Marathon canoeing involes racing canoes or kayaks over distances greater than 10km in flatwater rivers and lakes. Marathon racing is participated in at club, state, national and international levels with Australia being strong a player in the discipline particularly at the 2003 World Championships in Spain and 2004 World championships in Norway.
South Australia was well represented in the 2006 Marathon World Championships in Portugal. Bennet Maxwell and Luke Morrison paired up in the K2 event and Dale Thomson and Michael Knauer in the U18 K2 event.
The major clubs supporting marathon racing in South Australia are West Lakes, Holbfast Bay, Onkaparinga, Christian Brothers College and of course the Marathon Canoe Club of South Australia. The Marathon Canoe Club also holds a three day ultra marathon event on the Murray River in June each year with the paddlers competing over distances of 100km, 200km or in a 200km relay. Marathon racing is open to paddlers of all ages and skill level with a great variety of classes of racing, as it is often more of a challenge just to complete the course rather than get there in a rush!
Adelaide was fortunate enough to hold the 1994, 1999 and 2006 Australian Marathon Canoe Championships at West Lakes thereby settting the standard for these competitors in Australia. In 2005, Canoe SA also hosted the Australian Masters Games Sprint and Marathon and will be doing so again in 2007. Perth, Australia also played host to the World Marathon Championships in 2006.
Marathon canoeing is a great way to get fit, enjoy good company and see some of Australia’s best waterways. With a program of races running all year round between the clubs, beginners are always welcome, so why not come along and have a go!