North America’s Toughest Canoe Race – Organizers for the AuSable River International Canoe Marathon are well into plans for the 65th Annual Race scheduled for July 28 & 29, 2012.
The AuSable River Canoe Marathon is the roughest, non-stop canoe race in North America and reported to be the toughest spectator sport in 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 28 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 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 29 in Oscoda, MI on the shore of Lake Huron.
The AuSable River Canoe Marathon is one of the premier paddling events in the world and according to website 100.peak.com, which ranks the world’s toughest 100 races, it is currently ranked as number seven.
Time Trials, July 25, 26, 27 are held at Penrod’s Canoe Livery of Grayling. 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 21 & 22, which 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.
Contact: Suzanne Schlachter