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Race update: Not happening in 2019, but highly likely for 2020

There are some new things to report regarding this race.

To make a long story short, it is not going to happen in 2019 but is highly likely to happen in 2020.

Now for the long story:

In Charlottesville, VA, there has been an annual 6.2-mile canoe and kayak race for the past 14 years.  For 13 of those years, one man, Merrill Bishop, has been the driving force behind the race and single-handedly served as Race Coordinator and Organizer.  (See more at: www/

Merrill stepped back and took a minor, supporting role in 2018 and this year is officially retiring from the race altogether.

A skeleton crew was able to keep the race going in 2018 but the organizers looked for ways to ensure the long-term future of the race.  During this period of time, a 44-mile ultra-marathon race was envisioned to boost interest and add a noteworthy endurance paddling event on the East Coast.

We were amazed at the more than 40 paddlers who said they'd race in the race, but the number of people who stepped forward to volunteer to help make the race happen were few.

It therefore made no sense to double the amount of volunteer work for a skeleton crew who were already becoming burned out and who much prefer to themselves race.

On the bright side, our local river conservation group, The Rivanna Conservation Alliance (RCA) stepped forward to adopt the race.  This will ensure the long-term future of the event.  2018 organizers submitted a 5-year plan for the race which included this 44-mile race along with other exciting things you might see in the future.

But for 2019, RCA has decided to get one traditional, 6.2-mile race under its belt first before it looks to the broader 5-year plan and the possibility of adding longer races.

We have absolute respect for this decision and think it is the right one.

And we do not want to go forward with a 44-mile race that might compete with or detract from the traditional race in any way.

So we thank those who said they are interested in the 44-mile race and hopefully we will get you racing in it in 2020.

In the meantime, the best way to help make this race happen in 2020 is to support the 6.2-mile race this year on May 11, 2019.  More details will be coming in Feb. and we'll pass those along when they are available.


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Coming in May, 2020

We envision a 44-mile canoe & kayak race covering the entire length of the Rivanna River from Charlottesville to Columbia, VA.
This race would take up the void that the James River Rundown left in its wake and establish a new long distance race in the state of Virginia.
This type of race will take a great deal of planning and volunteer help so let us know if you are interested in helping this idea become a reality in 2019 2020.
Please fill out this form to let us know if you are interested in racing or volunteering.

Please fill out this form to let us know if you are interested in racing or volunteering.
* Logo graciously donated by Sarah Bright, Graphic Designer, Charlottesville VA