/upcoming-events

How Many Miles Do You Want to Paddle?

From a short HOP to a 100-MILE MARATHON – you can do it all on the PECATONICA

  • 1/2 mile – Tutty Crossing (kayak launch) to Hancock Marina (concrete ramp)
  • 3 mile – Tutty Crossing (kayak launch) to VFW (concrete ramp)
  • 6 mile – Brewster Landing (concrete ramp) to McConnell Bobtown Landing (EZ Dock)
  • 8 mile – McConnell Bobtown Landing (EZ Dock) to McNeils Damascus Landing (EZ Dock)
  • 12 mile – Browntown, WI (concrete ramp) to Brewster Landing (concrete ramp)
  • 14 mile – Brewster Landing (concrete ramp) to McNeils Damascus Landing (EZ Dock) – stop over – MBL
  • 14 mile – McNeils Damascus Landing (EZ Dock) to Tutty Crossing (kayak launch) -stop over – **WBT
  • 17 mile – McNeils Damascus Landing (EZ Dock) to VFW (concrete ramp) -stop over – **WBT, TC, HM
  • 18 mile – Browntown, WI (concrete ramp) to McConnell Bobtown Landing (EZ Dock) – stop over – BL
  • 22 mile – McConnell Bobtown Landing (EZ Dock) to Tutty Crossing (kayak launch) -stop over – MDL, **WBT
  • 25 mile – McConnell Bobtown Landing (EZ Dock) to VFW (concrete ramp) -stop over – MDL, **WBT, TC, HM
  • 26 mile – Browntown, WI (concrete ramp) to McNeils Damascus Landing (EZ Dock) – stop over – BL, MBL
  • 28 mile – Brewster Landing (concrete ramp) to Tutty Crossing (kayak launch) -stop over – MBL, MDL, **WBT
  • 31 mile – Brewster Landing (concrete ramp) to VFW (concrete ramp) -stop over – MBL, MDL, **WBT, TC, HM
  • 40 mile – Browntown, WI (concrete ramp) to Tutty Crossing (kayak launch) -stop over – BL, MBL, MDL, **WBT
  • 43 mile – Browntown, WI (concrete ramp) to VFW (concrete ramp) -stop over – BL, M

THE ULTIMATE – 100 MILER — Browntown, WI  to MacTown Forest Preserve near Rockton, IL

Rumor has it that an IPC racer wants to do the 100 Mile Challenge in ONE day!

Abbreviations Key:

BL = Brewster’s Landing

MBL = McConnell Bobtown Landing

MDL = McNeils Damascus Landing

WBT = Wes Block Trailhead

TC = Tutty’s Crossing

HM = Hancock Marina

Link to the Google map to show all the locations:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1im7LVuQ-ElUIj4SekHrxMaMVOKE&hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&ll=42.59737658990872%2C-89.681396&spn=1.075262%2C2.224731&z=8

Ralph Frese Memorial Paddle April 8

By Sigrid Pilgrim

About 40 paddlers braved the low temperature, high and swift water on the North Branch of the Chicago River from below the Willow Road Dam at the Skokie Lagoons to Linne Woods on Dempster.

This event is now sponsored by the Forest Preserves of Cook County http://fpdcc.com/  who provided shuttle service, granola bars, water and many staff to make sure only experienced paddlers would venture onto the water. THANK YOU JUSTIN and everyone at FPCC!  And, THANK YOU also to the ten paddling guides from the Friends of the Chicago River http://www.chicagoriver.org/ who contributed  their skills as safety boaters. Three members from OctaneRichMedia http://octanerichmedia.com/ also were present to record footage for their upcoming film about MR CANOE – RALPH FRESE.

Watch this newsletter for further info about the release of the film later this year. AND plan to participate in another RALPH FRESE (sort of Memorial) event – May 21 – the 60th Annual Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon and Minithon www.canoemarathon.com

And now a small plea: If you are an experienced boater – the organizers of the Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon are still looking for paddlers willing to help out as safety boaters – but note – NO MORE DAMS ON THE RIVER. Please contact Al Pilgrim if you would be interested and feel capable of being a safety boater – apilgrim@comcast.net

Abe’s River Race

ln Heritage Water Trail

Petersburg, Illinois

Join us July 15th for the 5th annual running of the Abe’s River Race!

Paddlers will have the opportunity to explore approximately 13.5 miles of the lower Sangamon River as it flows north from Sangamon County past Lincoln’s New Salem Historic Site to Petersburg, Illinois.

  • Registrations can be made online at getmeregistered.com. Registration may be completed in person on the day of the race; however, your Abe’s Race t-shirt may be unavailable in your preferred size. Cost is $30.00 per paddler.
  • Race staff will be at the Irwin Bridge launch site at 7:00 am Saturday to receive your equipment.
  • Shuttles depart Riverbank Lodge at 9:00 am. Please provide yourself sufficient time to drop your equipment off at the launch site and complete your registration and sign-in before 9:00 am.
  • Paddlers should be prepared to launch at 10:00 am and plan to arrive at the finish, Lincoln’s Riverside Park in Petersburg (next to Riverbank Lodge) no later 3:00 pm.
  • Paddler Packets will be distributed post race as paddlers check back in to the registration center at Riverbank Lodge.   Your bib tag will be collected and used for prize drawings after the awards are presented.
  • Unique awards will be presented for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in all represented divisions. 
  • Target time for announcement of race results is 1:00pm, but is dependent upon the finishing times for all racing divisions.  Please see flyer below and www.lincolnheritagewatertrail.org for more details.
  • **NEW** Cash awards for the fastest overall time in all adult divisions ($100); fastest youth/youth team in either 18 and under Tandem or Adult and child 12 and under ($50); and best “Spirit of Abe” team or individual ($50). YOU MUST RACE TO WIN!

The 2017 Abe’s River Race will include 11 racing divisions:

  • Canoe Men’s (C1-M)
  • Canoe Women’s (C1-W)
  • Canoe Men’s Double (C2-M)
  • Canoe Women’s Double (C2-W)
  • Canoe Mixed Couples (C2-MX)
  • Kayak Men’s Single (K1-M)
  • Kayak Women’s Single (K1-W)
  • Kayak Open Double (K2)
  • Wooden Boat (WB) – competitors in this division cannot compete in others
  • Youth Canoe/Kayak Tandem – 18 and under (YT18)
  • Youth Canoe/Kayak Tandem – 1 adult + 1 youth 12 and under (YT12)

Race flyer: 2017ARRflyer 052217

Race details on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/130475303756096/

St. Charles Canoe Club’s 44th Annual Current Buster Canoe and Kayak Race

The St. Charles Canoe Club will host its 44th annual Current Buster Canoe and Kayak Race.  This long-standing iconic event will take place on May 7th, and has seen local, regional, national, and Olympic champions, as well as “first time” paddlers to the beautiful Fox River Valley.  Starting at Pottawatomie Park near downtown St. Charles, the race is nine miles long, four and a half miles upstream and four and a half back, with unique “S” curve buoy turns at the finish line area.

For the “relaxed racer,” there is a shorter six mile course up and back; don’t be afraid of the upstream part, because you can paddle near the shore line where there is hardly any current, making for an easy passage.  C1 and K1 races are in the morning and C2, as well as rec. kayaks and canoes in the afternoon.

See our web page for more detail: http://www.stcharlescanoeclub.com/.  You can also find us on facebook.

So, don’t be afraid – come on out and enjoy the Fox River.  This is also a good way to get ready for the Des Plaines and Mid-American canoe races later.

Karl Teske – St. Charles Canoe Club

2017 Reel Paddling Film Fest

03/29/2017 7:00 PM CDT

Durty Nellie’s – 180 N Smith St, Palatine, IL 60067

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is a film contest awarding winning films in 10 categories. The winners and other shortlisted films are then toured to more than 100 cities around the world, screening for an audience of more than 30,000 outdoor adventure enthusiasts and their friends and families.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is produced by Rapid Media. Rapid Media also publishes four leading paddlesports magazines: Rapid, Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots and Kayak Angler magazines. Your ticket to a Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour stop includes a free one-year digital edition subscription to any/all four of the above magazines. Special offer details are available in your evening program.

This year we have booked the upstairs area as well, so there will be no outside distractions!

Doors open at 6pm.

More information and online registration: 2017 Reel Paddling Film Fest

Tickets available at https://events.ticketprinting.com/event/22561

Check Out the New Website for the Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon

Our new webmaster has updated the website and it will be continually updated throughout the year (personally, I think she is doing a good job – Don).

Thanks to George Jaros who handled our website for many years.  We appreciate your fine work, George.

SAVE THE DATE

The 60TH ANNUAL DES PLAINES RIVER CANOE AND KAYAK MARATHON will be held Sunday, May 21.  Registration opens March 1.   Go to Canoemarathon.com for more information, including registration forms and online registration.

Check out photos from past marathons (photos copyright © 2007 by Cliff Doll):

Ralph Frese and daughter