The AuSable River International Canoe Marathon is one of the most premiere canoe race in the United States. It covers a distance of approximately 120 miles, starting in the middle of the State of Michigan at Grayling and ending at Oscoda on the shore of Lake Huron. The majestic and storied AuSable River winds its way through the beautiful and occasional primitive forests of northern Michigan challenging the competitors, support persons for the competitors and the omnipresent and vocal fans of the Marathon. From the race’s inception in 1947 it has been the source of hundreds of unwritten stories about courage, perseverance, determination, pride and not-to-be equaled love of “The Marathon”. To those who have participated in whatever form and to whatever degree a heartfelt thank you is given. To those who have exceeded others, whether by paddling or supporting, a special honor will be bestowed in the form of recognition by a committee of persons chosen by the AuSable River International Canoe Marathon to be enshrined in the Marathon Hall of Fame.
- The members of the Marathon Hall of Fame Committee shall accept nominations from any source to be considered for entry into the Marathon Hall of Fame. The nominations shall be made in writing to the A.R.I.C.M. Committee no later than the second Saturday in April.
- The Marathon Hall of Fame Committee shall annually select from the nominations presented for induction into the Marathon Hall of Fame. One of the nominees that are selected shall be a past or present Marathon Paddler. The remaining person selected may be a non-paddler.
- The persons selected need not have won the AuSable River International Canoe Marathon.
- The persons selected must have:
- Contributed time and resources of whatever kind or nature, added innovations to procedures and assisted to the degree that either improved or continued the success of the Marathon;
- Exemplified the competitiveness, stamina, drive, strength of character, fair play and ability to overcome obstacles while participating in the Marathon.
Marilyn Wagner – First Female Competitor. First female to finish Marathon (Amateur – August 3, 1968).
Jay Stephan Sr. – Paddled the very first Marathon in 1947. Was in five more and finished first in 1950, 1951, and 1952.
Hugh Bissonette – Paddled in the first Marathon 1947. Marathon champion 1948 and 1949. Set Marathon records both years. Thomas P. Marston Memorial recipient.
Bernie Fowler – Paddled the very first Marathon in 1947. Was in five more and finished first in 1950, 1951, and 1952.
Butch Stockton – Champion 1982 through 1986. Promoted Canoe Marathon. Assists current paddlers with repairs to their canoes.
Harry Curley – Race promoter – never paddled but promoted canoe racing, kept AuSable River Canoe Marathon alive and led to current era.
Ralph Sawyer – Champion 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, and 1968. First Marathon finish in 1953 at age sixteen, and finished second.
Al Widing Sr. – Paddled in thirty-six Marathons and still going. Oldest competitor. Competed in every race from 1987 to 2009.
Oscoda-AuSable Township Fire Department Water Rescue – This group covered everything from staging race to raising funds and providing safety. They have been part of the race since its inception and continue to contribute.
Frank and Peggy Smutek – Frank has the longest career in Marathon history – 58 years and counting. First Marathon in 1952 at age 18. Peggy contributes time and resources including three generations of family. They exemplify generosity and sportsmanship.
Stan Hall – Stan knew he was going to be a paddler when he saw the racers finish in 1947. He entered 11 – finished 7. Champion in 1967 and 1968. He’s never missed a race.
John B. Cook – Through diligent and scrupulous record-keeping he has recorded the history of the Marathon for all who love the race.
“Big” John Baker – His accomplishments are as big as his personality. He is a four-time champion and a five-time runner up. John is a mentor and an inspiration.
Ed Wojahn – He has watched the Marathon since 1948 and still gets butterflies at the start. The race is one of the most exciting events in North America. Ed loves to follow down river with fellow paddlers. Champion in 1960.
Bruce Myles – An Oscoda businessman who has been involved with the Marathon for decades. Bruce recorded the history of the race through photography and has contributed to the continued success of the race.
Serge Corbin – Serge is the most successful paddler in AuSable River history. He is an 18-time Champion and set the course record of 13:58:08 in 1994.
Lynne Witte – Lynne is an inspiration for all women paddlers. She has entered 34 Marathons and finished 32. She is the first woman to earn the Iron Paddler Award (1993). Lynne holds the Mixed Division record (1988; 4th Place; 15:05:26), and she had paddled consecutively since 1980.
Jack Kolka – Jack had 13 consecutive finishes (1964-1977). He entered the race 22 times and finished 18. He earned the Iron Paddler Award in 1972. Jack mentored many young paddlers who later became Marathon Champions, including his son Jeff Kolka.
Larry Kindell – Larry Kindell finished 6 Marathons, all in the top three places, with 2 firsts, paddling with Steven Kolonich 1958 and his brother Victor Kindell 1961. He ranks 35th in the top 50 Official Marathon Career points.
Larry Roberts – Larry Roberts has been “The Voice of the Marathon” for 20 years. His familiar voice continues to pump up the fans with his series of Marathon minutes and live radio broadcasts of the entire Marathon event.
Howard Brubaker – Howard Brubaker was instrumental in starting the AuSable Marathon. He and Percy Jocks paddled from Graying to Oscoda in three days to prove the race was possible. Howard was chairman and sponsored teams for ten years.
Réjean Huard – Réjean Huard entered 11 and finished 3 Marathons. He served as an ambassador of the sport by playing a vital role in establishing the Triple Crown of racing. He was a mentor to many young paddlers from Canada and the USA. It was his passion for paddling that made him loved and respected by many.