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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

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

 

Kansas City Kayaker Embarks on Expedition to Set World Record for Miles Paddled

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Feb. 12, 2017) – Traci Lynn Martin, an experienced expedition kayaker, will launch an attempt at a world record for the most miles kayaked in one year. She gets underway March 9, 2017.

Martin was diagnosed with debilitating and painful rheumatoid arthritis in 2010. Despite suffering from this condition, she continues paddling and has won a wide range of competitions in several states, setting several course records in the process. She’s now taking her skill and strength to an ambitious next level, as she aims to paddle 8,600 miles in less than one year.

“My goal is to set a new Guinness World Record for the most miles kayaked in one year,” Martin said. “In the process, I hope to encourage and inspire individuals with chronic health conditions to reach for their dreams and never give up.”

Launching at Port Huron, Mich., Martin will circumnavigate the five Great Lakes, several rivers, and the Atlantic coast of the United States and Canada. Her goal is to finish the route in 265 days, with her finish ceremony at Lake Erie Metro Park, Michigan, in December 2017.

Martin’s expedition is entitled “The Stellar Tour de Force,” and while she paddles, a filmmaking crew will document her efforts. The accompanying film, “Just Around the Pointe,” aims to capture the experiences, terrain, and people Martin meets along her journey.

The expedition route traverses U.S. and Canadian shores, as well as five provinces and 14 states. In addition to the five Great Lakes, she will face wind, waves, and weather on the St. Lawrence River Seaway, the Hudson River, and on the Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia as she heads to New York Harbor. Martin’s return expedition travels along the Erie Canal to Lake Oneida, and back onto Lake Ontario via the Oneida and Oswego Rivers.

Martin will be wearing a tracking device so friends, family, and fans may view her progress through RaceOwl.com. She also is inviting all local paddlers, and those who love the waterways she’ll explore, to join her as she negotiates the route.

Find complete details, including route and timeline, at JustAroundthePointe.com

About Traci Lynn Martin

Traci Lynn Martin is a registered nurse who works at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. She is an avid outdoors enthusiast and experienced kayak racer who has won numerous races in several states.  She was diagnosed with debilitating rheumatoid arthritis in 2010, but continued to paddle and race, setting several course records and earning many wins.

She’s set her sights on completing a one-of-a-kind adventure, with the goal of paddling more miles in less time than anyone ever has; she’ll do it while reminding people who face chronic illness that nothing is impossible.

Learn more about Martin’s competitive statistics, goals, and vision about her attempt at http://www.justaroundthepointe.com/meet-my-team.

About the Record

The current world record, held by Marcin Gienieczko of Poland, is 3,462.89 miles (5,573 kilometers).  Unofficially, Freya Hoffmeister of Germany completed the longest solo kayak expedition to-date. She paddled 8,570 miles in about 360 days.

About the Documentary, “Just Around the Pointe”

Patty Dillon is the writer, producer, and director of the documentary film about Martin’s journey entitled, “Just Around the Pointe.” Dillon has extensive experience as a filmmaker and her work was featured on CNN, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She’s earned multiple award nominations for her documentaries.

Dillon’s joined by her director of photography and co-producer, Jeremy Osbern. He has worked with some of the top names in the film business, including George Clooney, Lada Gaga, Jason Bateman, and  Zach Galifianakis, just to name a few.

Chris Blunk is the film’s senior producer, and his many film credits include “Jayhawkers,” a narrative feature about Wilt Chamberlain and Phog Allen; “The Sublime and Beautiful,” which premiered at Slamdance and which Candy Factory optioned for distribution. He’s also produced “AIR: The Musical,” which was distributed in North America, Australia, China, Taiwan, and South Africa.

View the trailer for “Just Around the Pointe” at: https://vimeo.com/184781882

Dragon Boat Racing Returns to the South Side

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival Debuts New Location, Craft Beer Village, and More

BLUE ISLAND, ILLINOIS, February 15, 2017 — Dragon Boat racing is back in Blue Island this summer, with a new, larger venue, more events, and some great additions like craft beer, food, merchandise, and more. The 2nd Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival is scheduled for June 1-3, 2017, at the MWRD Waterfall Park along the Cal-Sag. This year’s festival also includes welcome receptions at Rock Island Public House and Double Play Saloon the evenings of June 1 and 2 after team practices, and an after-party June 3 at The Blue Island Beer Company.

“Last year, we fell in love with the atmosphere surrounding the first dragon boat festival hosted here on the south side,” says festival organizer Kevin Brown. “It’s so much more than a great day on the water. It’s a celebration of sport, community, and fun, interesting people. We also loved that newcomers to the sport can compete with little training or instruction – if you can paddle, you can race in a dragon boat!”

Brown says finding a new site was necessary to expand the event, and to better accommodate festival attendees with amenities like public transit access, abundant, free parking, and multiple food and drink options.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the MWRD, City of Blue Island administration, police and fire, the U.S. Coast Guard, Metra, and so many incredible local businesses and organizations to make this festival location a reality,” says Brown. “Paddlers and spectators will be blown away by the incredible views of the races from sites like the new Chatham Street pedestrian bridge – part of the forthcoming Cal-Sag trail connection through Blue Island – as well as the proximity to Blue Island’s beautiful historic uptown, and all that Olde Western avenue has to offer.”

Individual and team registration is underway at www.chicagodragonboats.com, as well as a description of available festival sponsorship opportunities – many of which include team entries for businesses and the community organization, school, or church of their selection.

“We’ve structured this event to highlight what we feel is the most exciting thing dragon boat racing brings to our communities,” says Brown. “Dragon boat racing is about pride, it’s about inclusivity, it’s about teambuilding and communication skills, being outside and being physical – and almost anyone can do it.”

About the 2nd Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival

Date: Thursday June 1, Friday June 2, and Saturday June 3, 2017

Time: Practice Sessions: 4-8 pm Thursday and Friday, Dragon Boat Races: Saturday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Location: MWRD SEPA Waterfall & Park along the Cal-Sag, Blue Island, IL

Description: The Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival caters to a variety of groups, including businesses, organizations, churches, families, competitive sports enthusiasts, and those who crave outdoor summer activity on a stunning dragon boat regatta course. Personal satisfaction, team development, and friendship are among the many benefits participants experience, and many companies, organizations, and schools have found that the social atmosphere and teambuilding aspects of dragon boat racing assist with ongoing constructive communication for their employees, members, and students.

Thursday and Friday’s activities include team practice sessions with instructors from Great White North Dragon Boat Racing (GWN), as well as a team welcome reception at Rock Island Public House. GWN also provides the dragon boats, paddles, and life jackets for participants.

Saturday’s activities include the dragon boat races, awards ceremony, craft beer village featuring the Southland’s best food and craft beer, and after party at the Blue Island Beer Company.

For more information on the 2nd Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival, to register as an individual or team, or to explore sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.chicagodragonboats.com.

Contact:

Kevin & Sara Brown

Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival

219-895-0437 or kevin@chicagodragonboats.com

Mark Your Calendars – May 21, 2017 – The 60TH Annual Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon

For the first time in event history – the river is free flowing – no more portaging dams!

Check out the pictures from the 2016 event (below) – great paddling, great food, great music, and great cameraderie – be part of a tradition – and make it your tradition.

For more information – check out www.canoemarathon.com

2017 Marathon flyer: DPM

2016 Marathon photos:

1. Music to Entertain
2. Pizzas in the Wood Oven
3. Pizza Options
4. Or Sandwiches
5. Fun Lunch
6. Valued Sponsor
7. The T-shirt Tent
8. Keeping Boats Safe
9. Inside the Canoe Corral
10. Coast Guard Station
11. Boat Numbers are a MUST
12. Guidance to t-shirts and patches
13. Checking the score board
14. Emergency help just in case
15. Finally done
16. Near the Takeout
17. Reading the Boat Numbers
18. Scoring the Finishers
19. The Course
20. The Finish Line
22. All done paddling – takeout
23. Race Head Quarters
24. Thank you all for hall
25. Dangers of Dams
26. Thank you Forest Preserves of Cook County
27. Trophies waiting for their recipients
29. Announcing the winners
30. Some winners
31. The Score Board
32. One of the best