June 2014 Newsletter

By June 9, 2014 Uncategorized


11 days until the Big East River X and we are totally pumped to get racing season up and running in Muskoka. At the time of writing this newsletter, we already have 63 paddlers registered, exceeding our total overall number from last year and we haven’t even reached race day yet.  With paddlers coming in from as far away as Manitoba, we couldn’t be more pleased with the response from the paddling community. Thank you for supporting out event!

The weather in Muskoka has been beautiful and with a number of fairly dry weeks, the Big East River water level is a little lower compared to last year. We paddled the full river over the weekend and the current is running between 2-3km/hrs. Paddlers who competed in the 40km event last year will notice the last 4-5 km of the top end of the river section starts getting shallow with numerous sandy swifts. There is always a navigable channel but the upper section of the river will challenge teams in their ability to read the water; watching for submerged hazards and reading the current in order to make the best choice of lines. Once teams reach the turn-around point at Tulip Inn the down-river paddle will be a joy. Our downriver speed was clocked at a maximum of 12.4 km/hrs in a ProV1. Wicked fun, especially with the tight twisty sections of the top half of the river: It’ll make the up-river effort worth it ☺. Keep your fingers crossed for some more rain next week to keep the water levels up.

Please print off the Competitor Document so you have a copy of the race itinerary and all the rules. We are starting earlier this year to make the most of early morning conditions. With that in mind, there is limited time for same day registration. We do recommend coming in the night before as we will be set up behind Algonquin Outfitters until 9 pm.  See the Competitor Document for details and maps. Also be mindful, there is a large downtown festival going on that weekend. Main Street will be closed so please access River Mill park via Caroline Street East / Queen Street (see Competitor Document for map). If you are looking for accommodation, we recommend either the King William or the Tulip Inn. Check our web site for the links.

After the event, enjoy a relaxing lunch at The Cottage Bar and Grill. Under new management, The Cottage has refreshed with a brand new menu. Try the ribs, fish tacos, or even the Falafel Burger. Everything is yummy at The Cottage. With every registration, you get a Big East Meal (Burgers/Sausage/Veggie Burger, fries, drink) OR you can use the voucher for $10 towards any menu item, which ever you prefer. With the best waterfront deck in town, you can’t beat The Cottage.



Teams are still lining up and registration remains open for the Long Single Day Expedition Paddling race in the world. With the current roster at 175% the number of those who paddled last year we are close to doubling the fleet in our second year! Thank you very much for your warm reception and we look forward to putting on another amazing event for you.  We still have spots open for this year’s event so don’t wait.  Register your team now.  Spots are limited.

With paddlers coming in from as far away as Vermont, Hawaii, Alaska, and Nova Scotia the MRX is spreading it’s wings and it’s reputation. This year’s line-up looks to make 2014 an epic event. As expected, most teams are paddling C2 however we’ve seens a huge increase in the number of solo paddlers. So far, 20 have chosen to go it alone: 8 SUP solos, 7 K1s, and 5 C1s. We can’t wait to see how things will shake out at the finish line. Here is the breakdown from last year’s winning teams: Including actual paddling time, 20 portages, checkpoints, and whatever else teams did or did not do over 130km the average fastest pace according to “the clock” is as follows;
C2:                9.1 km/hour
C1:                7.1 km/hour
K1:                7.0 km/hour
SUP Solo:      5.2 km/hour

That’s your benchmark. Start training!

Muskoka River X Merchandise and Attire
If you are already registered, you will have received an email detailing the offerings we have. Soft shells, ball caps, beanies, and long-sleeve tech shirts. Check your “in-box” and place your order. You only have until July 25th. After that, you’ll have to wait until 2015 since these are all special orders, just for you! We will also be posting the details on the web site shortly.

Post Race
Did we talk about how much we love ‘debriefing’ after 24 hours of racing? Well, if we haven’t and you weren’t here last year you should know that the MRX is not only know for being the Toughest single day canoe race in the world, the best SUP race in Eastern Canada, or one of the top ultra distance paddling races in North America. The MRX is also known for having one of the best post race meals around!  Back again at The Cottage, imagine that you just finished 130km of paddling across 4 lakes  and 2 river systems, navigating 20 portages, fully self supported and carrying enough gear for a back country trip, all in under 24 hours.  Now imagine yourself sitting on a waterfront deck, feasting on a BBQ of chicken, ribs, fish, corn, potatoes, salads, vegan options, and yes…..washing it down with an ice cold pint of ale or a glass of wine, whichever suits your palate…including other drink options as well.

Paddle like a Voyageur and Feast like one too!

And adding to the ambiance will be Tobin Spring, playing an unplugged session of the best tunes to mellow with. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8wJJO6giNw.

Welcome to the Finish Line…MRX style!

(It’s all included in your registration…)

Coming Up
In the next few weeks look out for our blog on “making water”. As part of the event, teams are responsible for being fully self-sufficient, including making drinkable water. This challenged a few teams last year so for 2014 we will be providing some advice. Also, we will also be blogging on options for lighting up your MRX experience. Muskoka in September gets pretty dark so expect to spend at least part of your MRX experience being nocturnal. We have some advice, including some technical recommendations. Look for both in the near future.

That’s it for now. If you do have any questions, please do not hesitate to send us an email. We do our best to keep on top of things and will get back to you as soon as we can. If you need to rent a boat, refer to our rental page in the Registration drop-down for options from Algonquin Outfitters and Hand Crafted Canoes. Lastly, don’t wait to reserve your accommodation. There is a big weekend music festival going on in Huntsville so we do anticipate rooms to be in short supply. Again, King William is the best place for the MRX.

Cheers,  Mike and Rob