|Sat, 24 July 2010 9:00 PM||to||Sun, 25 July 2010 12:00 PM|
Organizers for the Weyerhaeuser AuSable River Canoe Marathon are well into plans for hosting another record field for this year’s race scheduled for July 24th and July 25th. The returning champions of 2009, Andy Triebold and Steve Lajoie, are looking to defend their title against teams from all over the U.S. and Canada. Teams have entered from as far west as Washington to the east coast states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. As of June 28th, 2010, there are 85 teams entered in this race, leading organizers to anticipate a record number of teams. Eighty nine teams participated in the 2009 race.
The Weyerhaeuser AuSable River Canoe Marathon is the richest canoe race in North America. The $50,000 purse will be up for grabs by expert paddlers from around the world. The racecourse runs almost the entire length of the AuSable River, 120 miles. Paddlers begin by running LeMans style, carrying their canoes on their shoulders, on Saturday, July 24th at 9:00 p.m. near The Old AuSable Fly Shop with thousands of spectators cheering them on. Prior to the start of the marathon, the paddlers will be introduced and live entertainment will be provided. On Sunday morning, the Avita Water Black Bear Bicycle Tour will depart for Oscoda in time to catch the paddlers at the end of their overnight adventure. The race ends Sunday, July 25th in Oscoda, MI on the shore of Lake Huron.
The primary sponsor remains Weyerhaeuser Structurewood Mill of Grayling. The continued support of the marathon by this local mill continues to place the AuSable River Canoe Marathon as one of the premier paddling events in the world. “It’s a tribute to the race communities and sponsors of this event to see continued growth and success in North America’s longest, toughest, richest non-stop canoe race,” says Phil Weiler, marathon spokesman.
Sponsors for the Time Trials, July 22nd and 23rd , held at Penrod’s Canoe Livery of Grayling, include Basic Communications Inc. and Kirtland Community College. Associate Sponsors of this event include Citizens Bank of Grayling, Ramada Inn of Grayling, Bader Company, and Charter Communications. The Time Trials are the preliminary races which place paddlers in a starting order for the main race, similar to that of car racing.
A prelude to the marathon is the Spike’s “Tougher than Nails” race held July 17th and 18th, which also should have a record number of entries. This race gives paddlers and fans an opportunity to experience a portion of the race during the daylight hours. The race is named for sponsor, Spike’s Keg of Nails.
Marathon program books and merchandise are ready for this year’s event and available in businesses around the community as well as at the marathon office located in the Grayling Mini Mall. More information can also be found on the marathon website, www.ausablecanoemarathon.org.
|Sun, 25 July 2010|
|8:00 AM||to||2:00 PM|
Enter the Black Bear Bicycle Tour! Chase the racing canoes from the Ausable Canoe Marathon to Oscoda along the AuSable River corridor. Only 12 stop signs in 100 miles. Ride century or split distance with another rider in the McKinley Class. Start at 8am. Phone for details (989) 370-5757. Rest stops available along the way.