Many happy returns for paddlers in 65th edition of Des Plaines River canoe marathon
The sunny skies, calm winds and cool temperatures Sunday would be cause for celebration all on their own Sunday morning for competitors in the 65th annual Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon.
But for this year's paddlers, the ideal conditions were just dessert for the main course -- the long-awaited return of the beloved race.
Dozens of canoeists and kayakers launched into the river early Sunday morning in Libertyville, to start the 18.5-mile course that finishes in Mount Prospect. Some paddlers took part in the event's "minithon," a 5.25-mile race that finished at the same location in Mount Prospect after launching at Potawatomi Woods north of Dundee Road in Wheeling.
It was the first marathon since 2019, after the 2020 and 2021 races were canceled because of pandemic-related concerns.