Held over the June 17th-18th weekend, the first year of the Algonquin Outfitters 24 Hours of River X was a great success.  Canoeists, kayakers, SUP, and even prone paddlers from across Ontario and into Quebec converged on Huntsville’s River Mill Park to experience this new race format; a 10km loop on beautiful Fairy Lake and the Muskoka River with teams completing as many laps as possible in 24 hours.  The tent-city that emerged in River Mill Park was wonderful to be part of; a great location in the heart of Huntsville.  The positive energy and spirit was infectious. The personal achievements were inspiring.

Not to be outdone, the weather was also in attendance and showed up in full force.  Race Management and Search and Rescue were glued to the various weather apps watching and predicting what Mother Nature might and ultimately did throw at us.  After a great morning and evening, the thunderheads and pounding rain rolled in, closing the course at 11:18pm on Saturday.  With all the teams safely off the water everyone had an unplanned opportunity to get some much-needed rest.  Following a full night of monitoring the radar and lightening maps the course was finally reopened at 6am only to be close again from 7am to 8:30am due to active lightening.  In the end, teams were all in good spirits, everyone was safe and paddlers spent about 16 hours on the water: Still a lot of paddling!  The race was super exciting and in the final hours teams dug deep to make the cut off time, pushing hard to register their final lap.  Ultimately, 31 teams clocked a total of 3,400km over 16 hours of paddling.  That’s equivalent to paddling over halfway across Canada!  How’s that for a “Canada 150” achievement?

A special thanks to the Town of Huntsville for allowing us to use River Mill Park as a campsite.  We appreciate the efforts of the Town including Greg Pilling for helping us through the permitting process and Colleen MacDonald for making sure the park was ready for us.  The Chamber of Commerce was also very supportive and we wish to express our thanks to them.  A huge shout-out to Canadian Ski Patrol and our Search and Rescue Team (Brad and Mat) for their critical efforts in keeping everyone safe and healthy.