**ARICM SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT**
The AuSable River International Canoe Marathon (ARICM) committee is excited to announce a long-term agreement with Black Diamond Broadcasting, beginning after this year’s race and continuing through the 75th Canoe Marathon. 98.5 WUPS is the Flagship station of the ARICM, and will remain the “Official Station”, providing start to finish coverage of the race. Black Diamond Broadcasting created the ARICM Radio Network three years ago to bring greater awareness and coverage to canoe racing fans throughout much of Michigan and Canada. In addition, the ARICM has reached an agreement with Larry Roberts, “The Voice of the Marathon”, also extending through the 75th Canoe Marathon, to continue his comprehensive race night coverage over the ARICM Radio Network.
Heather Tait, Co-Chairperson of the ARICM committee stated, “I am so pleased that we [the ARICM Committee] have entered into these two new long-term partnerships with both Black Diamond Broadcasting and Larry Roberts. This was an easy decision, as 98.5 WUPS has exceeded all of our expectations over the past three years, and has provided unparalleled race coverage through their ARICM Radio Network. Based on what 98.5 WUPS has delivered so far, and what they have planned for the future, this new agreement is a huge win for not only the committee, but the Marathon and the communities that are part of this event, as well as for the racers and fans. Larry Roberts has done an outstanding job as our main broadcaster over the years, earning him a spot in the ARICM Hall of Fame. His knowledge of our race and paddlers is second to none, and I’m thrilled that he has agreed to continue as “The Voice of the Marathon” for the next four years. I would like to thank long time ARICM committee member and past chairperson, Phil Weiler, for “steering the canoe”, so to speak, with this decision. His vision and experience put him in a unique position to provide guidance and support to the committee, and he had a pivotal role in making this partnership a reality.”
Mike Chires, CEO / Co-Owner of Black Diamond Broadcasting, (98.5 UPS), said, “I’m proud of the accomplishments we’ve made in just a few years, and excited about our future involvement with the ARICM. We are committed to providing high quality coverage of the race, brought to you by “The Voice of the Marathon”, Larry Roberts. Some thought the ARCM Radio Network was a dream, yet we created and built the network faster than expected. We are really excited about our future plans for the network”. Norm McKee, COO / CFO / Co-Owner added, “We are proud to be associated with northern Michigan’s largest sporting event and the ARICM Committee. We remain committed to providing the finest coverage possible for this event, as well as promoting the ARICM, Grayling, Oscoda and the entire Ausable River Valley community through our ARICM Radio Network”.
The AuSable River Canoe Marathon, presented by Consumers Energy, is the middle leg of the prestigious Triple Crown of Canoe Racing – La Triple Couronne de Canots Long Parcours. The first race is the General Clinton Canoe Regatta – staged Memorial Day on New York’s Susquehanna River – a one-day, non-stop 70-mile race. The third and final race is La Classique Internationale de Canots de la Mauricie – The Classic, staged Labor Day weekend – a 120-mile three-stage race from La Tuque to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, on the St. Maurice River.