The Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon, founded in 1958 by Ralph Frese, is the second oldest continual canoe race in the United States. The race is 18½ miles on the beautiful and historic Des Plaines River. There are numerous classes to accommodate people of all ages and levels, with a halfway take-out option possible for non-competitors. Everyone is welcome to participate. First time participants, repeat paddlers, and serious competitors can all enjoy the excitement, challenge, and camaraderie that this historic event provides.
The Marathon is Co-sponsored by the Des Plaines River Association, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and the Lake County Forest Preserves.
Welcome 2013!WE WELCOME YOU to a preview of the 56th Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon, including this year the addition of Stand Up Paddleboard Classes for both men and women, and the adoption of Medal Class designations for those classes with only five or fewer pre-registered craft. As before, we remain grateful for the considerable assistance of our co-sponsors, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and the Lake County Forest Preserves. We do wish you abundant enjoyment and success with your preparation and participation in the May 19 Marathon!
- Al Pilgrim & Jack Snarr, Co-Chairmen
REGISTRATION will open March 1, 2013, and will be primarily by the internet-based SignMeUp.com system employed the past three years. Alternatively, beginning March 1, 2013, you may print and mail a paper registration form or leave a message on the Marathon Hotline to have paper information and application materials mailed to you. One partner can register up to four occupants of a craft, order t-shirts and make payment, although other paddlers or passengers must signify agreement to the waiver via an automated email process. Registration of greater than four participants per craft must be done by using a paper form.
CLASS SPECIFICATIONS will now include one Open STAND UP PADDLEBOARD CLASS for men and another for women, enabling SUP participants to compete for awards and recognition as with canoe and kayak classes. SUPs may be of any length, but must be paddled in a standing position with a single blade paddle.
will be identified at the close of pre-registration on May 12, one week before the Marathon, as those classes with five or fewer craft pre-registered. Medal class craft will be tracked and timed identically to other larger, more competitive classes, but winners for this year will be recognized with a gold medal rather than customary Voyageur trophy. Pre-registrants in Medal Classes will be so notified by the registrar when this becomes evident at the close of pre-registration, and may, if they wish, switch to another class at the registration desk on race day. The addition on race day of craft to a Medal Class will not alter the Medal Class status for this year. Medal or Trophy Classes will be determined each year based on the pre-registration numbers for the class (five or less, or more than five).
HALFWAY TAKE-OUT OPTION enabling some participants the opportunity to paddle a shorter distance will again be supported by pre-race shuttle service from the take-out site at Rivershire Park in Lincolnshire back to the Start. Cars may be parked in an adjoining lot. A map and further detail on parking and shuttle service will be included in the information emailed to you following registration.
BOAT NUMBERS must be picked up and applied to your craft at the Start of the race, per follow-up email instructions announcing your Start time and providing additional procedural details.
RYERSON DAM was removed prior to the 2011 race and the portage replaced with a mild chute for passage of canoes and kayaks. Dam #1 in Wheeling remains a mandatory portage, unless water level is sufficiently high to rescind this requirement, as in 2010, in which case announcement will be posted at the Start.
WATER TRAIL-KEEPERS SUPPORT
For the past three years participants have opted to contribute to the Upper Des Plaines River Ecosystem Partnership, the Illinois Paddlers' Patrol and Openlands, organizations devoted to extending the environmental and recreational potential of the Des Plaines and other Illinois rivers. This year the Marathon organizers have identified the Water TrailKeepers Program as the organization for which we encourage your financial support by adding an optional amount to your registration fee. As a brief introduction, Water TrailKeepers is jointly sponsored by the Illinois Paddling Council and Openlands to organize volunteer teams of in-stream and shoreline volunteers to clear accumulated natural and man-made debris from nearly 350 miles of seven northern Illinois waterways. Indeed, the low-water conditions of 2012 enabled WTK volunteers to locate and remove a prodigious amount of heretofore unseen debris from the upper Des Plaines, including most of the Marathon course.
TWO GRAND MASTER AWARDS will again be given in recognition of continued strong showing relative to peers of all ages in a class. One will go to that solo paddler whose percentile finish in his or her class is highest among all solo competitors over 70 years of age on race day. The second will go to that tandem paddler whose percentile finish is highest among C2 or K2 paddlers over 70, regardless of who his or her partner may be. For 2012 the winners were: Solo – Don Alberda from Mundelein, IL, and Tandem – Fritz Hansen, from Burlington, WI. Having now received this recognition in 2012, Don and Fritz will be removed from 2013 consideration.
AGAIN WE ENCOURAGE YOU to partake of the opportunities at the Finish Area to wind down after completing the race, pick up your patch and t-shirts, enjoy the food and music and view special exhibits and the award and raffle presentations.
OTHER RACES AND PADDLING EVENTS may be located at www.uscanoe.com/eventsSearchRegions.cfm
Sponsored by: Des Plaines River Association | Lake County Forest Preserves | Cook County Forest Preserve District
HOTLINE: (847) 604-2445 -
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