Chicago Shoreline Marathon to hit Lake Michigan on Aug. 20
Paddlers of all abilities, from expert to novice, are invited paddle the Chicago Shoreline Marathon on August 20.
Sign-up for the 18-mile marathon and paddle past the magnificent skyline, and Navy Pier. Or set out from Leone Beach, the event headquarters, and paddle four miles south to Montrose Beach, then turn back and see if you can beat the rest of the group.
Paddler can also enlist three other friends, family members or colleagues and enter the relay event to compete against leading Chicago media teams.
The idea for the Chicago Shoreline Marathon came in 2005 to a small group of experienced sea kayakers who paddled from the south end of the city's shoreline and past the towering downtown skyline. They felt this experience that should be shared with others.
The first CSM took place in 2007 and has become one of the world's leading open water paddling events. The event has attracted elite competitors from Australia, South Africa and Hawaii.
"In the shortest and simplest way, Chicago is fantastic," said South African David Mocke, from South Africa after participating in 2009. "The concept of racing the shoreline is brilliant. It's a long one, a marathon in its own right, but it seems to fly by as you work your way from one beach stop to the next. All too soon the race is over."
Marathon paddlers are required to stop at several beaches, both for timing and safety reasons. (This allows the CSM to also offer sponsorships to companies who normally would not be able to promote their services or products on a Chicago beach.)
Check out more comments, as well as race tips and detailed course descriptions from 2007 winner Erik Borgnes, at www.chicagoshorelinemarathon.com. The website also includes many photos from the prior years' events.
The CSM festivities actually start on the Friday, August 19, with clinics led by paddling experts and opportunities to try out the newest kayaks, surf skis, paddles and paddleboards. Racers can check-in and drop-off their boats Friday, and be assured of overnight security. A pre-race dinner and course review will also take place Friday night.
After the race on Saturday, awards and raffle prizes will be distributed and all participants and volunteers will be treated to dinner and a party.
The CSM is supported by many well-known companies who have donated products and services to help defray the costs associated with the event. Visit the website for a list of sponsors worthy of participants' support.
Registration for the 2011 Chicago Shoreline Marathon at www.chicagoshorelinemarathon.com
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