Richard E. Butts

Engineering, Artwork, Competition, For the Fun of It

Marathon Canoe Racing

I am very fortunate to have been introduced to marathon canoe racing by Ken Altfather of BayCreek Paddling Center. On an unusually warm weekend in February when the temperature reached 45°F (C) Ken asked if I'd ever considered trying canoe racing and would I like to try his racing canoe. I'd never heard of canoe racing and never seen a racing canoe so on Saturday morning we met at BayCreek and went for an hour long paddle on Irondequoit Creek.

In the few years prior to that saturday I'd been much less physically active because I had developed heel pain from 10-plus years of running and competing in local 10k races.  I'm very thankful to Ken for that introduction because paddling gave me non-impact aerobic exercise that could be done solo or with a partner. The sport got me back outside and active again. In the years since that saturday, canoe racing has given me the opportunity to meet many, many interesting people involved in the sport and it has taken me to hundreds of race venues in New York state and the surrounding northeast area.

In these photos the bow paddler of the tandem is Kevin Berl whom I've had the pleasure to paddle with for the past few years. Kevin is a project manager with Sumner-Leigh Systems Inc. and an avid marathon paddling advocate. The 4-man outrigger team photo shows Tim Henning, Kevin Berl, Joe Stutzman and myself having fun out on Lake Ontario.

If you have an interest in canoe racing I suggest you look at the New York Marathon Canoe Racing website. There you'll find information, photos and videos about the sport and links to related sites. You can join NYMCRA for a small fee and get their quarterly newsletter. You're also welcome to contact me and I'll help if I can.

Click to enlarge the 2009 General Clinton 70-Miler finish.2009 General Clinton 70-Miler Finish

Click to enlarge the 2008 Adirondack Canoe Classic, 90-miler, Day 32008 Adirondack Canoe Classic

Click to enlarge the 2007 Adirondack Watershed Alliance, 30-Miler2007 Adirondack Watershed Alliance, 30-Miler

Click to enlarge the 2009 Rochester Open Water Challenge in Lake Ontario2009 Rochester Open Water Challenge