Black Diamond News Archives for 2023-07

Consumer's Energy-75th AuSable River Canoe Marathon


Tens of thousands of fans are flocking to Northern Michigan's AuSable River Valley to cheer on a record field of more than 100 teams registered for the 75th anniversary running of an iconic northern Michigan ultra-endurance event: The Consumers Energy AuSable River Canoe Marathon.


Most of North America’s most elite marathon canoe racers - including teams from 20 U.S. states and Canadian provinces - plus international entries from Australia, Germany, and Belize, will compete in this year's race. It is one of the toughest, fastest-paced, most grueling, most competitive marathon canoe races on Earth, and is the middle leg of the prestigious Triple Crown of Canoe Racing.


The AuSable Marathon has been tagged as “Canoeing’s Greatest Race” (ref: Men’s Journal, Canoe & Kayak Magazine) and there are many reasons why seeing this extraordinary race in person should be on the bucket list of every Michigander, sports fan, adrenaline seeker and outdoor enthusiast.


Tens of thousands of fans will line the streets and riverbanks in Grayling for the thrilling 9:00 P.M. LeMans-style start Saturday July 29, cheering with excitement as the teams run with their hi-tech carbon fiber racing canoes through the streets to the river to start the race. 


A crowd of thousands follows the teams via roadway throughout the night, viewing their progress at designated sites along the course, including the portages of six Consumers Energy hydro dams. Teams paddle 50 to 90 paddle strokes per minute for 14 to 19 hours non-stop and 120 miles to the finish line on the shores of Lake Huron in Oscoda on Sunday afternoon.


In addition to a record number of teams overall, this year's AuSable Marathon will also feature a record number of female paddlers, and a record number of mixed teams. Fans are looking forward to a super-competitive race as the field includes six former AuSable Marathon overall champs, ten former mixed-team champs, and eight former women's champs.


"Marathon Week is underway and the adrenaline is flowing among competitors and fans alike," according to Phil Weiler, spokesperson for the Consumer Energy AuSable River Canoe Marathon. "With the Time Trials that determine starting position now underway, the action and excitement is building for Saturday night’s thrilling start. The communities of the AuSable River Valley are humming…business activity is reaching a peak.”


Rich Castle, the Consumers Energy Community Affairs Manager for NE Michigan observed, "Consumers Energy is excited to be the title sponsor for the 75th AuSable River Canoe Marathon. It’s our job to deliver hometown service and it’s our privilege to provide our time, talent, and resources to help support our northern Michigan customers."


More than 50,000 fans will catch at least some part of the race in person. There are GPS trackers on each canoe entered. Significant live social media coverage of the race is planned on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Regular race reports are carried on Black Diamond Broadcasting's 98.5 UPS and more than 20 radio stations of the AuSable River Marathon Radio Network.


To learn more about the AuSable Canoe Marathon and how to view it - either in person or via social media channels - Weiler suggests going to the Marathon's Facebook Page, to @ausablemarathon on YouTube and Instagram; and checking the event's website:



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