Northern Michigan’s most anticipated summer event gets underway tonight, as the 68th annual AuSable River Canoe Marathon begins at 9pm in Grayling.
The 120-mile race starts along the streets of Graying with a LeMans style start. A shotgun goes off at about 9pm signaling paddlers to grab their canoes and sprint to the river. From there the racers paddle all night for over 14 straight hours, portage 6 dams, and cross the finish line at Finish Line Park in Oscoda, on the coast of Lake Huron. The race is the oldest marathon canoe race in the United States, and is the longest, non-stop, canoe-only race in North America. The race has been billed as “The World’s Toughest Spectator Race” as many of the spectators follow the racers overnight down the full 120 miles to the finish line.
Favorites for this years marathon have to be Andrew Triebold of Grayling, Michigan and his partner Steve Lajoie of Quebec, Canada. The duo are looking for their 8th consecutive marathon win, which tie a record for consecutive wins. An 8th win would also put them 1 behind the number of wins all-time by a duo (9, Serge Corbin, Jeff Kolka).
For all those Up North, head over to Grayling for what is sure to be an exciting night ahead! For those unable to make the trip, you can follow along on Twitter @AuSableMarathon (#HupAllNight) as well as the live video app Periscope. Once the race becomes active click here for live race results. The race will also be announced on the radio in Grayling (100.3 FM) and in Oscoda (103.3 FM & 94.9 FM).
Enjoy a clip from a previous years start of the marathon below. Good luck to all racers and for all spectators, enjoy the race!