Racers and/or race organizers-Help!

Anyone race here? Like the bigones…Ausable Marathon, Water Tribe, Yukon River Quest, Texas Water Safari, or MR340 Etc???

OR anyone here ever organize a big race???

In the early planning stages and would like some input…drop a line and or email me here

South Dakota Kayak Challenge is a young race with a couple guys organizing it. They might have some good input.

Didn’t happen the first year because of lack of interest. They tried again the next year and got 100 participants. Last year was cancelled due to flooding. This year will be the 2nd running.



– Last Updated: May-05-12 2:47 PM EST –

Have raced the Yukon River Quest (YRQ 2008) and the Yukon 1000 (Y1K 2009 and 2011). All as bowman & navigator in a voyageur canoe. Provided lots of advice to the 2010 Y1K crew. What do you need to know?

insurance and permission
Contact whoever manages the water. Also contact usca for insurance. Then figure out a way to spread the word. You can pair with the local conservation group for help with publicity. Also look at local paddling groups and area chamber of commerces. You are going to need volunteers and resources.

Very important, try not to conflict with big races that draw people from many regions.

Where is this race happening? If it sounds like a bad idea, I’m in.

Ryan L.

thanks will be in touch
Yeah sort of like the super bowl of dog-sledding…Iditarod except for paddling…

500 mile race

$10,000.00+ first place etc. (possibly $50K first place and each place down to last would get $.

Multi towns involved

probably 2013 or 2014 etc

lots to consider, how many needed to get it going?

What does one need to do, to start…ie things we may be overlooking etc etc

How does one get financial prize commitment without having towns back it…catch 22…cuz ya need the towns backing in order to get the &…

So what comes first?

Anyway…will be in touch and thanks for the help

Little town, cities, municipalities
Need open communication with local government for

a.) crowd control

b.) parking

c.) toilet facilities

d.) garbage , debris, etc.

e.) police

f.) emergency medical crews

Trailering boats means BIG circles for maneuvering

Staging equipment, theft of staged equipment

ELECTRICAL Power - for laptops, charging phones,

public address systems, etc., etc.

Getting a town to “commit” resources will be

tough enough, let alone pony up prize money in advance.

Price money can come from registration fees to race

Clean Water to drink, hydrate, wash up, etc.

You’ll need probably a minimum of an army volunteers

1.) registration

2.) time keeping

3.) safety patrol pre-launch, sweep after ,

account for ALL on race course have finished, left.

Stragglers left behind may cause bad Public Relations.

Of Course - It Could Rain that day - protect it all

Shelter, tornado, hail storms, high winds, etc., etc.

Best of Luck - as first year is a bear to promote

I’m making the trip back to SD
I decided the SD Challenge was a good time to finally make another trip back home. Will I see you there?

maybe start smaller
I race and know a few race directors. They all started small and built up races with prize money increasing as the race becomes a draw. To get a race with big prize money right off the bat you need a corporate sponsor interested in using the race as publicity for their brand. The only race I’ve seen like this was the North Face ultra running challenge with a 10k first prize the first year.

Its just what we need!
An awesome race. Long and challenging, great payout, great fun. Count me in. Done the MR 340, SDKC, and tons of other races. I’d talk to Scott at Rivermiles. They do the MR 340 and I would bet he has tons of info.

Whats is your opinion of stages…so you would layover in towns along the way where there would some sort of paddlefest party going on or do you prefer one big push to the finish?

What about from the standpoint of the towns and people involved?

Greetings from Montana–

A few of us are considering organizing a major paddle race in our state down the Yellowstone River.

The Yellowstone is the longest un-damed river in the lower-48. We are considering the distance to be around 500-miles long, passing through the heart of Montana and through several large cities and towns.

I hope you could help also some questions that have come before us regarding this race.

What draws people to your race and why?

Do you feel more people would come if there was a substantial amount of prize money…? Say a purse of $50,000.00 or do you feel having no prize other than the accomplishment of paddling such an event is good enough for most paddlers?

How do you feel about a stage race, where the racers paddle to the next major town and wait the eveing there where community events/party/celebration/river awareness and product info would be available?

My concern or first thoughts is, “if the race is to be the longest annual race in the country, why would a hard-core paddler want to stop?” Or is there more benefit as far as stopping from a community standpoint?

What do you feel would be some of the first priorities in planning such a race?

How many volunteers do you foresee in a 500-mile race?

How do you feel about additional shorter “challenges”…say a 50, 100, and 200 mile shorter race allowing the not-so-hard-core to partake?

We feel gaining support and sponsors especially for a large $$ purse would be a challenge. A major company won’t give you $ if the support and organization is not already there correct?

And people and communities might not be supportive if there is no corp. sponsorship…sort of a catch-22.

How many hours a month does your group meet and plan for your event?

(disregard if this does not pertain to you.)

Is it possible to have a solid working race planned by …say August 3rd week of 2013?? Thats 15-months away etc. Seem that there is a lot of hidden challenges and one needs to have the race set and planned at least 6-months prior to the actual event correct?

Are there certain committees that members of your organization set aside and if so, what is the breakdown of the committee types?

What is your opinion of a NON-Stop race VS. one that has stops etc?

With the Yellowstone, there is some major technical water that would be very dangerous and difficult to negotiate at night. Would this keep people from participating?

We dont want to compete with the other major races…such as the MR340, Yukon Quest, Ausable Marathon, Water Tribe, and Texas WS, just add to that list of great paddle events here on America’s longest undamed river.

We appreciate your time in helping answer some of these important question.


Norm Miller

Livingston, Montana.

emailed you nm

Keep them coming Thanks

Ohhhhh…I must ask…
WHY do you want to put yourself (or selves) through this?

Good luck,


that bad??
Explain dave.

This could turn into a chore.
I’m curious as to your motivation. This endevor will be monumental. Are you hoping to make money? Do you want glory? Are you hoping to simply make new friends? I’ve been around people who started fishing tournaments. The ones who asked themselves all the right questions, seemed to succeed.

NO money
Awareness of the rivers potential, its beauty and paddle ability. To bring the communities together after Exxons huge oil spill in the Yellowstone last summer and them not doing much to help the communities of Montana.

To bring a union of paddlers, families, friends together to share the bonds we all have with water and its importance. Make new friends, the excitement of a challenge. The longest undamed river in the lower-48 and there is no race? Its time to start! Why do we paddle? For the same reasons that bringing 100-400 paddlers to the river. Bring awareness to the people about the river. There is probably 95% people along its shores that have never even been on the water. Its time to open the bridges or those that paddle and those that dont. There is nothing like a paddlers community.

Doesnt sound like a chore at all.

read belows response.
I posted below …

Why wouldnt you put yourself through all that is the better question?

My glass is half full.

Passion - Water and Paddling

– Last Updated: May-11-12 2:13 PM EST –

When I helped start the Shiawassee River Race in
Michigan about 10 years ago - few knew the river existed.
Now its a Heritage Water Trail with signs, kiosks,etc.

Most people who organize water stuff do it out of love
for the natural resource and the recreation it provides.

good stuff
If we needed good reasons to do things, would any of us use a narrow piece of material to propel a buoyant piece of material through the water?

Ryan L.