Less than three weeks remain until the
"Recent rains resulted in the Sonoma County Water Agency declaring 2012 a normal year, giving race organizers confidence of optimal conditions on the river," said race director Tony Hansen.
" which caters to the full spectrum of paddlers, recreational to advanced, using canoes, kayaks, surfskis and stand-up paddleboards (SUP)," Hansen said.
"Team and recreational paddlers will paddle the 5-mile section, while advanced paddlers compete in the 15-mile race," he added. " he combination of the pristine river and surroundings, diverse race format and festive Race Party is resulting in the GR3 becoming one of the most appealing river races in America."
Local business sponsors are already in place, Hansen said.
“it’s important for us to continue to support great local causes, and the GR3 is a fantastic example of fundraising that’s fun," said Tom Fritz, VP of Marketing for Marmot. "In addition to providing financial support and the Race T’s for the event, Marmot employees wearing all sorts of crazy hair and clothing will join in on the paddling and competition on the Russian River."
Dan Imhoff, Watershed Media co-founder and irector of publishing said the event "both celebrates and highlights the need to protect the Russian River, all its tributaries, and all the living creatures that depend on it," he said.
"I can't think of anything more vital to bring the community together, for the present and the future,” Imhoff said.
Individual and double paddlers in canoes, kayaks, surf skis and SUPs are urged to enter by April 30 to secure the $20 early bird discount. Registration is capped at 350 paddlers and canoe/kayak and equipment rentals are limited so reserve your place and paddling gear on the GR3 website now! For registration and general information, please visit our website: www.greatrussianriverrace.com.
“The Canoe Team competition is proving to be hugely popular this year,” Hansen said.
Businesses, non-profits, friends and family teams (2 paddlers per canoe) are challenging each other to a 5-mile duel on May 12.
Hansen said sponsors have contributed more than$5,000 in cash and prizes for division winners. There are also prices for best outfit and other fun divisions.
"If you don’t think that you are in the running for a podium place, it’s time to plan your outfit as there are prizes for the best dressed, too," Hansen said.
Hansen said all proceeds from the GR3 go to the Russian Riverkeeper Clean Campus Clean Creeks (CCCC) program and Sonoma County Regional Parks. The major goal of CCCC is to educate Healdsburg students, educators and school officials on the issue of storm-water pollution and empower them to address the issue in their “own backyard”.
The Sonoma Parks portion is earmarked for constructing the Veteran’s Memorial Beach Dam over the summer.
Host sponsors of the race are Russian Riverkeeper, River's Edge Kayak and Canoe and Sonoma County Regional Parks.
For More Information:
GR3 Website: www.greatrussianriverrace.com
Kate Wilson, GR3 Coordinator, Russian Riverkeeper