Toughest Spectator Sport


AuSable River Canoe Marathon Spectators are a very important part of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon.  They cheer and motivate their favorite teams throughout the night.  They must find access to the river in total darkness, must navigate among thousands of other fans in order to get a glimpse of their favorite team, then move to another location.  These fans will do this for fourteen to nineteen hours as the contestants move down river.  Race fans are an integral part of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon.

Spectators can find information about the race, important information about bridge and road closures, and other important information specific to spectators right here.  So check in from time to time, especially during July, for important information.

Other links to What Every Spectator Must Know, race map, and other important information will be available here.

Enjoy these Articles for more Marathon Reading.

2019 Consumers Energy ARCM Paddler Thoughts

One of the questions that racers are asked when filling out their applications is what attracts them to the marathon. Obviously, having a sense of humor helps them through the long hours of the Marathon. Canoe #90 Sean Brabant says he enjoys mental pain and exhaustion and Austin Weiler replies that “College didn’t put me in enough debt”.

Michael Cade, canoe #71, said “Isn’t it the coolest paddling race in North America?  I think somebody told me it was…” and his partner Ed Jones replied that it was “watching the Marathon in 2018.”

Canoe #50, Rodney Elliott wants the practice, as he says, “My daughter Madalynn wants to do it so I figured I better get a couple years under my belt” and Bill Mahaffy, Jr.’s response is “Good question – I’m still not sure on that – but here I am”.

Zach Cheney, #95, said “I had to find a reason to start working out after enjoying my college meal plan a little too much” and partner Chris Ecker, a “youngster in his 50s” said “…it’s a competition even old people can do”.

The oldest team (#72) with both racers in their mid-70s, Gary Aprea replies that he’s still not sure why he does it, while teammate Nick Lyesiuk has a more artistic viewpoint, responding, “the mist of the night paddling”.

Another spot on the application is for “Most Memorable Experience”.

Canoe #49 with Lauren Fry and Mark Rowe answer, “shooting stars” and “The Big Dipper hanging over the river at night”.

Ray Wonders, #77, says “Running into a flock of geese in the dark and then hitting a stump in Mio Pond and almost flipping” while partner Hunter Wonders thinks his most memorable experience was “Losing our headlight at the beginning of Mio Pond,  We made sure to stay close to the canoe ahead of us.”

James Miller, #32, replies “All the lovely people I’ve met in coming to Michigan” and teammate Peggy English thinks that it’s “My partner in 2017 singing ” Morning has broken” as the sun came up, my first with Rod Matthews”.

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