Creating Excitement for AuSable River Canoe Marathon

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GRAYLING – “Exciting, world-class marathon canoe races are heating up throughout the AuSable River Valley in Northern Michigan,” according to Phil Weiler, spokesperson for Consumers Energy’s 74th AuSable River Canoe Marathon. “The buzz in the communities continues to grow as professional canoe racing competitors with their stealthy, sleek carbon fiber racing canoes and foreign license plates on their vehicles arrive in town for the marathon,” said continued Weiler.

The Michigan Canoe Racing Association’s Harry Curley Memorial Race, held in Oscoda last weekend, was another stop in a month-long series of warm-up events as the top marathon canoe racers in the United States United and Canada have already arrived in Northern Michigan or are on their way here for an opportunity to complete their tune up for the main event the last weekend in July.

The AuSable River Canoe Marathon – Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31 – is the middle stop in the triple crown of canoe racing. It is one of the toughest, fastest, most grueling and competitive professional canoe marathon races in the world. Thousands of fans follow the race from its thrilling 9 p.m. LeMans-style start to the streets of Grayling, all night and the following afternoon more than six Consumers Energy hydro dam portages, 2-7 p.m. and 120 miles to the finish line in Oscoda on the shores of Lake Huron. For these and other reasons, the race is often respectfully referred to simply as “THE Marathon” and is recognized by marathon canoe racing fans and competitors alike as “one of the greatest canoe races on Earth!”

Following a suspension of THE Marathon during the COVID outbreak last year, the non-profit, all-volunteer AuSable Marathon Organizing Committee was pleased to be able to organize the race, and with record-breaking results! The 2021 AuSable Marathon winners – Jorden Wakeley (31, Grayling, MI) and Matt Meersman (44, South Bend, IN) – set a new AuSable Marathon all-time record of 13:54:09 (13 hours, 54 minutes, 9 seconds).

Spokesman Phil Weiler said the competition will be fierce and several new records are all but guaranteed to be set in the 2022 edition of this grandfather of ultra-endurance marathons, set in 1947.

“There are currently a record number of 99 teams registered. Not only are last year’s champions returning to defend their title, there are six (6) former AuSable Marathon Champions in this year’s field. With the easing of COVID restrictions, out-of-state competitors are back in full force; 14 American states and 3 Canadian provinces are represented, including a team from Hawaii for the first time. It’s going to be one hell of a race with lots of action and fierce competition across this great group of teams! Weiler concluded.

Thousands of fans will attend at least part of the race in person. There are GPS trackers on every entered canoe and extensive media coverage of the race on social media. Weiler suggests checking out the Marathon’s Facebook page or, for complete information on the Consumers Energy 74th AuSable River Canoe Marathon, visit the website at: www.AuSableCanoeMarathon.org.

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