Photo: Georgia Read

Racing at the Canoe Marathon World Championships Photo: Georgia Read

The International Canoe Federation just made Oklahoma City the host for the 2014 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships. More than 30 countries are expected to compete during the 2014 event held Sept. 26-28, 2014 on the Oklahoma River. This will be the first time the event has been held in the United States.

"Canoe Marathon is unlike any water sports event we've ever hosted," said Mike Knopp, executive director for the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation. "It combines dynamic kayak racing with full-out running sprints at the portage stations. It's an exciting sport to bring before the crowds in Oklahoma, as our city continues to grow as a sports mecca."

Racers will complete a series of laps on the Oklahoma River to reach a total marathon distance that ranges between 10.7 and 18.7 miles, depending on age group, boat class and gender. Each lap includes a portage. Athletes paddle into a dock at full speed, then sprint with their boats 80 yards across land before returning to the water for the next lap. Contact is allowed and penalties can be issued.

In preparation for hosting the world championship event, the OKC Boathouse Foundation will host a Canoe Marathon invitational event on Wednesday, Oct. 2 as part of the 2013 Oklahoma Regatta Festival. Racing will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, Oklahoma City will host the USA Canoe Marathon team trials June 21-22, 2014.

"Hosting the 2014 Canoe Marathon World Championships next fall will build even more anticipation for the opening of the MAPS 3 whitewater center, which is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2015," said Knopp. "We're excited to see the sport of canoe/kayak grow here in Oklahoma City."

"Canoe Marathon is one of the most popular sporting events in Europe," said Joe Jacobi, CEO of Oklahoma City-based USA Canoe/Kayak. "Bringing this event to Oklahoma City in 2014 signals the start of many great opportunities with the International Canoe Federation."


Canoe Marathon Boat Classes

K-1 = single person kayak
K-2 = two person kayak
C-1 = single person canoe
C-2 = two person canoe

Canoe Marathon Distances

4 laps /4 portages = 10.7 miles (17.2 km)
Junior Women K-1
Junior Men C-1
Junior Women K-2
Junior Men C-2

5 laps/5 portages = 12.7 miles (20.5 km)
Junior Men K-1
Under 23 Women K-1
Under 23 Men C-1
Junior Men K-2

6 laps/6 portages = 16 miles (25.8 km)
Under 23 Men K-1
Senior Women K-1
Senior Men C-1
Senior Women K-2
Senior Men C-2

7 laps/7 portages = 18.7 miles (30.1 km)
Senior Men K-1
Senior Men K-2